Pierre – The South Dakota Board of Education Standards (SD BOES) adopted the proposed social studies standards. The following comments can be attributed to South Dakota Education (SDEA)President Loren Paul in response to the board’s decision:
“Today’s decision by the Board of Education Standards to adopt the proposed social studies standards is very troubling. We are very disappointed that the board chose to ignore the educators, parents and community leaders of South Dakota who were almost unanimous in their opposition. While this decision is frustrating for educators, it truly is a complete disservice to South Dakota’s students.
First, we want to thank Dr. Nebelsick and Dr. Willard for their support of educators and students. Unfortunately, the majority of the board decided to put politics ahead of the needs of students. Instead of working with the people who will be responsible for implementing these standards, the board decided to completely ignore them. It is abundantly clear that this board does not value or respect the work teachers do every day in their classrooms.
There will be many challenges to implementing these standards including the lack of available curriculum and the steep price tag for school districts. However, SDEA is committed to working with educators, parents and community leaders to ensure the implementation of these new standards do not completely up-end the education we provide to students who must remain our focus.
SDEA will also be asking the state legislature to bring more clarity for the composition of the SD BOES. The majority of the board’s current members are not certified to teach or be an administrator in an accredited school in South Dakota. That is a problem. Parents and educators must have confidence that the individuals serving on this board have a real time understanding of how the decisions the board makes will impact teachers and students every day in the classroom. This clarity will also assure that decisions by this board are about students and not politics.”