Education

Education - Lakota - Nobel
12:33 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Nobel Peace Price Winner Visits Red Cloud School

Lakota Children’s Enrichment hosted its annual competition of poems and essays to amplify the voices of Lakota youth on Pine Ridge. This year’s theme, says founder Maggie Dunne, was “Voices of the Land”, which offered youth perspectives on critical land issues.
Credit Courtesy Lakota Children’s Enrichment

Representatives of Lakota Children's Enrichment are on the Pine Ridge Reservation this week for a three-day Youth Summit. The non-profit organization’s primary mission is to empower Lakota youth through opportunities in education and the arts, as well as assistance in creating community volunteer programs. 

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Arts
2:12 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Mark O'Connor: American Fiddler

Mark O'Connor
Credit Jim McGuire

Violinist Mark O'Connor is one of today's most remarkable and versatile musicians. He plays jazz, county, bluegrass, folk and classical. He's also an accomplished guitarist and mandolin player. He's composed a number of orchestral works, including his "Fiddle Concerto" which has become the most-performed modern violin concerto of the last forty years. As an educator, he's developed the O'Connor Violin Method. The thread holding all of O'Connor's musical endeavors together is a distinctly American approach.

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Education
9:41 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Harding County Pep Band Provides Spirited Atmosphere at State Tourney

The new Harding County School in Buffalo, SD. The high school's pep band played at the State Class "B" Boys Basketball Tournament in Aberdeen on Saturday, March 22, 2014

The South Dakota High School Activities Association hosted State Boys’ Basketball Tournaments over the weekend—one of the most raucous venues every year is the Barnett Center in Aberdeen, site of the annual Class “B” Tournament. It’s already a loud atmosphere, with some communities emptied of most of their residents if their teams qualify. But there’s another element to the State Tournaments that many people enjoy—and miss when it’s not there.

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Education
2:55 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

The Joys of Mentoring Kids

DakotThere are currently eleven hundred adults in the Sioux Falls area mentoring kids as a part of Lutheran Social Services’ Mentoring Services. But with more than 500 young students on a growing waiting list, the organization has launched a campaign to recruit 500 additional men and women willing to serve as mentors over the next three years. Kerri DeGraff and David Benson are both serving as mentors in Sioux Falls.

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News
2:47 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Lawmakers Deny Additional Funding for JAG

A program that has the goal of graduating at-risk youth won’t receive additional funding this year.  Jobs for America’s Graduates, or JAG, is a nationwide program found in communities with low high school graduation rates. It started six years ago in South Dakota. Representative Troy Heinert says his mom helped start the pilot program. He backs the general appropriations amendment asking for an additional $250,000 in funding.

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News
10:49 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Requests for PSA Increases Defeated

Lawmakers in control of drafting the state’s general budget Friday defeated two amendments to increase school funding through the per-student allocation. Governor Dennis Daugaard proposed a 3 percent across the board budget increase for education, but some lawmakers are fighting for more. The argument stems from schools’ reserves.

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News
5:22 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Some Performance Data to be Kept Confidential

State Senators have approved a measure that seeks to keep some teacher evaluation data private. House Bill 1030 keeps individual teacher, principal and other school employee’s performance appraisals confidential. Senator David Omdahl opposes the bill.

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Education - Lakota - Head
1:45 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Head Start Plans New Rapid City Building

Rapid City’s Head Start program is planning a multi-million dollar facility to provide services to area Native American families.
Credit Courtesy Rural America Initiatives

Rapid City’s Head Start program has plans for building a multi-million dollar facility for the hundreds of Native American families it serves in the area. The ultimate goal of the facility is to have a better place for future generations to learn and grow.

Bruce Long Fox is executive director of Rural America Initiatives’ Rapid City office. The non-profit is responsible for the Head Start and Early Head Start centers in the West River town, and similar locations on the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation.

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Education
4:28 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

House Considers More On Common Core

South Dakota lawmakers addressed a debate surrounding Common Core Education standards – again. Tuesday’s full House of Representatives calendar included a resolution rejecting the education benchmarks.

In Pierre, the clash over Common Core is far from over. The education standards adopted by dozens of states – including South Dakota – are under scrutiny. Lawmakers can’t even agree on what the Common Core education standards include, let alone the philosophy behind them.

State Representative Stace Nelson says the Common Core is rooted in a one-size-fits-all approach.

