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.