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Smokeout! Kaiser Demands Ed Cmte Send Common Core Repeal to House Floor

Last updated on 2015.02.21

Surprise! Just when you thought the Legislature was done debating Common Core, Rep. Dan Kaiser (R-3/Aberdeen) pulls a smoke-out!

On Wednesday, House Education killed House Bill 1223, which seeks to end South Dakota's involvement with Common Core and related multistate curriculum standards. On the House floor yesterday, Rep. Kaiser invoked Joint Rule 7-7 to demand delivery of HB 1223 to the House.

Rep. Kaiser contended the bill did not receive a fair hearing. He said House Education "was subjected to at least three presentations from all folks who are... pro-Common Core" while Common Core opponents were not allowed the same opportunity.

House Education Chair Rep. Jacqueline Sly (R-33/Rapid City) replied that the committee dedicated an entire, two-hour hearing on HB 1223 and gave proponents and opponents equal time. Rep. Sly noted that neither the proponents nor opponents used their full forty minutes in that hearing. She said the presentations cited by Rep. Kaiser would have been the same whether HB 1223 had come forward or not.

Rep. Kaiser got 24 House members to stand for his smokeout; that's the one third necessary under Joint Rule 7-7 to order delivery from committee. House Ed thus had to quick circle up in the lobby and conduct an impromptu vote to so deliver the bill.

The anti-Common Core folks lost one of their committee votes: Rep. Mathew Wollmann (R-8/Madison) voted to keep HB 1223 alive in Wednesday's hearing, but yesterday voted with the committee majority to send the bill downstairs with a "Do Not Pass" recommendation.

We went through this same process last year, when House Ed rejected an anti-Common Core test-exemption bill 8–7, only to see it smoked out for one more brief and fruitless wrangle on the House floor. One source tells me the House will take up this smokeout next week Tuesday; we'll see if this smoke generates any better flames this time around.

Update 2015.02.21 06:26 CST: added video of Rep. Kaiser's smokeout speech.


  1. WayneF 2015.02.20

    Imposition of Common Core State Standards was one of the reasons why I decided to take early retirement after nearly forty years in the classroom.

    I have done my homework: these "standards" are based on little or no research (Best Practices, Brain Development Theory, Learning Styles), as was "A Nation at Risk" (remember that bomb?) or No Child Left Behind.

    In fact, I believe that CCSS is a desperate attempt to make up for the serious damage done by NCLB. Organizations that manufacture products follow quality control principles. But children are not products; they vary in skills, backgrounds, interests and abilities. Talented educators know how to meet these varied needs.

    I don't oppose measures or standards in education. And I don't think CCSS is an attempt by federal and state governments to control public education (as some of the other opponents claim). The bottom line is that major publishing companies (Pearson LLC) are pushing the standards so they can sell texts and tests.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.20

    Wayne, thanks for sharing your story. I'm sorry to hear Common Core helped push you out of the classroom. Some folks I visited with Wednesday, including legislators, wondered if Common Core is contributing to our teacher shortage, hastening the departure of experienced educators like you and discouraging new candidates from taking their place. Dare we quantify the extent to which Common Core and other similar education "reforms" make it harder to hire and retain good teachers?

    But your story emphasizes that Common Core is just the latest manifestation of a larger problem. Measures and standards are useful—heck, we teachers create and use them all the time in our classrooms. But are state and national standards, with all their concomitant paperwork and tests, more trouble than they are worth? Could we revert to a system where we trust teachers and local schools to establish and uphold their own standards?

  3. WayneF 2015.02.20

    Cory, I would return to teaching if I were allowed to practice what education and experience have helped me understand about effective teaching and learning.

    And yes, I do think that people are leaving the profession in droves (not just in South Dakota) partly because of being micromanaged by bureaucrats (mostly non-educators).

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.20

    Hmmm... so do we need to abolish state standards entirely? Would that improve working conditions enough to bring people back?

  5. tara volesky 2015.02.20

    Wayne, you should come out publicly and be a spokesman for the majority of the teachers. I have several teacher friends who hate CC but are afraid to speak out for fear of losing their jobs. You would be great at educating school boards because they are getting their info from the bureaucrats instead of the teachers.

  6. tara volesky 2015.02.20

    Maybe DD should have the blue ribbon committee made up of teachers and teachers who have left the profession. They have answers, not DD cronies.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.20

    Tara, tell your teacher friends to talk to me. And yes, Governor Daugaard, put me on that Blue Ribbon panel! I'll give you a true Blue perspective.

  8. tara volesky 2015.02.20

    Can't do it today, leaving town. Will try and get to it this weekend. How about if I five you a could numbers to call? That's a good start. Both you and Wayne should be on the blue ribbon committee. Who's all on it?

  9. joelie hicks 2015.02.20

    1201, scary. The worst thing is that when some of us compared notes on replies from reps. They seem to be more interested in words such as misinformation, and phrases such as have you read the bill?

