The South Dakota Board of Education Standards adopted on Monday new standards in the following subjects:
- Capstone courses
- Career and technical education (business management & administration; government &
- public administration; hospitality & tourism; marketing; transportation, distribution &
- English language arts
- Health education
- Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards
You can review the current standards, proposed standards, workgroup information, and submit a comment here. (I have not reviewed the proposed math and ELA standards in comparison to the Common Core yet. Because of reviews and revisions that other states have completed I’m not hopeful for significant change. I would like to be wrong though.)
The South Dakota Joint Legislative Rules Review committee has to approve the changes.
South Dakota state law requires that the South Dakota Board of Education Standards review academic content standards on a cyclical basis. In addition, the board is required to host four public hearings as part of the standards review process. The adoption of the standards came after the conclusion of the fourth public hearing.
An overall lack of public comment during these “public hearings” which is just an open comment time during the board’s regular meetings caused the Watertown Public Opinion to conclude: “School-content standards draws zero interest from general public.”
Was it zero interest or was it that most people who care lack the ability to come to a state school board meeting that is held at 9:00a when most people work?
The board does hold their meetings at various locations. This week’s meeting was held in Pierre, the state capitol, and the last three were held in Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, and Rapid City.
They are still held during the work day, it’s almost like they want to discourage public input. If the board was serious about public input they would hold their public hearings at 7:00p rather than 9:00a. I’m self-employed, but even I have difficulty attending meetings at that time so I can imagine the difficulty for people who punch a clock or who are expected to keep regular office hours.
Also, considering the public outcry over the last few years following the adoption of Common Core both nationally and in South Dakota how can anyone conclude there is not public interest?
Unfortunately, many people may have also concluded that petitioning the South Dakota Board of Education Standards (or any state board of education) is largely a waste of time. I think that is sad, but that skepticism says more about the established educracy than it does the general public.
That said, it’s important for concerned citizens to stay engaged if, for nothing else, to prevent the narrative that we don’t care.