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After Endorsing Solution, Sioux Falls Paper Asks “What Were We Trying to Fix?”

That Sioux Falls paper asks the question the Governor the million-dollar question: when it comes to education reform, what are we trying to fix?

If the problem we hope to solve is better student performance, as Daugaard has suggested, then we need to know what we’re shooting for and how to support teachers in doing a better job. If the issue is paying teachers what they deserve, then we need to spend some money, and that money has to come from somewhere.

As we examine the question of what it is we’re trying to fix, the administration must include all stakeholders at the table: teachers, superintendents, business leaders, academics, lawmakers and ordinary citizens.

Before we introduce more bills that will only draw the ire of teachers and superintendents, let’s work together to identify what we’re trying to do and then develop an appropriate strategy [editorial, "Include Voter Voice in New Education Reform Bill," that Sioux Falls paper, 2012.11.13].

Figure out the problem before crafting a solution—what a novel concept! It's funny that idea didn't occur to Randall Beck et al. just two weeks ago, when they encouraged us all to vote for Referred Law 16, in the absence of any clear explanation of any real problem in South Dakota's K-12 education system. Dismissing real evidence of policy necessity or effectiveness, that Sioux Falls paper advocated change for change's sake... and for the sake of "honoring" Governor Daugaard's "courage", "flexibility", and "street smarts." (Hey, what's that on your nose, Randall?)

South Dakota's K-12 education system is not broken. Go to your local school (not Fox News or your other sources of Republican entertainment, but your real local South Dakota school), and you'll see good people and good kids producing mostly good results. The Republicans in power don't want to believe that, because it undermines their efforts to attack one of the greatest threats to their power: a strong public education system that gives every child the critical thinking skills necessary to see through Republican baloney. You'd think a newspaper would be quicker to recognize that and to defend a strong education system from Republican predations.


  1. Rorschach 2012.11.15

    Whatever that is on Randall Beck's nose, he knows it's there, but he doesn't care. Beck has willfully suppressed his sense of smell. He has his newspaper in survival mode, which seems to be affecting it's position on issues and candidates. Argus endorsements have little to do with reasoning, and more to do with anticipating what will likely happen, and appeasing the powers that be in those circumstances when it won't make a difference one way or the other. The Argus editorial board is a timid and irrelevant little entity these days.

  2. Michael Black 2012.11.15

    I don't want to settle for acceptable results. I want great and outstanding. I don't want a 21 ACT average. I want 24 to 25.

  3. John 2012.11.15

    I want students who routinely achieve, who average with the education systems of the top 3 nations in the world. In the short term having SD students on par with those from the world's top 5 national education systems could be an interim acceptable milestone.

  4. testor15 2012.11.16

    What is so special about business 'leaders' to single them out in discussion? We should have all citizens, not special interest groups only.

  5. Douglas Wiken 2012.11.16

    Newspaper editorialists and columnists seem to have no shame. They endorse terminally wrong candidates like Kristi Noem and then wonder why somebody like Varilek did not do better. They endorse idiotic proposals and then we get the equivalent of "Nevermind" from them when voters discover the Catch 22 in the trash. If papers want to provide an actual election service, they should skip their own endorsements which are always tainted by money and corporate positions and just offer the candidates or their best writers to provide 500 or a 1000 words with the best case for the candidates.

  6. Jana 2012.11.16

    The Hostess Unions took significant wage and benefit cuts to keep their long term pension obligations intact when Hostess (IBC) filed bankruptcy in 2004.

    What killed the company was it's mountain of legacy poorly structured debt from a flurry of past bad acquisitions.

    But hey, why blame yourself when you can get a sympathetic ear for crying union!

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