  10. joelie hicks 2015.02.20

    Sorry, meant to send that privately.

  11. grudznick 2015.02.20

    Mr. H, you have a dandy source telling you they have to smoke this bill up next week. Is the day they have to be done with everything in that side of the legislatures next week?

  12. grudznick 2015.02.20

    There are people on the other blogs saying #StandWithDan and piping it all over the internet, Mr. H. You need a saying like that to counter the attacks on the Common Cores. #Mr.HCutsCommonCores or something like that.

  13. Bob Newland 2015.02.20

    Y'all might consider abolishing the Dept of Education and all laws requiring kids to go to school. Such laws inevitably lead to gummint mandates about the curricula. Back when the printing press began to allow "middle class" or "lower class" people to afford books, there was no mandated education.

    People logically taught or allowed their kids to be taught to read. We then had a scientific knowledge explosion.

    Today, with gummint-mandated curricula, we are having a scientific knowledge implosion. In SoDak, the hooberites have taken over a huge amount of the legislature's time. Not that that's bad, because otherwise the legislature would be figuring out how to put more cannabis users in jail.

    I have watched the products of the gummint schools for 50 years now. I have seen a steady decline in those products' ability to construct a meaningful sentence.

    Crabby old man? Yes, I am. I have watched the schools become quite similar to juvenile corrections camps, including the barbed wire, in some cases.

    I have, without a whole lot of research, watched the national school curricula being perverted, as in Oklahoma's legisture's recent attempt to show the brighter side of American politics to the detriment of those who think the darker side is at least as illustrative of how tough it is to hold on to a "republic."

    If the gummint sets the curriculum, the curriculum will praise the gummint. Gummint is only worthy of praise when it allows its shit-stained underwear to hang on the line with its linens.

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.20

    Bob, I believe we could maintain a solid public school system, as wisely mandated by our state constitution, without state standards, state tests, and a fair portion of the state Department of Education.

  15. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.02.20

    WayneF said, "The bottom line is that major publishing companies (Pearson LLC) are pushing the standards so they can sell texts and tests."

    You are absolutely right about this. I worked for Pearson in MN as a part time test scorer in 2008-09. The testing requirements are very, very big money. Pearson writes, scores, consults, teaches, refines, programs, etc., etc., for these tests.

    The lower level management people I got to know there were fine folks. I can't speak for the executive types, but I think I'd be foolish to summarily reject the possibility that they lobby very hard for more testing. Campaign contributions (bribes)? Well duh.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.20

    Grudz, when did you take up Twitter?

    Tuesday, Feb. 24, is the last day for committees to deliver bills to their chambers. Wednesday, Feb. 25, is the last day for each chamber to move its bills on to the opposite chamber.

  17. grudznick 2015.02.20

    Mr. H, everybody who has watched the legislatures for more than 2 years knows that they have deadlines in the news. Everybody except your source.

  18. Bob Newland 2015.02.20

    Who runs it, Cory?

  19. larry kurtz 2015.02.20

    Exactly, Bob. Bashing DC while bleeding it for pet projects is hardly a new concept: these legislators are really in Pierre to advance personal agendas and raise enough cash to do it by being as insane as the market will bear.

  20. larry kurtz 2015.02.20

    Chris Cillizza 10 seconds ago
    "46% of respondents in new poll thought Common Core had to do with sex education. Um....."

  21. Bob Newland 2015.02.20

    Ellis, eh? That's exciting.

  22. Donald Pay 2015.02.20

    Lots of misinformation here. People who aren't living in the real world are just speaking nonsense about Common Core.

    Publishing companies make exactly $0.00 more from Common Core than they would from state standards or local standards. Publishing companies are going to sell you books, etc. no matter what standards you set. The question is what is going to be in those books?

    Publishing companies are going to sell books and etc. to local districts, but they aren't going to tailor their texts to local or even SD standards. There simply is not enough money to be made in SD to justify it. SD state government ain't going to fork over money to create curriculum for its standards. It would cost 10-100 times more. So, SD districts are going to be buying curricula based on standards set by someone. In the past it was political hacks, not educators, in states like Texas who drove the market. Common Core allowed small states, like South Dakota, and educators to have some say in standards. You really want to give up a say in this to the big states? Not me.

    Now, if we are talking testing, that's different. But testing is not Common Core. I don't know why people can't understand that.

  23. WayneF 2015.02.21

    Wow, Donald Pay! What planet do you live on?

    When I first started teaching, there were at least a dozen major textbook publishing companies. Most of them have been bought up by now by behemoth Pearson LLC (based in London). They have also acquired the non-profit GED tests and preparation materials and turned them into a for-profit industry.

    Here's a link to a seminal article about CC and Pearson published in Education Week. Please read it.

