South Dakota’s 2017 Stop Common Core Bill – Action Required

On Thursday, February 16, 2016 at 7:45 am, in room 423, South Dakota Capital Building, the Senate Education Committee will hear SB126. which at this point is a bill co-sponsored by Senator Phil Jensen and Representative Elizabeth May, that would require the Department of Education to use a competitive bidding process when acquiring academic assessments. It is a good bill. But this bill just got better.

Sen. Jensen and Rep. May are offering an amendment to stop the Common Core. The amendment to the bill will remove all the current language and replace it with the text below.  My understanding is Jane Robbins and Dr. Duke Pesta will be testifying by phone.There will be only 30 minutes for both sides to testify on this bill, so other than a “me too”, there will not be a lot of time for testimony from parents.

If in any way possible you can make it to Pierre on Thursday morning to be in the room and show support for this bill, please, please do. Show the Senate we support these changes bringing control of K-12 education back to the people of South Dakota. If you are unable to make it and want to listen online you can find the link to the hearing at sd.net.

What you can do is call the senators on the Education Committee and leave a message asking them to “Vote Yes on SB126 as amended”. Please remember it is high school pages who take these messages, so as always, be respectful. The capital phone number is 605-773-3821

Or you can email the Senators with the subject line, “Please vote YES on SB126 as amended” at:

Joshua.Klumb@sdlegislature.gov
Alan.Solano@sdlegislature.gov
Jeff.Monroe@sdlegislature.gov
Deb.Soholt@sdlegislature.gov
Phil.Jensen@sdlegislature.gov
Troy.Heinert@sdlegislature.gov
Jim.Bolin@sdlegislature.gov

You can find current laws for K-12 education here. What does this amendment do?

  • This bill (amendment) requires that Board of Education shall adopt Massachussetts K-12 standards as well as the assessments used in 2008-09, pre-Common Core. (Massachussetts pre-Common Core standards took Massachusetts to first on the NAEP tests in Reading and Math in both grades 4 and 8. They also tied for first place in science in grade 8 on the TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) and were among the highest achieving countries in mathematics.
  • The standards and assessments must be approved by both houses of the Legislature with at least two public hearings on the standards hosted by the Senate Education Committee and the House Education Committee.
  • It changes the standards revisions timeline from 7 years to 5 years.
  • No computers may be required for the assessment.
  • The assessment may not include the collection of data about values, attitudes, beliefs, personality traits, medical behavioral, mental, biometric or psychometric data relating to the student or any member of the student’s family.
  • Aggregate results from assessments must be made public within 30 days after assessment.
  • Parents will have the right to opt out of the assessment without interference from the state or repercussion for the parent or child.
  • South Dakota would be prohibited from joining any consortium or organization that would control public education in South Dakota.

The following is the text of the amendment that will be offered on Thursday morning. All text crossed out will be removed from law. If there is underlined text, that will be the change in the language of the law.

AMENDMENT FOR PRINTED BILL                                                                               126ca

On the printed bill, delete everything after the enacting clause and insert:

Section 11.  That chapter 13-3 by amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:

The Board of Education shall end the state’s involvement with the Common Core State Standards Initiative no later than June 30, 2018. Further, it is the policy of the State of South Dakota that no multistate educational standards related to, similar to, or associated with the Common Core State Standards Initiative may be adopted in this state.

Section 2. That chapter 13-3 be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:

No later than June 30, 2018, the Board of Education shall adopt and implement academic content standards for each grade, kindergarten through twelfth grade, in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies that are the same as the academic content standards in effect in Massachusetts during the 2008-2009 school year. Any reference to Massachusetts in the standards shall be changed in any appropriate instance to South Dakota and any state history or government academic content standards shall be changed to reflect the history and government of this state. Within ten days of the adoption of the academic content standards, the Department of Education shall distribute the standards to all accredited schools in the state and make the standards available to the public on the department’s website.

Section 3. That chapter 13-3 be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:

At least five years following the adoption of the academic content standards pursuant to section 2 of this Act, the secretary of Education shall prepare new academic content standards for each grade, kindergarten through twelfth grade, in language arts, mathematics, science and social studies that are distinct from and not aligned with any academic content standards that were previously adopted in South Dakota. The new academic content standards shall emphasize coherence, focus, and essential knowledge and shall have evidence of successful application.  No new academic content standards may be implemented until the standards are approved by both houses of the Legislature by concurrent resolution. Prior to the approval of the standards, the Senate and House standing committees on Education shall each conduct at least one public hearing on the proposed standards, and shall provide the public with at least two weeks notice before the public hearing is held.

Section 4. That chapter 13-3 be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:

No later than June 30, 2018, the Department of Education shall adopt statewide assessments of student achievement based on the statewide assessments used in Massachusetts during the 2008-2009 school year.  The department shall provide the assessments to each public school district for use no later than the spring semester following the adoption of the academic content standards pursuant to section 2 of this Act.

