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COLUMN: SD school administrators support Common Core

My name is Rob Monson, and I am the executive director of School Administrators of South Dakota. We know there has been much discussion and there will continue to be discussion about the Common Core State Standards that are being implemented across numerous states, including South Dakota.

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We would like to go on record stating that SASD supports, and will continue to support, the CCSS. We believe these standards set a high mark for our students to achieve. We would also like to make it clear that these standards in no way dictate what curriculum is taught in each school district, and that those decisions are made by local school boards.

Our Legislative Committee met in November and put together a position statement and rationale that we would like to share with the media outlets showing our support for CCSS.

SASD Position Statement on Common Core:

Support: Common Core Academic Standards, provided that the state has a workable plan, that includes sufficient funding and professional development, to facilitate implementation of the standards.

Rationale: Common Core standards establish a framework for what South Dakota students (grades K-12) should know and be able to do and will be used to guide local curriculum decisions to help students succeed in college and/or career.

These standards were created in 2009 in a joint effort, including the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The purpose was to increase the rigor and academic expectations for students in grades K-12 in language arts and mathematics.

The South Dakota Board of Education adopted these standards on Nov. 29, 2010. Teachers across the state have begun training on implementing these standards and full implementation started during the 2013-2014 school year. Any movement to change course now would be devastating to all the work completed by teachers.

The new assessment, based upon the new standards, may save the state money and it will incorporate more short-answer and constructed-response questions while being delivered solely online.

The Common Core Standards are not federally mandated and South Dakota did not receive any federal dollars to promote implementation.

-Rob Monson, is executive director of School Administrators of South Dakota, which is based in Pierre.