Gov. Kristi Noem is hitting the reset button on South Dakota’s proposed social research curriculum, discarding her administration’s earlier requirements and altering up who crafts the brand new ones. 

Friday’s announcement comes every week after she stated the revision course of can be delayed for as much as a yr. Noem’s workplace informed Fox News that it’s severing ties with guide Beth Ratway and the C3 framework – each controversial influences that raised issues about left-wing content material later surfacing in faculties.

“I have asked the Department of Education to restart the process from the beginning,” Noem, a Republican, stated in a press launch Friday. “I want to ensure we propose standards that accurately reflect the values of South Dakota.”

“Our kids deserve to learn both America’s and South Dakota’s true and honest history, taught in a balanced context that doesn’t pit our children against each other on the basis of race, sex, or background. More work needs to be done to get this right, and we are committed to seeing that process through.”

However, Ratway’s employer, the American Institutes for Research (AIR), stated that it was unaware of any modifications to their contact with the South Dakota Department of Education.


“AIR is a non-partisan organization and our team worked collaboratively with state officials on the revision of the social studies standards and honored the parameters that were laid out by the South Dakota Department of Education at the beginning of this project. As a non-partisan organization, our experts operate under the highest standards of professionalism, and any suggestion counter to this is completely without merit.”    

Noem had encountered backlash from each side, with Native Americans upset about removals that have been favored by conservatives.

Her newest transfer adopted a warning by Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow on the Ethics and Public Policy Center, about Ratway’s affect on the Department of Education in addition to what he known as the “action-civics-based C3 Framework.”

Kurtz additionally pointed to Ratway’s video presentation on social justice, which has since been faraway from YouTube. Obtained by Fox News through Kurtz, the PowerPoint employs loads of language paying homage to controversial fairness trainings seen all through the U.S.

For instance, underneath “Connecting Social Justice and Social Studies,” Ratway’s slide reads: “We define social justice education as the pedagogical practice of guiding students toward critically discussing, examining, and actively exploring the reasons behind social inequalities and how unjust institutional practices maintain and reproduce power and privilege that have a direct impact on students’ lives.”


She additionally cites Paulo Freire, a widely known advocate of “critical pedagogy” who has been criticized by anti-CRT advocates like James Lindsay. The ties to left-wing concepts do not finish together with her presentation. In 2020, Ratway co-chaired an Advancing Social Justice convention, which featured a speech from the controversial “1619 Project” founder Nikole Hannah-Jones.

Friday’s launch pledged to “create a new workgroup of stakeholders to develop standards. This group will propose new social studies standards, and everyone who has expressed concerns will be a part of the process, including Native Americans. The new proposed standards will be reviewed and adjusted based on input from the public, the DOE, and, ultimately, approved by the Board of Education Standards.” 

“The DOE will also hire a new facilitator to oversee the workgroup process. The DOE will work with the Board of Education Standards to approve a new timeline to ensure the standards are adopted after sufficient time for the workgroup’s action and public input into the process.”

Ratway’s employer, The American Institutes of Research, didn’t instantly reply to Fox News’ request for remark however beforehand supplied a prolonged response defending its work. 


Dana Tofig, managing director for company communications at AIR, informed Fox News: “We conduct and apply research and our work is informed by data and evidence. We have successfully consulted on standards reviews and rewrites in nearly every state in the U.S.  – including blue and red states – and our work is led by the needs and direction of our clients.” 

“In South Dakota, our role has been to facilitate the revision of the state’s social studies standards under the direction and guidance of the South Dakota Department of Education. When we began this project, the South Dakota DOE provided specific parameters for our work and we abided by those parameters as we collaborated with a team of educators and community members from across the state. We are proud of our work in South Dakota.”

The controversy appeared to immediate the June resignations of two members serving on the social research requirements committee. One of these resignations got here from state Rep. Sue Peterson, a Republican who informed Fox News that the state’s proposed requirements do not align with a pledge signed by each her and Noem.

“Like Gov. Noem, I signed the 1776 pledge,” she stated final week. “The proposed standards do not align with that pledge, nor do they align with what I believe most South Dakota parents want for their children. Gov. Noem’s postponement of the approval process is the right thing to do. It will allow her to get the right people in place to create standards that align with what the Governor says she wants.”

In July, Noem signed an govt order prohibiting the state’s Department of Education from pursuing federal grants in historical past or civics till the legislature might contemplate anti-CRT measures within the 2022 session. This got here amid conservatives’ issues that the Biden administration had proposed grants that may successfully fund CRT-related training in faculties.

“Throughout this summer, Gov. Noem took action to stop the teaching of Critical Race Theory in South Dakota schools,” former President Trump adviser David Bossie stated in an op-ed this week. “Gov. Noem is one hundred percent correct; allowing our children to be taught to hate America will spell our doom as a constitutional republic.”