Also on the agenda for today's state Board of Education meeting in Sioux Falls is the first public hearing for new state physical education standards. A team of 26 South Dakota PE teachers and other experts have written up proposals for helping our kids become "physically literate individuals." What do these experts expect of our physically literate kids?

  • Standard 1: The physically literate individual demonstrates proficiency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.
  • Standard 2: The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics to enhance movement and performance.
  • Standard 3: The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.
  • Standard 4: The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self, others, and environment.
  • Standard 5: The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, employment opportunities, and social interaction [South Dakota Physical Edcuation Standards and Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education, revised February 2014].

For today's workout, let's put on our Common Core tinfoil hats and see what could possibly be wrong with this effort to make our kids better, stronger, faster:

  1. The proposed South Dakota PE standards pretty much copy national standards written by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.
  2. The national task force that worked on these standards "sought to ensure that... the standards parallel common core standards language/structure." Aaaaahh! Common Core!
  3. The South Dakota educators slip the word environment into Standard 4. Aaaahh! Agenda 21!
  4. The PE standards make frequent mention of "invasion games," obviously intending to train our children in the techniques necessary for storming the Church at the Gate and forcing Pastor Hickey to pronounce homosexuals wife and wife.
  5. Standards S3.M18 and S1.H2 recommend yoga as a fitness activity. Aaaaahh! Hindu devils! New Age Theology!
  6. Also promoted by the PE standards: square dancing. Aaaaa—wait: acceptable, but only if we integrate this standard with our technical education standards and teach square dancing in skid-steers:

The Board of Education is holding a public hearing on these P.E. standards today. They're introducing the P.E. standards before Senate Bill 64 takes effect, so technically, the Board doesn't have to hold the three more public hearings that would be required by the only bill passed out of the anti-Common Core hubbub this session. But if you ask nicely, perhaps with a nice rhythmic dance routine demonstrating your physical literacy, maybe the Board of Education will oblige with another hearing.

Now, time for that nice morning walk....

p.s.: Standard S1.H2 also proposes teaching high school kids parkour. Elementary teachers sigh at seeing undone their years of labor to get kids to walk quietly and single file.

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David Montgomery noted with amusement that Governor Dennis Daugaard submitted nominating petitions Tuesday for a re-election campaign that did not yet officially exist. Governor Daugaard will make that campaign official next week Tuesday, flying across the state to kick off his re-election bid. The Governor announces he'll make these three stops.

  • Sioux Falls - Holiday Inn City Centre Palisades room - 9:30am CDT
  • Rapid City - Black Hills Visitor Information Center main room - 1:00pm MDT
  • Pierre - Ramkota Amphitheater II - 5:15pm CDT

Note that Daugaard will be flying back into Pierre just in time to strafe any straggling candidates scrambling to get to the Capitol before Tuesday's 5 p.m. deadline to submit nominating petitions. Incoming!

36 comments

In news wholly unrelated to anything else in today's blog cycle, my friend, Flandreau native, now Fairbanks teacher, comedian, and playwright Michael Schaeffer takes a swing at salm poetry, discussing love over a math book:

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The poem takes a bit to build steam, but it finishes strong. The trains do meet.

Schaeffer submits this poem in hopes of bringing Alaska heat to the National Poetry Slam in Oakland, California. If you'd like to help him get the slam organizers' attention, click the YouTube link, then click Like on Schaeffer's video. Simple!

Re-related: Wait a minute! Schaeffer does fit today's news. Britton native gone D.C. denizen Kelly Wismer, daughter of South Dakota gubernatorial candidate Susan Wismer, reads Beth Wischmeyer's article on South Dakota's teacher pay crisis and tweets in response that countless South Dakota teachers have left the state or the profession because of that lack of fiscal support.

Countless? Nope. Add 1. I ask Schaeffer what he's doing in Alaska, and sure enough, he says he was underpaid and overworked teaching in South Dakota. When he left for Alaska in 1999, he was able to double his salary and halve his hours.

Average 2013 teacher pay in South Dakota: $39,580. Average in Alaska: $65,468.

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Hilarity is the Governor's office complaining about a lack of openness from government officials:

Daugaard’s budget chief, Jason Dilges, wasn’t too happy with this burst of optimism from the appropriators.

“It looks like to me there’s … a desire to try and have the revenue estimates be higher and spend money,” he said Monday evening.

Dilges also complained that “none of the legislators have been forthcoming with me” about some of their spending plans [David Montgomery, "Contra Daugaard, Legislators Set Optimistic Budget Projections," Political Smokeout, 2014.03.11].