  24. Donald Pay 2015.02.21

    Thanks, Wayne, for this link, which supports my point, not yours. Your link pertains to standardized testing, not to Common Core State Standards. Testing is NOT Common Core. Please re-read your link.

    As you probably know, Ravitch was a rabid "education reform" advocate until she figured out that much of it was directed toward privatization, not at improving education. Many of us saw that far earlier than Ravitch.

    There is a tendency to lump everything together when you have an imaginary enemy. Many folks have supported higher standards, which are directed toward better learning, but opposed standardized testing, particularly high stakes testing, which are a tool for privatizers. We have always opposed disingenuously trying to linking these two separate issues.

    Publishing, not just of textbooks, has been consolidating over decades. I don't get what your solution is to that.

    In the area of standards guiding textbook content, if it isn't Common Core, it's either going to be some big market large state or some non-state private conglomerate that establishes the content. Common Core has included most of the states, which means small states like SD (without a driving market) have much more say in it than they ever would otherwise.

  25. WayneF 2015.02.21

    Thanks, Donald, for your quick response, and thanks for reading the link I sent. You write as if you have some knowledge and experience in education. I confess I still do not understand why you think CCSS and standardized testing are separate issues. Please explain.

    Consolidation makes good business sense, I suppose, if you're a magnate. But it also obviates the kind of free-enterprise competition that usually fosters improved products, in this case textbooks.

    If you have read my earlier posts, you would see that I support giving teachers and local school districts the responsibility of setting high standards and holding learners to those standards according to their individual skills, abilities, and interests.

    In other words , take state- and federally-mandated standards and measures out of the equation and allow teachers to do what they're trained to do.

    I'm curious ... what is your professional interest in this issue?

  26. Charlie Hoffman 2015.02.21

    From visiting with teachers (CAH we never covered this if I remember but we should someday) their number one gripe is that just when they are getting highly proficient in working the new grading and reporting system the State pulls it and pushes another new program. Happens on average every seven years. Then the teacher in-services begin all over again and they must adapt to new rules and ways and means of testing and reporting and grading. CC will have a short life span and we only must wait until the next best Educational Tool comes from some introverted think tank who know much better how to teach your kids then your teachers and you do.

  27. mike from iowa 2015.02.21

    So Sibster found a place willing to tolerate his BS/PHD noize.

  28. Donald Pay 2015.02.21

    Charlie Hoffman points to a problem I've had with politically driven "education reforms," and why Common Core has a chance of succeeding. "Reform A" pushed by Republican Governor 1/Republican Legislature 1 is soon supplanted by "Reform B" pushed by Republican Governor 2/Republican Legislature 2 because standardized test scores show no "improvement."

    The politicians go on to blame the teachers, never themselves.

    "Oh, no, no, WE don't fail, our reform measures didn't fail," they say, but soon we get "Reform C," and 7-8 years later we get "Reform D" and on and on. So, rather than question the standardized tests, we think the teachers are failing. And we take it out on local districts. And we take it out on everyone, but the folks who are responsible.

    So, let me state what has become . The politicians are failing if they are trying to improve education. If they are trying to support the privatizers, they are succeeding.

    The politicians don't understand the standardized tests or statistics, they don't understand Thing 1 about school funding, and they refuse to deal with the real issues. In many cases, they get paid to not deal with the real issues.

    Thus, they come up with monstrosities like HB 1234, until folks are so sick of their nonsense that they refer it and stick it right back up their ass.

    Here's the difference with Common Core: politicians and politically aligned think tanks didn't have much to do with developing the standards. If the politicians can keep their ignorant mitts off of Common Core, let it work and get smart about what standardized test don't do, then maybe teachers won't be burdened with yet another iteration of political nonsense.

  29. Donald Pay 2015.02.21

    should be: "what has become obvious...."

  30. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.02.21

    The best thing is for educators to write their own texts. For example, SD American History teachers get together and write their text. They can publish them online for SD school districts. It would be a tremendous financial boon for small school districts.

    All the money saved by not buying textbooks could be spent once every 5-10 years on a summer meeting of perhaps a dozen secondary and post-secondary classroom teachers who write the texts. One summer creates a hard limit on how much time the task force has. Once they are done technical writers and IT types would put it into publishable shape and have it online by the following summer.

    I used to write my American History, Civics and SD History classes myself. Of course that was in the 1970s and the school administrators didn't need to know, plus, they weren't very curious.

    Okay Madizens, now go ahead and rip that off-the-top-of-my-head plan to pieces.

  31. WayneF 2015.02.21

    Oh, Donald Pay. If you oppose privatizing K-12 education, I'm with you. If you think that politicians are failing in their attempts to "improve" public education, I'm with you. If I understand your position on funding public schools ... I'm there. HB 1234 a monstrosity ... gotcha ... . I agree that there's a lot of "political nonsense" regarding public education, though the comment about sticking things in asses seems over the top.

    Where do you think CC standards came from ... Jupiter? Have you been drinking?

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