Application process to be part of writing S.D. social studies standards will get more time

Capitol News Bureau
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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The deadline was supposed to have been Sunday.

But the state Department of Education said Monday the application process would now run through November 30 for people wanting to be part of the process of proposing content standards for teaching social studies in South Dakota’s K-12 schools.

“We’ve received just over 150 applications as of this morning,” spokesperson Ruth Raveling said Monday. “The application period was extended to give South Dakotans ample time to review the process and submit an application.”

The department is using an online application form through its website. Applicants are asked questions such as to describe their background and briefly explain why they want to serve, what makes them strong candidates, their relevant expertise and experience, their knowledge and experience with standards, curriculum and instruction; and any special perspective they would bring to the revision commission.

The goal behind the deadline extension is to draw more applicants, state Education Secretary Tiffany Sanderson told members of the South Dakota Board of Education Standards at their meeting Monday. “We still plan to name the commission before the end of the year,” she said.

The social-studies revisions have been a jumble for months. A previous workgroup spent months proposing them, but the department removed parts of the proposal, such as references to Native Americans. Then Governor Kristi Noem pulled them altogether and announced there would be a new effort.

The latest timetable calls for the new final draft to be released in August 2022 for public comment. The state board would begin its series of four public hearings in September 2022, with approval set for March 2023. The department plans to hold trainings during the 2023-24 school year. The standards would take effect for the 2024-25 school year.

Standards normally go through revisions every six years in South Dakota. Social studies content standards were last adopted in 2015.

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