Gov. Kristi Noem to Delay Social Studies Standards

Gov. Kristi Noem to Delay Social Studies Standards

PIERRE, S.D. – Governor Kristi Noem has directed the Department of Education to delay the process to consider revisions to the state’s social studies standards up to one year.  She issued the following statement:

“The Department of Education changed the working group’s recommendations to the social studies standards significantly, but it is clear to me that there needs to be more public input to bring greater balance and emphasis on our nation’s true and honest history.  Following public feedback from several constituencies, it is clear there is more work to be done to get this right.

“We will be delaying further formal action on the draft social study standards to allow more opportunity for public input, increased legislative engagement, and additional voices to be heard in this discussion.

“Our focus remains the same: ensuring that South Dakota students learn a true and honest account of American and South Dakota history.”

Governor Noem intends to ask the South Dakota legislature to pass legislation codifying Executive Order 2021-11, and banning critical race theory and action civics as the basis for instruction in South Dakota schools.


14 thoughts on “Gov. Kristi Noem to Delay Social Studies Standards”

  1. Good job Governor. This is how it is supposed to work, why we have administrative procedures for rule making and standard setting, opportunity for public input.

    As one who worked in state government, it has many, many pieces where we have departments organized by public interest group/function (i.e. Transportation for roads and Revenue for collecting taxes). While all Departments report to the Governor, we don’t live in a dictatorship where many administrative and policy matters aren’t set just by Executive Fiat of the Governor but go through citizen boards and public input before becoming final or in effect.

    The harder the matter, the more need for much transparancy and public input. Again, good job Governor. It is more important to get to the right place vs. acting quickly.

    1. P.S. Took a phone call while drafting and forget to make on more point: The National Review article clearly did not understand how such rules and standards are handled under our Constitution and Codified Laws. Maybe the author lives where the Governor is a dictator.

      1. However, Troy, the Governor is elected by the people because she campaigned on certain values that the people who elected her espouse. Since you have worked in state government, you know that the cabinet is employed at the pleasure of the governor. It is expected that the cabinet members, in this case Tiffany Sanderson as Secretary of the DOE, share the vision and even if they don’t, they are expected to follow the directives of the Governor. In this case, Governor Noem in signing the 1776 Pledge and issuing an Executive Order clearly laid out the vision. It was incumbent upon Secretary Sanderson to be sure to fulfill the vision. Major fail. By the sounds of the article, it couldn’t have been much worse.

        1. Let me speak slower for both you and the clearly uninformed author of the article. South Dakota has a tradition of strong citizen powers which do not allow the Governor to be a dictator.

          Most rules and standards which have regulatory or other powers go through Citizen Boards, many of whom have requirements to have people from different walks of life (I.e. teacher, parent, administrator, etc. which may be the case of this board), sometimes of different parties, and are sometimes appointees (possibly in this case many school districts) of entities independent of the Governor.

          Executive Orders have varied effective powers but never can countermand existing law, except occasionally for temporary emergency matters. If it could be done that way, we would have no need for the legislature or any citizen boards. Is that what you advocate?

          The Governor putting this on hold is within her powers to allow public input via hearings, her staff at DOE, and even input via legislation. Even if she wanted to act as a dictator as it is clear is your expectation, it wouldn’t effect the change you want as it would be thrown out by the courts.

          As much as I often support the Governor, I do not want to give anyone dictatorial powers on every matter and render the legislative process and citizen boards null and moot. As a critic of the Governor, I am shocked you want her to be an unchecked dictator.

  2. Pretty underhanded play. The revised standards still have an entire year of public review in the current system and wouldn’t go into effect until 2022-23. The reason to delay another year is to get the legislature to ban the content she and her department wants to cut in statute so they can go ahead with their version and shift the blame to the legislature for sandbagging the writing committee. Noem satisfies her base and is able to court some moderates in a national environment by getting some deflection on this issue.

    1. Underhanded? Give me a break.

      The Governor provided ample prior full transparency of her vision and her expectations. I’d say these people found out Governor Noem doesn’t bluff and in a year they will find out they are of no influence.

        1. I am pretty sure that attitude is why there is a delay.

          Sometimes, irrelevance takes time to deliver. You gotta know when to hold them and when to fold them and you are a fool to think she was bluffing. Bluff called and she can more than cover your bid and has time on her side.

            1. I guess irrelevance delivered by one’s own hand is beyond your comprehension.

              You folks should have taken the Governor seriously and endeavored to find common ground so you have a voice at the table. Next year at this time you will outside looking in.

  3. When one study shows over half our youth believe everything they read on the internet is true maybe it’s time to educate them to the fact there are many foreign dictatorial governments planting lies on social media that try to enrage both sides of issues in the United States with the goal of destroying our Democracy.

  4. If Noem has the authority to delay the standards for a year; she had the power to influence them to begin with and failed as the National Review article called her out for an then hours after it comes out she reverses course.

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