Kealey Bultena

South Dakota classrooms look far different now than they did even a decade ago. Students still use pencils to fill out worksheets and find information in their books, but elements of learning have moved from printed sheets to computer screens. That’s been fairly common for years, but now one school district is testing technology from a new vantage point.

Current high school chemistry classes are likely a little different than chem lectures of the past. In a Lincoln High School classroom, each student has his or her own personal periodic table. It’s illuminated on an iPad screen.

Group Urging Voters to Vote No on Tax Increase

Oct 3, 2012

Some family farmers and small business owners are encouraging South Dakota voters to vote NO on initiated measure 15 during the November election. The initiated measure proposes a sales tax increase from four cents to five cents on every dollar. SDPB’s Cassie Bartlett has this story.

Kealey Bultena

Out of every one hundred South Dakota high school students, 16 of those won’t graduate on time. Earlier this week, SDPB Radio examined some high schools’ efforts to keep kids in class. The methods show promise, but they don’t work for every student. This Dakota Digest explores what happens when a student can’t complete their coursework in four years, even with their educators’ help.

Dropout Nation

Sep 25, 2012

The FRONTLINE special, "Dropout Nation," airs tonight at 8 p.m. Central on SDPB-TV.  Every year, hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the United States quit high school without diplomas.  FRONTLINE spent a semester immersed in Sharpstown High School in Houston, once a notorious "dropout factory," to produce a portrait of four students in crisis and the teachers, counselors and principal waging a daily struggle to get them to graduate.  Dakota Midday host Karl Gehrke is joined by FRONTLINE producer Frank Koughan.

Kealey Bultena

South Dakota’s education report card shows the state’s high school completion rate dropped slightly this year, but education officials say it’s mostly flat. South Dakota didn’t see a huge increase in the dropout rate, but the state didn’t make any significant improvements in keeping more students on track. Educators around South Dakota try to curb dropout rates by encouraging students to stay in class.

submitted photo

To observe Constitution and Citizenship Week, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology invited Rapid City lawyer Patrick Duffy to speak to students. Duffy says Americans are woefully uninformed about their own rights, and that ignorance threatens democracy. For today’s Dakota Digest, SDPB’s Victoria Wicks brings us part of that speech and talks with Duffy in his office.


Brooke Orcutt is a Plain Green Conference committee member.  She discusses the conference and projects throughout the year.

Lisa Taylor  talks about her program City Farming For Everyone!  Lisa Taylor is the author of Your Farm in the City:  An Urban Dweller’s Guide to Growing Food and Raising Animals.  She lives in Shoreline, Washington and spends most of her days growing and eating plants with children.  She is the Children’s Education Program Manager for Seattle Tilth. 

Kealey Bultena

Sioux Falls parents are considering whether their children are better off in older, revitalized school buildings close to home or in a new building that combines two current elementary schools.