Noem releases report from DOE on Critical Race Theory and Divisive Concepts

Noem(Austin Goss)
Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 4:00 PM MDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - In April, Noem issued an Executive Order that directed the Department of Education to discontinue any “divisive concepts” in the curriculum taught to K-12 students in South Dakota.

The Department of Education said in their report, available here, of the thousands of items reviewed, “Existing policies, resources, and other materials reviewed were largely in line with the EO.” Only one course which is not currently offered and is usually reserved for higher-education classrooms had two standards that were found to be “potentially problematic” regarding Noem’s EO.

“Out of the thousands of items reviewed, a very small number were deemed to be out of alignment with Governor Noem’s executive order,” said Tiffany Sanderson, Secretary of the Department of Education. “The department is taking action to modify or discontinue those items. I am proud of the department’s work, and we will continue working to ensure that South Dakota students have the opportunity to receive a robust and honest social studies education.”

The “potentially problematic” course

That course titled, Introduction to Law and Public Safety II, is not frequently taught in K-12 classes. The course, according to the DOE, is intended for “postsecondary and industry expectations for law enforcement training,” but could be considered potentially problematic with the new executive order.

According to the DOE report, there were two standards of the course related to “Extended Thinking,” that asked students to:

• “Analyze differences in power and privilege related to people of culturally diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and practices.”

• “Analyze issues of cultural assimilation and cultural preservation among ethnic and racial groups in South Dakota and the United States.”

The report from the DOE says all future revisions will be conducted to make sure the state’s curriculum aligns with Noem’s executive order.

Noem’s statement on the DOE’s latest actions

“We are proactively removing Critical Race Theory before it has any opportunity to take hold in our schools,” said Noem. “We are taking action to promote America’s true and honest history, including the history and culture of our Native American tribes, without any influence of Critical Race Theory or other divisive concepts.”

Earlier this year, Governor Noem also signed HB 1012, which bans mandatory college training and orientations based on Critical Race Theory and other divisive concepts.

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