Section 5. That chapter 13-3 be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:

No sooner than five years following the adoption of the statewide assessments of student achievement pursuant to section 4 of this Act and at intervals of five years thereafter, the department may propose revised statewide assessments. No revised assessments proposed by the department may be implemented until the assessments are approved by both houses of the Legislature by concurrent resolution.  Prior to the approval of the assessments, the Senate and House standing committees on education shall each conduct at least one public hearing on the proposed assessments, and shall provide the public with at least two weeks notice before the public hearing is held.

Section 6. That chapter 13-3 by amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:

Any statewide assessment proposed as provided in sections 4 and 5 of this Act shall meet the following requirements:

  • The assessment may not require computer technology, although computer technology may be used; and
  • The assessment may not include the collection of any data about the values, attitudes, beliefs or personality traits of the student or any member of the student’s family; and
  • The assessment also may not include the collection of any medical behavioral, mental, biometric, or psychometric data relating to the student or any member of the student’s family.

Each year, within thirty days after a statewide assessment is administered, the department shall post the statewide aggregate results and the aggregate results by school district on the department’s website for review by school administrators, teachers, and parents.

Section 7. That chapter 13-3 be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:

The secretary of education shall respect and support the ultimate right of a parent to opt a child out of public school or any public school activity, practice, or any statewide assessment that the parent finds unacceptable with no negative repercussions to, or financial impact on, the child, parent, or school, and with no interference from the state.

Section 8. That chapter 13-3 be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:

The secretary of education, the Board of Education, any employee of the Department of Education, or any other state government employee may not join any consortium or any other organization if participation in the consortium or organization would provide any measure of control over any aspect of public education in the State of South Dakota to that consortium or organization.

Section 9. That § 13-3-48 be repealed.

13-3-48. The secretary of the Department of Education shall prepare and submit for approval of the South Dakota Board of Education a standards revision cycle and content standards for kindergarten through grade twelve.

Section 10. That § 13-3-48.1 be repealed.

13-3-48.1. Prior to July 1, 2016, the Board of Education may not, pursuant to § 13-3-48, adopt any uniform content standards drafted by a multistate consortium which are intended for adoption in two or more states. However, this section does not apply to content standards whose adoption by the Board of Education was completed and finalized prior to July 1, 2014. However, nothing in this section prohibits the board from adopting standards drafted by South Dakota educators and professionals which reference uniform content standards, provided that the board has conducted at least four public hearings in regard to those standards. 

 

Section 11. § 13-3-55 be repealed.

13-3-55.   Every public school district shall annually administer the same assessment to all students in grades three to eight, inclusive, and in grade eleven. The assessment shall measure the academic progress of each student. Every public school district shall annually administer to all students in at least two grade levels an achievement test to assess writing skills. The assessment instruments shall be provided by the Department of Education, and the department shall determine the two grade levels to be tested. The tests shall be administered within timelines established by the Department of Education by rules promulgated pursuant to chapter 1-26 starting in the spring of the 2002-2003 school year. Each state-designed test shall be correlated with the state’s content standards. The South Dakota Board of Education may promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 to provide for administration of all assessments.

Section 12. That § 13-3-89 by repealed.

13-3-89 The Board of Education, prior to adopting content standards pursuant to § 13-3-48, shall conduct, over a period of no less than six months, at least four public hearings. The purpose of the hearings is to give members of the public the opportunity to provide input to the board on whether the standards being proposed should be adopted and implemented in South Dakota. The board shall conduct at least one of the public hearings in each of the following cities: Aberdeen, Pierre, Rapid City, and Sioux Falls. No public hearing required pursuant to this section is valid unless a quorum of the board is physically present at each of these public hearings.

Section 13. That § 13-1-12.1 by amended to read:

13-1-12.1 The South Dakota Board of Education shall promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 to establish standards for the classification and accreditation of schools within this state, to establish standards for preparation of certified personnel, to set forth procedures for determining the eligibility of school districts to receive state aid to education funding, to adopt policies and rules necessary to establish standards and procedures for career and technical education, and to establish curriculum requirements for a recommended high school program for all public and nonpublic schools within the state. The recommended high school program shall include a rigorous high school curriculum in both academic and career and technical courses. The requirements of the recommended program shall be aligned to the academic content standards developed pursuant to § 13-3-48 section 2 or section 3 of the Act and shall, at a minimum, include the content standards tested pursuant to § 13-3-55 section 4 or section 4 of this Act.

Nothing in this section authorizes the board to require the use of specifically designated curriculum or methods of instruction.

Section 14. That § 13-3-84 be amended to read:

13-3-84. If a student is partially enrolled in a school district pursuant to § 13-28-41 or 13-28-51, and the student’s enrollment is equal to or greater than fifty percent, that student is required to take any academic achievement test administered by the school district pursuant to § 13-3-55 section 4 or section 5 of this Act. If a student’s partial enrollment in a school district is less than fifty percent, the student is not required to take any academic achievement test administered by the school district pursuant to § 13-3-55 section 4 or section 5 of this Act.

Section 15. That § 13-26-1.1 be amended to read:

The amount of instructional time spent to administer statewide academic assessments required pursuant to § 13-3-55 section 4 or section 5 of this Act in any school district in any school year may not exceed two percent of the total number of instructional hours required in a school year pursuant to § 13-26-1.

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