Department Of Education released draft Social Studies Standards

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Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 10:12 AM MDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Gov. Noem’s office announced the South Dakota Department Of Education released the proposed social studies standards for 2022.

The revised social studies standards took a different approach to Noem’s 2021 move to remove Native American history from the curriculum after the sparked controversy.

In 2021, Governor Noem was the first candidate or public official in the country to sign the “1776 Pledge to Save our Schools.” Included in the pledge was the goal to eradicate critical race theory from school curriculum. Those against Critical Race Theory believe teaching America’s history casts white colonizers in a negative light, making students feel guilty for their ancestor’s actions, and should therefore remain out of the classroom.

Supporters of the critical race theory believe teaching students about the nation’s history educates students on the origins of systemic racism that affect students today. Some supporters believe having a well-rounded understanding of the topic allows the students to feel empowered to take an active role in combating racism moving forward.

The 2022 draft standards were compiled by the Social Studies Content Standards Commission, which was facilitated by former Hillsdale College professor William Morrisey, according to Noem’s press release.

Noem’s release says the Commission focused on four following goals while composing the 2022 draft standards:
  • Genuine content in the form of specific stories, historical figures, maps, research, images, and historical documents;
  • Sound skills for making sense of the past, understanding their neighbors, earning a livelihood, and exercising the rights and responsibilities of citizenship with prudence;
  • Honest, balanced, and complete accounts of historical events and debates that foster a love of country that is not blind to faults; and
  • History and civics instruction free from political agendas and activism.

“I am very proud of the work we’ve done, and I encourage people to read these standards,” said Dr. Ben Jones, South Dakota State Historian and member of the Commission. “I believe South Dakotans will see that American history education now includes a great deal of American Indian history and South Dakota’s history in ways that speak to all students and provide a greater foundation for understanding America and their home state after students graduate.”

Previously, officials questioned whether CRT was even being taught in South Dakota schools. Now, the Department of Education is planning to hold events in 2023, to help educators make sure their curriculum reflects the new standards, which supposedly include Native American history and culture.

A more detailed analysis of the drafted social studies standards will be coming from reporter Austin Goss later today.

You can find the official proposed draft standards below
Noem’s statement on the standards

“South Dakota’s children deserve the very best social studies education in the nation. These standards raise the bar for the breadth and depth of civics and history education. They feature a true, honest, and balanced approach to American history that is not influenced by political agendas. And under these standards, our students will focus more on Native American history and culture than ever before.”


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