"We're paying our teachers right now as if they were all average. Why shouldn't they then perform average?"I wonder whatever happened to these people to think that teachers in this state are do horrible, and then discovered a possible answer when looking at one of the most powerful influences on SD GOP: ALEC.
The 18th ALEC report card gives states a letter grade. South Dakota gets one of the lowest grades in the ALEC report: D+. Only three other states received a lower grade (D) by ALEC: North Dakota, Montana, and Nebraska. That's right, according to ALEC, states like Arkansas, Louisiana, and Washington D.C. (I know that is not a state) received much higher scores than South Dakota by ALEC, yet South Dakota outperformed each of those significantly on the NAEP for 4th and 8th grade reading exams (provided in the ALEC report).
South Dakota ranks 24th for fourth graders and 9th for eighth graders.
Arkansas gets a grade of C, yet ranks 35th in fourth grade and 36th in eighth grade.
Louisiana gets a grade of B, yet ranks 50th in fourth grade and 49th in eighth grade.
Washington D.C. gets a grade of B-, yet ranks 51st in both fourth and eight grade.
How do states like South Dakota, North Dakota, and Nebraska fail? We don't allow for charter schools, vouchers, and have not implemented merit pay and getting rid of tenure (which is really a continuing contract). So the next time people like Hal Wick, Manny Steele, Dan Lederman and more than another dozen of GOP members say that SD education isn't working, ask them why are they listening for ALEC and not South Dakota's teachers and school administrators first.