You awful legislators! How dare you not inform Governor Daugaard of the full extent of your optimism! You should all immediately compile dossiers laying out your plans and submit them to the Governor... with a bill for $46.02 an hour.

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The small scoops of the day on South Dakota's U.S. Senate race come from State Representative Bernie Hunhoff:

Retired/aspiring U.S. Senator Larry Pressler was in the state capitol today. He filed nominating petitions, and we invited him to stop by the Democratic caucus. He seemed pleasantly surprised that it was open to all-comers. He said if the U.S. senate splits 49/51 or 48/52, then the one or two Independent senators will be positioned to make a big impact [Rep. Bernie Hunhoff, Facebook post, 2014.03.06].

Scoop #1: Pressler submits petitions?! How many? Enough? He needs 3,171 signatures by April 29. Pressler isn't on the official candidates list yet. I tried to confirm with the Secretary of State's office on the phone toward the end of business today, but the two guys who handle petitions, Secretary Jason Gant and senior elections coordinator Brandon Johnson, are off testing voting machines in Germany. We'll have to wait to see whether Pressler was just getting a few papers off his hands and into safe-keeping or whether the signature-gathering staff of Emmett Reistroffer has delivered a big organizing surprise for the biggest third-wheel in South Dakota politics.

Scoop #2: Pressler offers us a new line to justify gambling on electing a non-party guy. He says that if the Democrats and Republicans evenly split the Senate, South Dakota could enjoy more power by holding a precious swing Indy vote than it would by electing a member the main parties. Wait a minute... wasn't that an NBC series starring Josh Brolin before he became President? You're on the right career arc, Larry!

5 comments

Church and state collide, as happy warrior Rep. Rev. Steve Hickey bucks Capitol tradition with a mirthful meld of theology and political optimism:

Rep. Rev. Steve Hickey, Facebook screen cap, 2014.02.25

Rep. Rev. Steve Hickey, Facebook screen cap, 2014.02.25

It's tradition we all wear black today in the Capitol in memory of our bills that have died. I'm not wearing black. My bills all rise again [Rep. Rev. Steve Hickey, Facebook/Twitter post, 2014.02.25].

I guess we Democrats haven't cornered the market on optimism. Carry on, Rep. Hickey!

9 comments

Now the House is just picking on Betty Olson. Last month, the good Representative from Prairie City proposed House Bill 1114 to yank all the reflector poles out from alongside South Dakota's state highways. The Department of Transportation and Department of Public Safety said no, Betty, that's a really bad idea. House Transportation agreed 10–3.

Apparently worried that Rep. Olson may try taking matters into her own hand, the House has pending before it Senate Bill 103, which drops a bigger hammer on folks who swipe highway signs. Right now, stealing or messing with highway signs and markers is a Class 1 misdemeanor (see SDCL 31-28-23). SB 103 tacks on up to a $2,000 civil penalty, at the discretion of the court. This additional punishment has cleared the full Senate and the House Transportation committee; we'll see if the House acts today to raise the stakes on Rep. Olson or anyone else who tries to... raze the roadside stakes.

But remember, Betty and all you party people in the House: it's just a reflector....

29 comments

Rick Weiland ordered a recount and produced the most clever fundraising e-mail I've read this season.

Friday I reported that Democrat Weiland tied his main U.S. Senate opponent, Republican Marion Michael Rounds, in an informal online poll in the Yankton Press and Dakotan. Weiland checked either a moment before or a moment after I did: when he glanced at the online bar chart, Weiland saw himself 0.9% ahead of Rounds.

Whatever the margin, Weiland has some fun declaring victory:

It's all over but the shouting. A new Yankton Press & Dakotan Poll says we have it in the bag.

Weiland 35.1% - Rounds 34.2%

So now that it is in the bag, you don't need to contribute anymore.

Unless, of course, you think Mike Rounds' 9 million dollars might enable him to close the yawning 0.9% lead we have opened up on him. Or you think there is any chance this poll of the Dakotan's online readers is not perfectly representative of all of the voters in South Dakota.

It's up to you. If you think we've got this election pretty much wrapped up, then don't click here to send me $9 or whatever you can spare.

But if you think Governor Mike and his millions still have a chance to buy South Dakota's Senate seat, and add it to the trophy bag of the out of state millionaires who are paying for most of his campaign, then please, unlimber your finger, click here, and send us some ammunition to keep him from catching up.

Your help now will be greatly appreciated, and will help keep us from getting complacent in the afterglow of this huge victory in the P&D poll [Rick Weilan, campaign fundraising e-mail, 2014.02.17].

Now that's the sound of a happy warrior who knows the true value of online polls. Carry on, Rick!

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