South Dakota Drops Study of Early U.S. History as a High School Requirement

Saturday, August 29, 2015
(photo illustration: Steve Straehley, AllGov)

Students in South Dakota will now graduate from high school without studying early American history, under new teaching guidelines adopted by the state.


After a year of deliberations, the state Board of Education adopted new curriculum standards that no longer require instructors to teach the first 100 years of U.S. history. Such milestone events and developments as the Revolutionary War and the drafting of the U.S. Constitution could be completely ignored.


Cutting out early U.S. history in 11th grade hurts the ability of students to “think historically” when they reach higher education, according to a letter sent to the state Board of Education by Ben Jones, dean of arts and sciences for Dakota State University and educators from the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, Northern State University, Augustana College, Presentation College, the University of Sioux Falls, Black Hills State University and other institutions.


“By that, we mean they are unfamiliar with the use of sources, the identification of bias, analysis of information, understanding context and the development and practice of research that aid them both inside and outside the discipline of history,” according to the letter.


That, of course, might be exactly what the Republican-dominated state government has in mind. “It’s disabling their citizenship,” Jones told the Argus Leader.

- Steve Straehley, Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

History Standards Approved for K-12, Despite Concerns (by Patrick Anderson, Argus Leader)

Early American History Could be a Thing of the Past (by Tess Hedrick, KSFY)

Koch Brothers Group Boasts Total Control of Iowa and South Dakota Legislatures (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

See all 15 comments


Desiree 1 year ago
Apparently, their Board of Education forgot what schools are for. If they keep slicing significant chunks out the curriculum, the state won't need a Board of Education. The lamest Board of Education - one that eliminates education.
Greg Burton 1 year ago
The Old will die, the young will forget
Defiant 1 year ago
Naturally! History is the natural enemy of the Liberal-Progressive.
dave 1 year ago
James I am sorry to have offended your family history, as you are no doubt a devout liberal, as are almost all of the 535 members of congress, so you must pardon my not speaking to another graduate of the government school system, which construes, that cursing is all- right in the public realm,just another government educated liberal. But we do need those to still do the menial jobs which their college degree, has gotten them in the door for. I no doubt struck a nerve with the government educated college degree holding fool, but it does take all kinds.
TWF 1 year ago
It figures, especially since this state is one of very few venues that issues the credit cards with up to 39% interest rates, catching unsuspecting public off guard. The entire state is grossly controlled by the banking system and needs to be totally gutted and started over.
Stevie B. 1 year ago
Republicans, Democrats, Liberals, Conservatives, they are and have been for some time now all the same. Maybe they should secede from the Union...and take California with them.
paschn 1 year ago
And why wouldn't they? You want U.S. history? Call AIPAC.
Michael 1 year ago
James, you are an acquiescent Quisling son of a gun. Neocon=communist Neocon does not equal conservative.
Michael 1 year ago
Dave is right and James is a foul mouthed idiot troll. Apparently South Dakota is controlled by Neocons, not conservatives. Many of the neocon leaders are former communists. Neocons have proven their contempt for the Constitution and freedom and their enslavement to leftist PC issues time and time again. In fact, the very fact of this new Board of Education ruling is very strong evidence that Dave is completely correct. I once went through South Dakota and noticed that their communist highway patrol was searching every U-Haul trailer. Many South Dakotans are communists calling themselves conservatives. One last time: Neocons, you are led by "former" communists and your doctrine is very anti-American and communist. NEOCONS ARE NOT CONSERVATIVE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION SO QUIT STROKING YOURSELVES BY CLAIMING TO BE CONSERVATIVE.
Steve 1 year ago
Also 'War Is a Racket' by Smedley Butler should be required reading for all high school students.

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