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Noem Says It's 'Ridiculous' To View Proposed Social Studies Changes As A Political Move
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Governor Noem
SDPB

Governor Kristi Noem says her office will look into the removal of Native American references from draft social studies curriculum standards.  

The Department of Education released its draft standards last Friday. They differed from an earlier draft by a working group of about 40 stakeholders. The state’s draft cut some concepts related to indigenous history and added other concepts.  

One retired teacher from the working group calls the state’s draft “political.”  

Governor Kristi Noem says calling the draft “political” is speculation.  

“And it’s all a little ridiculous, honestly,” Noem says. “What you can judge us on is the final product. The reason things are a drafts is because it’s a working draft. We’re bringing everybody to the table, taking input. We’re going to make sure we have the best product that teaches history, civics curriculum to our students in the k-12 system, and that’s why it’s still a draft.”   

Noem says Indigenous history is important to include in the standards.  

The Department of Education says in a written statement, “The department made certain adjustments before the release of the draft to provide greater clarity and focus for educators and the public.”

The department also says its draft standards provide a balanced approach to history, and the standards put more focus on Native Americans than previous standards.

Social studies content standards were last updated in 2015. The public comment period on the new draft standards begins September 20th with a hearing in Aberdeen.  

 

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Department of Education's draft:

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Department of Education's draft:

Working group draft:

Department of Education's draft:

Working group draft:

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Working group draft:

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