House bill 1223 proposes the South Dakota Board of Education end the state’s involvement with the Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSS) no later than June 30, 2017. Further, it is South Dakota state policy that no multi-state educational standards related, similar, or associated with the CCSS may be adopted in the state.
South Dakota is a large state with a small, rural, and graying population. Only two cities have more than one public high school (Rapid City, 2; Sioux Falls, 3), and there are many K-12 schools and those configured into an elementary-middle plus high school, or middle-high plus an elementary facility.
During the years of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), South Dakota schools quickly discovered some of the Act’s requirements could not be implemented into rural schools. For example (among many), how is Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) measured in schools reporting only one student designated as Pacific Islander, Hispanic, or Asian when that individual is already earning “A” grades?
Regardless, the state remains in flux regarding the CCSS. While not officially adopted, they are the only standards on the state’s Department of Education’s web site, public school educators have attended training seminars regarding their application, and the University of South Dakota, the state’s liberal arts institution (among other post-secondary institutions), has adopted them for use in student preparation courses and student teaching.
Still, the CCSS are largely unpopular and expected use does not translate into actual implementation; throughout the state adherence ranges from zero to 100%, with the majority somewhere in between. It is presumed many are waiting for the state’s decision regarding adoption before full application.Likewise, if not adopted, other rural states may follow.
If the CCSS are adopted, they will doubtless need modification due to unique state needs; if not, those institutions that have been implementing them for several years will face difficulties. Previous standards have not been updated, and decisions must be made regarding what will be used in place of the CCSS. Former standards may be re-adopted and updated or a completely new version introduced, but both options will require significant preparation time before implementation. Moreover, these are state issues, not those tied to federal mandates and policies regarding the CCSS.
This will be discussed in the legislature on 2/18/15 with more information found at: