Governor Kristi Noem announced that the review of the state’s social studies standards will be relaunched, and the standards proposed by the Department of Education (DOE) will be set aside.
“I have asked the Department of Education to restart the process from the beginning. I want to ensure we propose standards that accurately reflect the values of South Dakota,” Governor Noem said. “Our kids deserve to learn both America’s and South Dakota’s true and honest history, taught in a balanced context that doesn’t pit our children against each other on the basis of race, sex, or background. More work needs to be done to get this right, and we are committed to seeing that process through.”
The governor’s plan will create a new workgroup of stakeholders to develop standards. This group will propose new social studies standards, and everyone who has expressed concerns will be a part of the process, including Native Americans. The new proposed standards will be reviewed and adjusted based on input from the public, the DOE, and, ultimately, approved by the Board of Education Standards. The DOE will also hire a new facilitator to oversee the workgroup process. The DOE will work with the Board of Education Standards to approve a new timeline to ensure the standards are adopted after sufficient time for the workgroup’s action and public input into the process.
The Department of Education will seek stakeholder feedback on members of the new workgroup. The public will be given the opportunity at four public hearings – as well as online – to offer comments on the new draft standards.