Greetings & Salutations my fellow South Dakotans'! Today I want to discuss the reforms necessary to our K-12, College and University, and Post Graduate Programs within our Great State of South Dakota.
First, I want to say that I am proud of our learning institutions. We can take what we have now and improve our overall performances in a few general areas.
In the areas of K-12, we need to rely less on computers as a replacement for the mind, and hands. Computers are a good tool, but teachers and students over rely on them, and students come out of high school unable to write cursive, spell for themselves, and use proper punctuation in writing assignments.
We need to repeal common core completely. We need to go back to what has worked for over a century, the 3R's. Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic. Still not sure why they call it the 3R's!
Teachers salaries should be uniform. Teachers have been lied to for years now about salary increases. First, they were told a raise would come from the $100 million tax revenue from legalized gambling; then they were told they would get a raise from the one cent sales tax increase, but have virtually seen nothing from Pierre. Now teachers don't trust any politician, and I can hardly blame them for that.
After adequate testing, each student's academic course should be developed to focus their skills and goals to achieving a positive result, based on the empirical testing data. Under my Administration, Teachers will be allowed to teach subjects they are interested in, thus their passion for teaching and students passions for learning will basically be on the same level. Generally speaking, a happy teacher creates happy students, thus almost guaranteeing overall academic and tenure success. This factor alone will insure teacher retention in our States schools. Cursive is just as important as printing. In graduate schools', legible handwriting is critically essential. If the Teacher, Professor or Employer can not read your handwriting, it could have drastic impacts on your education or advancement in employment careers.
I am still learning how things work on the State, County and City school board levels. It seems to me to be prolix and confusing. There also seems to be pockets of tyranny, and widespread abuse of discretion. A ship can only have one Captain. When there are too many Captains, you generally get mutiny. Wherefore, academics should be controlled on the State level in Pierre, not on the local level due to abuses of power and trust. A prime example is the Opt Out Scandal in the Sioux Falls School District last summer.
I always believed that the State regulated the field of education. That the State set the statutory guidelines for the County, City, and Municipalities to follow. A system without guidelines, is like a ship without a rudder.
I learned today, that just because you live in Sioux Falls, you may not belong to the Sioux Falls school district. Battle lines are drawn, and sides are taken, and in many instances, it's the children who suffer from these contested issues.
Instead, why can't we Work Together to provide more consistent academic and scholastic programs, better teacher pay, stronger proficiency performance from our students; which can surely improve South Dakotas ranking nationally! Moreover, students need to learn spelling, math, English, History (i.e. Political & Constitutional History), from K through 7th. Then starting in 8th Grade, students should be tested to determine what and where they want to go in life. Each student has different learning skills; each is as distinctive of the other, no two are alike. We need to stop forcing students to learn superfluous academic garbage they will never use in achieving their life's goal! After all, we're supposed to be in this for the benefit of the children, right?