The Common Core topic has been highly debated recently, and Mary Scheel-Buysse from South Dakotans Against Common Core was in Dell Rapids on Saturday, January 25th, speaking on why South Dakota should do away with the Common Core Standards.
The Common Core Standards (CCS) are a set of English language arts and math standards that all children should know. One of the goals of the Common Core Standards is that students will be made college and career ready. Scheel-Buysse said that is not the goal of education. Another goal of the CCS is to have every school district follow same national standards. But according to literature handed out by Scheel-Buysse at the meeting, “this is a failed educational approach that will undermine educational quality and choice. Parents will not have a say in their child’s education under Common Core.” Scheel-Buysse also said, “The federal government has set up an incentive for schools to fail, even if that was not their intent.”
South Dakota adopted the Common Core Standards back in 2010. The initiative was a state-lead effort of governors and chief educational officers. South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard has said that the state does not receive any federal dollars that are dependent on South Dakota adopting Common Core. Daugaard has also mentioned that he would not be in support of removing the entire Common Core initiative from South Dakota, but would not be opposed to addressing specific standards within Common Core if they are thought to be wrong or bad. He also stated that he would not be opposed to legislation that protects student data.
Dell Rapids Superintendent Summer Schultz said, “As a school administrator I find myself in a predicament. On one hand I support the work our State has done in order to adopt the standards with confidence. On the other hand, I also encourage healthy discussions by those who disagree with the adoption. Anytime a renewed interest in education takes place, I’m confident that people truly want what is best for students. We may not agree how to move forward, but in the end we are all on the same side. South Dakota has always had standards in place and the adoption of common core would be no different. Whether you agree that the standards are more rigorous, less rigorous, or a little of both is an independent decision. Personally, I truly believe the quality of the classroom teacher is the single most important factor in student achievement. That being said, without a doubt I can say I’m confident that students in the Dell Rapids School District are in good hands and will continue to thrive with the new standards.”
Currently there are four bills that are being discussed in the 2014 South Dakota Legislative session. They are House Concurrent Resolution 1008 (HCR 1008), Senate Bill 62 (SB 62), Senate Bill 63 (SB 63), and Senate Bill 64 (SB 64). More information about these bills can be found at http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/default.aspx?Session=2014.
For more information about South Dakotans Against Common Core, visit their website at http://southdakotansagainstcommoncore.com. For more information about South Dakota Common Core, visit the website http://www.commoncore.sd.gov.
Viewpoints on the Common Core issue are always welcome at Big Sioux Media as “Letters to the Editor”, which can be emailed to email@example.com. Also feel free to comment on the Facebook page of this story.