This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: The dates of the planned meetings were updated.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota educators have had some time to look over a 120-page report outlining new social studies standards in public schools. The proposed standards were released in mid-August. Thursday, several education groups met to go over their assessment of the proposed standards and discuss what changes may be needed.

The meeting organized by the School Administrators of South Dakota took place here at Harrisburg High School. Other groups of education professionals attended, including superintendents, principals, curriculum directors, teachers, and business managers. Some in person and others online.

“Really doing a deep dive into the proposed standards to make sure that we all understand them, we can hear from each other because if I’m a teacher or I’m an administrator, I might understand it differently, so just making sure that we have done our education to make sure we understand them,” said President of South Dakota School Superintendents Association Summer Schultz.

Educators have already expressed their disappointment in how the proposed standards were put together and who came up with them. Instead of 44 educators, this commission was organized by the Governor and her staff.

The 15-member commission included her chief of staff, an out-of-state former professor and two republican lawmakers. Only 3 certified educators were included in those drafting the proposal.

Schultz says administrators are getting the standards into the hands of teachers.

“Because they know social studies, they know what kids are able to comprehend, and the age appropriateness of the standards and what we are hearing is, it is not necessarily what is in the standards, but the scope and sequence when those standards are delivered what level of thinking we are asking kids to do. In education, we don’t want kids to regurgitate facts,” said Schultz.

Governor Noem has praised the proposed standards saying they are a true, honest, and balanced approach to social studies that is not influenced by political agendas.

The South Dakota Board of Educational Standards will hold four public hearings concerning the new standards.

  • Sept. 19, 2022, 9 a.m. (Central) Dakota Event Center, Aberdeen
  • Nov. 21, 2022, 9 a.m. (Central) (location TBD), Sioux Falls
  • 2023 dates and locations TBD

Parents are encouraged to attend.