| South Dakota Educators Prepare For New Standards

KELO reported this story on Friday, 8/16/13

Highlights from the story:

…The standards specify what students are expected to know at each grade level. Several states across the country have adopted the standards. The South Dakota Board of Education did so November 2010.
The state plans to assess students using the Common Core Standards this spring, but schools won’t be held accountable for the assessments until tests taken during the 2014-15 school year.
More than 500 educators attended a training hosted by Northern State University in Aberdeen Friday. That’s one way they’re getting ready for the change.
…Sen. Chuck Welke (D-Warner) attended Friday’s session.
“Well, I think there will probably be some hiccups and challenges, but I think that schools have been working very hard to try and get ready so I’m confident they’ll be ready,” Sen. Chuck Welke of Warner said.
…Welke says he’s hearing from some who oppose the Common Core State Standards but also supporters who say they’ve put in a lot of work preparing and don’t want to see the state change its mind.


I would like to offer this response to the “professional development” that we are always offering teachers from Dr. Sandra Stotsky.

Senator Welke, are you saying that those in the education world are supporting the Common Core only because of the work they have already put into academic experiment called Common Core? Amazing that the state and local school districts are so willing to play foot loose and fancy free with our tax money, like $8.4 million dollars for three years of teacher training.  Did you ask the people of South Dakota if they want to spend millions of dollars to experiment on our children? Where are the empirical testing results?  Where are the results of the pilot study? Where is the proof that these standards are academically an improvement? 

The state keeps saying that these are South Dakota’s standards and that we have local control. I don’t know of any local school board or even the state Board of Education, that went to the residents of South Dakota and said, “We want to make your children smarter and make education better, so instead of going to the time-tested classical instruction, we are launching this experiment on your children designed to radically change education. In fact, the Common Core is so radical, that the SAT, ACT, GED and AP are being changed to align with this new experiment. The Common Core will train your children to be a part of the workforce able to function in a global economy. Oh and by the way, we don’t own the copyright to the Common Core, so we can’t change them. Only private entities in Washington DC can change the standards. But that’s ok. We can trust the private trade organizations in the beltway.” We are paying for teacher training to “educate” our children without representation.

I’ve been told that the Common Core Standards are not what they were originally intended to be when South Dakota adopted them. If that is truly the case, and they are not what the South Dakota Board Of Education thought they were, why are we keeping them? If it’s because of the money we have already spent, why do we keep pouring more money into this experiment? If you bought a medicine that was sold to you as something that will make you feel better, but then you found out that the medicine is poison, you would stop using the medicine right away, and you certainly wouldn’t spend more money on the poison “medicine.” 

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