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SD Department of Education
Sept. 2020  
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Board adopts rules changes, begins content standards hearings, raises Praxis cut scores

The South Dakota Board of Education Standards adopted several changes to educator certification rules to allow additional flexibilities at its Sept. 21 meeting. Changes include the following:

  • Streamlining requirements for military personnel, including removal of application fee
  • Creation of inactive certificate: allows an individual to postpone normal renewal requirements until they decide to return to the profession
  • Change of renewal requirements for invalid certificate: allows someone who fails to renew on time to reinstate their certificate through normal requirements and payment of a $100 fee

“These changes for military personnel are one more way we can welcome military families to the state,” said Secretary of Education Ben Jones. “The department also expedites their certification applications and helps them through the process of becoming certified. We make every effort to ensure their professional transition is an easy one.”

The board also held the first of four public hearings on academic content standards in physical education, K-12 educational technology, foundations of career and technical education, and five CTE career clusters earlier today. These proposed standards will receive hearings at locations across the state this school year.

Content standards provide a road map for what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade. Standards provide consistency statewide, while instructional and curriculum decisions are made at the local school district level.

According to state law, the Board of Education Standards must review academic content standards on a cyclical basis. In addition, the board is required to host four public hearings as part of the standards review process. The remaining three hearings on these standards will be held throughout the 2020-21 school year at board meetings in Sioux Falls, Pierre, and Rapid City.

The proposed standards were developed by work groups, whose members consisted of K-12 educators, postsecondary representatives and other key stakeholders. The proposed standards and links for submitting public comment can be found at http://doe.sd.gov/ContentStandards/review.aspx.

The complete South Dakota Standards Revision and Adoption Timeline is available on the South Dakota Department of Education website.

Based on a recent review, the Department of Education recommended that cut scores for two secondary Praxis tests be raised. The decision to raise these scores is a result of a low cut score, compared to other states using this test, and a very high passage rate. The board adopted these changes:

  • World and US History: Content Knowledge – Current cut score is 135; newly adopted cut score is 146 (national average recommended cut score is 148)
  • Geography: Current cut score is 138; newly adopted cut score is 149 (national average recommended cut score is 151)


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