The Department of Education released the proposed content standards for social studies for review and public comment. The following statement is the South Dakota Education Association’s (SDEA) response to the draft standards and can be attributed to SDEA Executive Director, Ryan Rolfs.
“Educators are committed to teaching students a full history, including the good and bad while helping them develop the critical thinking skills that enable them to be productive citizens who are committed to the great promise of our Country; that all men are created equal.
SDEA is working with our members to review the proposed standards to determine whether we believe they meet the necessary rigor to give students the education they deserve. One that challenges them to meet their fullest potential while having the freedom to learn in an environment that allows them to ask the questions that lead to higher-level thinking.
From its initial review, SDEA is concerned about the age appropriateness of the standards as presented. The lower-grade standards call for a level of memorization that is not cognitively appropriate for our state’s early learners, and the upper-grade standards fail to challenge students’ critical thinking skills through standards that encourage analysis and evaluation of the world around them. SDEA will be submitting comments to the Board of Education Standards in the coming days, and we encourage educators and parents to review the proposed standards and let their voices be heard as well.”