Senate Bill 62 Would Create Common Core Standards Evaluation Council and Public Hearings

SB 62 is a bill that would create and fund with $100,000, the South Dakota Common Core State Standards Evaluation Council. The council would 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

The council would consist of:

  •  Three members of the Senate, including at least one member of each political party, appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;
  •  Three members of the House of Representatives, including a member of each political party, appointed by the speaker of the House;
  •  The secretary of the Department of Education; (A position appointed by the Governor)
  •  Four school administrators, appointed by the Governor;
  •  Three teachers, appointed by the Governor;
  •  One school board member, appointed by the Governor;
  •  One member of the Board of Regents, selected by the board;
  •  One representative of the postsecondary technical institutes, selected by the presidents of the respective institutions;
  •  One representative selected by the School Administrators of South Dakota
  •  One representative selected by the South Dakota Education Association;
  •  One representative selected by the Associated School Boards of South Dakota;
  •  Three 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, and one parent of a current private school student, all appointed by the Governor.

You can read full text of SB 62 HERE

There will be 28 members of this council. Of the 28 members, 14 have been or will be appointed by the Governor, who during his State of the State address reaffirmed his commitment to the Common Core. And that number could grow depending on who is appointed from the legislature.Of the remaining 14, all but six will be appointed by one of the many associations Dr. Schopp tells us the state is working with to implement the standards.  Many of those associations, including the CCSSO, (we pay for our Secretary of Education to belong to that organization) have received funding at the national or local level from the Gates Foundation or the Bush Foundation to promote the Common Core, data collection, data analysis, data driven education, and to prepare teachers to teach the Common Core. . (Link 1) (Link 2) (Link 3) (Link 4)

That being said, the bill does require that the council must 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. A committee with public input should have happened before the Common Core Standards were adopted.

I don’t see SB 62 as being a way to stop the Common Core in South Dakota.

  • I question the make-up of the council. At best, only 6 members of this council would be accountable to the people of South Dakota.
  • I don’t know how they will compare the SBAC Assessment to the DakotaSTEP. The SBAC assessment has not been written yet. It is being field tested on South Dakota children this Spring. It could be a year before the final assessment is available. So for the public to have input on the assessments, hearings would not be able to take place until the final assessment has been released.
  • The scope of the items this council would be evaluating is very limited. This bill seems to have the pro-Common Core line, “Show me one standard that is wrong.” Such a common (no pun intended)  line from those promoting the Common Core when they don’t want to talk about details. And with Common Core, the devil is in the details.
  • The fiscal impact, not only to the state, but to local school districts needs to be evaluated. The majority of expense in implementing the Common Core, new curriculum, new technology, teacher/principal/school evaluations, etc. will fall on the local school.
  • It does not pause the implementation of the Common Core Standards in English Language Arts and Math, and the SBAC Assessments while they are being evaluated.

If SB 62 makes it through committee and to the senate floor, I will be encouraging my senator to vote no on this bill. Every realtor will tell you not to buy the first house you see.  Make sure there’s not one out there that better suits your needs. . There will be other bills filed that will be better suited to getting the Common Core out of South Dakota.

You can read the full text of SB 62 here.

There is a hearing regarding SB 62 in the Senate Education Committee scheduled for Tuesday, January 21, 2014.(Link 5) The members of the Senate Education Committee are:

Name Chair/Vice
Curd, Blake
Jensen, Phil
Jones, Chuck
Maher, Ryan Vice Chair
Rampelberg, Bruce
Soholt, Deb Chair
Welke, Chuck

If you click on their name, you will be directed to their contact information. When you contact them, share your concerns with SB 62. As always, be respectful and thank them for their service. 

You can listen to the Senate Education Committee Tuesday, January 21, 2014, at 7:45 am here. This will be a 15 minute hearing, and the committee will move on to a presentation about the technical institutes at 8:00. 

One thought on “Senate Bill 62 Would Create Common Core Standards Evaluation Council and Public Hearings

  1. Pingback: HB 1237 – Lipstick on SB 62 | South Dakotans Against Common Core

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