No requirement to report tech literacy in 2011-12
The South Dakota Department of Education recently learned that the U.S. Department of Education will not require states to report 8th grade technology literacy for the 2011-12 school year.

2012 Legislative Session begins this week
The South Dakota State Legislature will convene for the 2012 session beginning this week. The opening session will begin Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 1 p.m., when Governor Dennis Daugaard will give his State of the State address before both houses. CLICK HERE to listen in to his address.

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Secretary's Column
By Dr. Melody Schopp
Department of Education

New year brings good time to reflect, recharge and rediscover passion for education

As leaders, we are faced with choices and challenges every day Ė some big, some small.

Perhaps our biggest challenge is deciding what type of leader we want to be: Will we have the courage to do whatís right, even if itís not the easiest or most acceptable route? Will we have the strength to ask the tough questions and to listen to answers that we may not want to hear? Will we have the passion and drive necessary to bring our vision to reality? And will we be confident enough in ourselves to be flexible and to learn from our mistakes?

The arrival of a new year offers an opportunity to reflect on our own leadership skills. It is an ideal time to recommit to those students who walk through your doors every day. After all, they are what it is all about! It is an ideal time to recommit yourself to being that strong, positive role model for the people who work for you. It is an ideal time to reignite your own passion for the education process and the tremendous benefits it generates for those who engage in lifelong learning. Personally, I know that my time with family and friends over the last few weeks has given me renewed energy. I hope the same holds true for you.

Too often, as leaders, we get bogged down in the day-to-day realities that can drain our energy. I encourage all of, in 2012, to avoid getting bogged down, and rather, to stay focused on pursuing those big dreams that have the potential to change lives.

Go out on a limb. Itís the only way to grow. If the limb breaks, you may discover that you can fly!

Best wishes for a healthy and happy 2012.