SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Educators, parents and others will soon learn the fate of South Dakota’s proposed social studies standards. There is one last chance for them to weigh in: Monday’s state Board of Education Standards meeting in Pierre.
“We will move to the social studies time for testimony, which I believe will follow the same protocol and 90 minutes of proponent and 90 minutes of opponent, and then there will be possible questions or follow-up,” said Terry Nebelsick of Huron, who is one of the seven members of the board.
After those questions, members will vote.
“I’m proud that all seven board members have quietly listened without comment and tried to give the hearing process its proper due by truly listening,” Nebelsick said.
The South Dakota Education Association is one of several educator groups that oppose the proposed standards.
“I think what you’re going to hear on Monday is a continuation of concerns expressed by teachers, administrators, school board members, parents, community members, and throughout this process those concerns have yet to be addressed,” said Sandra Waltman, director of communications and government relations with the South Dakota Education Association. “We’re still concerned about the age appropriateness of the standards. We’re concerned about the amount of rote memorization and just the number of the standards.”
The standards, however, have the support of the state Department of Education. A statement provided on Friday to KELOLAND News says the department “stands behind the fundamental aspects of the standards as necessary to helping our students become informed, contributing members of society.” The statement goes on to say “we believe these standards encompass the critical people, places, events, and ideas that shaped our nation and world.”
“I have not discussed strategies with anyone else,” Nebelsick said. “I have listened for hours and hours now, and I will have prepared comments, and I trust that other board members will have prepared comments.”
Passage of the standards requires a simple majority vote of the seven members of the Board of Education Standards.