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Noem restarting revisions to social studies standards

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem at the Sioux Falls city hall building in June 2020. The state's coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are rising, but Noem has said they are in good shape.
SDPB
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

Governor Kristi Noem is restarting a review of social studies standards for K-12 schools.

The state already has a set of standards that is periodically revised. A working group of experts from around the state recently recommended revisions. The state Department of Education changed the recommendations without input from the working group.

The changes removed numerous references to Native Americans. That sparked controversy and protests.

Noem is now creating a new working group to start over. She said, “everyone who has expressed concerns will be a part of the process, including Native Americans.”

"Our kids deserve to learn both America’s and South Dakota’s true and honest history, taught in a balanced context that doesn’t pit our children against each other on the basis of race, sex, or background," Noem said in a statement. "More work needs to be done to get this right, and we are committed to seeing that process through.”

She said the state will hire a new facilitator to oversee the process. The revisions will undergo public hearings before final approval by the state’s Board of Education Standards.

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