Education experts endorse South Dakota's proposed social studies standards

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CONTACTMary Stadick Smith, 605-773-7228, or Ruth Raveling, 605-773-2593


Education experts endorse South Dakota’s proposed social studies standards


PIERRE, S.D. – A group of distinguished education policy and thought leaders has endorsed the social studies standards being considered by the South Dakota Board of Education Standards. The group represents widely varying groups of academic thought and includes E.D. Hirsch, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Education and Humanities, at the University of Virginia; Joel Kline, former chancellor, New York City Public Schools; and Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.


In a letter to the board, the group complimented the standards as “fundamentally rooted in the well-informed premises that content knowledge is essential to literacy, and that content literacy is a necessary precondition for thinking critically about our civic life.” The letter went on to say: “It is heartening to see standards rich in the people, places, events, and ideas that shaped our world, nation, and your state of South Dakota. They neither whitewash nor indoctrinate, and they are written in a manner that parents will find clear and useful.”


“Some of the most notable thought leaders in American education have signed this letter,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Joseph Graves. “These are people who understand the nature and structure of history and civics, people who know the most appropriate pedagogies for sharing our past, and our obligations and opportunities as citizens, with the next generation of Americans. That this group would espouse these standards is a testament to their quality and to the promise they offer our children.”


The Board of Education Standards will hold the third of four public hearings on the proposed standards Feb. 10 at the Rushmore Hotel in Rapid City. The meeting is slated to start at 9 a.m. MST.