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Education
1:27 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Testing Exemption Bill Dies In Committee

Lawmakers shot down a proposal to allow parents to keep their kids out of standardized tests. House Bill 1187 exempts students with a notarized request from their parents.

State Representative Dan Kaiser says the bill centers on parental rights.

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News
1:37 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Thune Gets Update on Legislative Issues in Pierre

U.S. Senator John Thune says he wants to get an idea of what issues are affecting South Dakota at both the state and federal levels.  Thune says this is why he’s visiting Pierre Thursday. Thune is attending the South Dakota Chamber of Business luncheon to meet with business leaders and learn how they’re driving the economy. He’s also meeting with party caucuses and legislators to talk proposals going on at Statehouse. Thune says he tries to stay informed while in Washington.

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News
11:05 am
Thu February 20, 2014

State Video Lottery Revenue System to Remain Unchanged

The House Taxation committee doesn’t think the state needs to reduce its reliance on video lottery revenue. House Bill 1227 creates an education enhancement trust fund, where a portion of the state’s income from video lottery will be deposited. Supporters say the sub-fund will create an investment income to replace revenue from video lottery.

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Education
2:32 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Bill Offers Standardized Test Exemption

Credit Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

A state committee must decide whether a bill exempting some students from standardized tests moves to the full House. The measure offers parents a process to get their kids out of taking the assessments. Supporters of House Bill 1187 say test taking should be their choice.

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Education - Sculpture - Cuccicula
1:45 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

New Curricula Explores Sculpture Project

Gabrielle Seeley (center) discussing the Passage of Wind and Water curricula at the Teachers Learning Circle
Credit Photo by Jim Kent

  An innovative curricula has been developed to bring Rapid City’s Main Street Square Sculpture project to local schools. The sculpture, called The Passage of Wind and Water, is an interpretation of the topography, wildlife and diverse cultures of the Black Hills and the Badlands.

Created by an award-winning teacher, the program is being taught to local educators through a Teachers Learning Circle over a 3-month period.

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Culture
3:27 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Sex Abuse Survivors Talk To Lawmakers

Survivors of child sex abuse and advocates for those victims want lawmakers to address the abuse. Senate Bill 154 establishes a task force to study the impact of sexual abuse of children. Not one lawmaker in committee opposes the effort.  

Mary Beth Holzworth is in the state Capitol for her sons. Two of her three boys survived sexual abuse.

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Education
2:27 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Edu Standards Bill On Hold

A measure that guides new education standards is on hold in a committee as lawmakers move forward with a related bill.

South Dakota State Representative Jim Bolin wants to ensure public hearings on education standards are spread out over on a reasonable timeline. He says House Bill 1075 does that, but another bill accomplishes a comparable goal.

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Education - Badlands - Lakota
1:19 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Badlands Ambassadors Visit NYC

Badlands National Park ambassadors Dwan Wilcox and Earl Lamont on top of the Empire State Building in NYC
Credit Courtesy Badlands National Park

Two Lakota high school students have returned home to the Pine Ridge Reservation after acting as ambassadors for Badlands National Park during a trip to New York City.

Dwan Wilcox and Earl Lamont are part of the Badlands Youth summer intern program.

Badlands National Park spokesperson Julie Johndreau says their trip to The Big Apple was sponsored by the Calhoun School. Students from the Manhattan school have visited the park for week-long exploration camps twice since 2012.

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Education
2:57 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Boundary Debate Centers On SF

School districts around Sioux Falls are concerned their schools are losing important property tax revenue to the larger city’s school district. South Dakota law allows property owners to petition to switch school districts. That’s true as long as the move doesn’t take more than two percent of the district’s tax base.

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Education
2:47 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Capital Outlay Change Dies In Committee

A bill meant to wean schools off of using capitol outlay funds for specific expenses is dead.

Last session, lawmakers extended the length of time schools can utilize capital outlay funds for property insurance, utilities, and fuel. House Bill 1001 gradually decreases the percentage of capital outlay funds schools can use through its end in 2018. Supporters of HB 1001 say it is an early alert for school districts to prepare for the funding change.

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News
11:40 am
Wed February 5, 2014

House Committee Advances Bill to Establish School Opening Date

State Representative Christine Erickson, R-Sioux Falls
Credit State of South Dakota

                                                                                                                                                                                                           

The House State Affairs committee heard about an hour of testimony before advancing House Bill 10-93. The measure sets the start of an academic year to no earlier than the final Monday in August.

