K-12 civics reform

Kate Anderson:

Morrisey proposed revisions to the South Dakota Department of Education standards to provide “a true, honest, and balanced approach to American history that is not influenced by political agendas” according to an Aug. 15 statement from Governor Kristi Noem. 

Campus Reform spoke with Governor Noem’s Chief of Staff Mark Miller. He said, “Dr. Morrisey is a retired professor of civics, history, an expert on history, and we thought he was the perfect fit for what we are trying to do.”

“We, as a nation, we’re grappling with challenges to civic illiteracy and this…uncivil division between different political points of view.” Miller continued, “So we think a change in approach to how we teach social studies is in order and we expect that South Dakota will become a leader for the country and we think the other states will look to this as a model.”

On the state Department of Education’s (DOEd) website, the new standards are defined as an “[h]onest, balanced, and complete accounts of historical events and debates that foster a love of country that, like any love, is not blind to faults.”

It continues, promising “[h]istory and civics instruction free from political agendas and activism.”