HB 1237 – Lipstick on SB 62

HB 1237 is an attempt to get the failed SB 62 passed, but this time it is being brought in through the House. It creates a council to study the Common Core. This bill is in the House Education Committee on Monday, February 10, 2014. Please get educated about this bill and contact your legislators.

HOUSE BILL NO. 1237
Introduced by: Representatives Sly, Cronin, Gosch, Lust, and Wink and Senators Otten
(Ernie), Lederman, Rave, and Rhoden 

FOR AN ACT ENTITLED, An Act to establish a comprehensive evaluation of the Common Core State Standards.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA:
Section 1. That chapter 13-3 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
    Terms used in this Act mean:
            (1)    “Common Core State Standards,” the Common Core content standards in math and English language arts adopted by the South Dakota Board of Education in November of 2010;
            (2)    “DakotaSTEP assessment,” the statewide assessment last administered in South Dakota in the spring of 2013;
            (3)    “Smarter Balanced assessment,” the assessment developed by the Smarter Balanced state-led consortium developing assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
Section 2. That chapter 13-3 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read asfollows:
    There is hereby established the South Dakota Common Core State Standards Evaluation Council. The council shall evaluate the following topics regarding the Common Core State Standards:
            (1)    Comparison of the substance of previous South Dakota math and English language arts content standards to the Common Core State Standards;
            (2)    Comparison of the Smarter Balanced assessment to the DakotaSTEP assessment; and
            (3)    Comparison of the fiscal impact of fully implementing the Common Core State Standards to alternative standards.
Section 3. That chapter 13-3 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
    The South Dakota Common Core State Standards Evaluation Council established in section 2 of this Act shall consist of the following members:
            (1)    Three members of the Senate, including at least one member of each political party, appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;
            (2)    Three members of the House of Representatives, including a member of each political party, appointed by the speaker of the House;
            (3)    The secretary of the Department of Education;
            (4)    One school administrator, appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;
            (5)    One school administrator, appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives;
            (6)    One teacher, appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;
            (7)    One teacher; appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives;
            (8)    One school board member appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;
            (9)    One school board member appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives;


            (10)    One representative selected by the School Administrators of South Dakota;
            (13)    One representative selected by the South Dakota Education Association;
            (14)    One representative selected by the Associated School Boards of South Dakota;
            (15)    Four parents of current public elementary or secondary education students, one parent of a current student excused from compulsory attendance for alternative instruction pursuant to § 13-27-3, one parent of a current private school student, and one parent of a student that resides on a reservation, all jointly appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives.
Section 4. That chapter 13-3 be amended by adding thereto a NEW SECTION to read as follows:
    The Department of Education, State Board of Education, and Bureau of Finance and Management shall, no later than July 1, 2015, provide reports to the council regarding the topics referenced in section 2 of this Act. In addition, before issuing the findings referenced in this section, the council shall hold at least three public meetings and take public testimony regarding these topics. At least one public meeting shall be held in each of the following cities: Pierre, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls. The council shall report its findings to the Legislature and the Governor no later than December 1, 2015.

I still question the make-up of the  council. You can read more on SB 62 here. It was the debate on SB 62 gave us the real reason for this bill, and why the Daugaard administration and the Department of Education supported SB 62.

When the Senate was debating SB 62, Senator Phyllis Heineman spoke in favor of SB 62. Her words speak volumes about the intention of SB 62 and the creation of a council that would study the Common Core for two years. At the 55:00 minute mark Senator Heineman begins speaking in support of SB 62 and the two year study council. At the 58:47 mark she says this, “Hopefully after two years, some of the good results that we really think we’re going to see will start happening.” Really Senator? Hopefully? Think?

This council is intentionally designed to last for two years. I guarantee you it doesn’t take two years to see that the Common Core is not what the promoters of the standards say it is. They think that if they have a two year study in progress, the groundswell of pushback to the Common Core will die down and by then we will be so financially entrenched in this experiment on our children, there will be no getting out. This bill is just a way to buy time. And even if the study would show that the Common Core does not work, many children in South Dakota will have spent 5 years in this experiment. That’s 5 years of 12, almost half of their education. That’s a long time in the life of a child.

Where is the empirical evidence of some of those good results? Where is the list of schools where the Common Core has worked? Where is the validated research? The people of the state of South Dakota both at the state level and the local level have spent a lot of money on “thinking” and “hoping”. Without taking any of the associated costs of the related Common Core items into consideration, the taxpayers of South Dakota have paid $8.5 million for professional development to train teachers to teach to standards that have never been tested anywhere. Which by the way was appropriated at the same time we made teachers take pay cuts and freezes because there just wasn’t enough money. And that doesn’t include expenses at the local level for curriculum and electronic devices for students.

The Legislature of the State of South Dakota is elected by the people to represent the people of South Dakota and demand accountability of state spending. Demand empirical evidence that the Common Core State Standards will work. We the people of South Dakota should not have to pay for a study of the Common Core standards. The onus should be on the copyright holders of the Common Core Standards, namely the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to provide validated research with empirical evidence. HB 1237 truly is “a decision grasping for data.”

 Where is the evidence to support the rhetoric surrounding the CCSS? This is not data-driven decision making.

This is a decision grasping for data…  Yet this nation will base the future of its entire public education system, and its children, upon this lack of evidence.

– Dr. Christopher Tienken, Seton Hall University, NJ

“Common Core: An Example of Data-less Decision Making,”

To read more about Dr. Christopher Tienken go to Upon This Lack of Evidence We Base Our Children’s Futures

UPDATE: HB 1237 was tabled in committee on February 10, 2014, so this bill is dead for now. If it is resuscitated, I will be sure to let you know. .

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4 thoughts on “HB 1237 – Lipstick on SB 62

  1. Pingback: 2014 Common Core Legislation Round-Up | Truth in American Education

  2. Pingback: 2014 Common Core Legislation Round-Up

  3. Pingback: National Common Core News Update | COMMON CORE

  4. Pingback: 2014 Common Core Legislation Round-Up (10th Update) | Halt Common Core

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