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Education - Lakota - Scholars
1:56 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Red Cloud Students Earn Scholarships

(Left to right) Shawnta Jones, Caine Ghost Bear, Carrie Beard
Credit Courtesy Red Cloud High School

Six students at the Pine Ridge Reservation’s Red Cloud High School have been awarded the prestigious Horatio Alger Scholarship.

That’s twice the number of students of any school in South Dakota to receive the scholarship and the most that Red Cloud has received in a single year.

The Horatio Alger competitive scholarship supports deserving young people who have overcome challenges in their lives in order to pursue higher education.

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Education
8:43 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

House Ed Considers Student Privacy Bill

Lawmakers in South Dakota’s House of Representatives are considering a bill that aims to protect student privacy. Education committee members are hearing conflicting testimony about data protection in testing. 

This week, the House Education committee revisits a bill focused on protecting privacy of students who take education assessments. Senate Bill 63 includes a short-list of information tests can’t require students provide.

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Education
1:58 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Teacher Tech Training Bill Dies

A bill that gives $2.8 million to training teachers in technology is dead. Friday morning, members of the House Education committee considered House Bill 1005. The measure dedicates funding for two days of teacher professional development in technology. That’s in addition to regular inservice and training districts provide.

Supporters say training is essential but time-consuming; they see the measure as a way to help schools integrate tech instruction.

Representative Dan Kaiser says he would rather put the millions directly into salaries.

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Education
1:50 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Committee Approves School Funding Bill

South Dakota lawmakers support a change to the minimum funding the state gives school districts each year.  A bill on its way to the House floor increases the lowest funding for schools by less than half of one percent. The debate centers around schools’ ability to plan for the long term.

South Dakota law dictates a funding formula for public school districts. Right now, the statute gives schools three percent or the rate of inflation - whichever is less. House Bill 1003 adds an exception: that the lowest amount of money for schools may not be less than two percent.

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Politics
3:50 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Debate Over Common Core Intensifying At Legislature

The debate over Common Core Education standards is intensifying at the state capitol.  Lawmakers in the house yesterday considered a resolution on Common Core for more than an hour.  Later in the afternoon, teachers from across South Dakota offered their experiences with the education benchmarks and took questions from lawmakers.  SDPB reporter Kealey Bultena attended the panel discussion and joined Dakota Midday to talk about what was discussed about the education standards.

  

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Education
11:23 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Teachers Talk Common Core In Pierre

South Dakota educators explain their experiences with Common Core standards at the State Capitol.
Credit Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The debate over the Common Core education standards in Pierre is intensifying. Lawmakers in the House Wednesday considered a resolution on the Common Core for more than an hour. Later that afternoon, teachers from across South Dakota offered their experiences with the education benchmarks and took questions from lawmakers. 

The above audio begins during a response to the initial panel question regarding whether math in schools today is rooted in the traditional basics. Educators on the panel are listed below in the order they speak during the full-length clip. 

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News
9:38 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Senate Ed Members Agree Collaboration Needed in Education

Members of the Senate Education committee agree collaboration is key to good education. Officials with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact share their initiatives and how the state benefits from working with its neighbors with the committee Thursday morning. But common core standards are still on the minds of legislators.

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News
5:46 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Resolution to Phase Out Common Core Fails in House

After more than an hour of debate, a resolution to phase out common core standards in South Dakota schools fails in the House of Representatives. Common Core is a set of standards most states have adopted for achievement benchmarks in English and Math. Debate centers on local control of education standards and how common core is implemented. Legislators have varying opinions on what common core standards require of schools.
 

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Education
4:44 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Students Encouraged With '15 To Finish'

South Dakota college students are hearing a push for 15 to Finish. That’s 15 credit hours per semester, which allows a student to complete an undergraduate degree in four years.

Last year, South Dakota’s Board of Regents lowered the number of credit hours to get a degree. Jack Warner is president of the South Dakota Board of Regents. He says a student used to need 128 credits for an undergraduate degree and 64 for an associate’s degree.

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Education
4:36 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

New Methods Help SD College Students

New methods to help ready incoming college students for important courses appear to be effective. Some of South Dakota’s public universities are using programs that change the way higher ed handles remediation. 

A new math model at South Dakota State University proved so effective in its pilot that SDSU is implementing it. This method uses a combination of assessments to determine where a student’s skills lie and better aligns his or her abilities with the right level of math.

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