SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Teachers, educators and other South Dakota citizens charged with crafting new state social studies standards say Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration deleted many elements intended to bolster students’ understanding of Native American history and culture from their draft. Members of the working group said Tuesday they were caught by surprise when the department released the new document last week. They say changes made to the draft they submitted in late July gave it a political edge they had tried to avoid, instead aligning with the Republican governor’s rhetoric on what she calls patriotic education.
Mary Stadick Smith, deputy secretary for the DOE, said in an email Tuesday morning that the department made “certain adjustments” before the release of the Aug. 6 draft to provide “greater clarity and focus” for educators and the public.