In the past few days I have heard from several school administrators and teachers from South Dakota who convinced me that a few things need to be corrected.
First, the HNN headline (which I wrote) is misleading. South Dakota has not "dumped" early American history entirely. It is still being taught at the K-8 level and it also appears to still be offered at the 9-12 grade level as one option to fulfill a history requirement.
In other words, my sentence that reads "In case you haven't heard, the South Dakota Board of Education has dumped early American history from its K-12 curriculum" is inaccurate. It should read "In case you haven't heard, the South Dakota Board of Education will no longer require early American history in its 9-12 grade curriculum."
On September 28, 2015, the piece was picked up by Raw Story who ran it under the headline "South Dakota no longer requires kids to learn about the Constitution, Native Americans, or slavery." I did not write this title. It is only partially true. If high school students do not choose to study early American history to fulfill their history requirements they will not learn about slavery or examine the Constitution as a historical document. It is very possible, however, that they would will still learn about Native Americans in another American history course.
I apologize to the South Dakota educational community for this error, but I do still think the general idea of the article still stands. It is a shame that South Dakota is no longer requiring high school students to learn early American history.
I think the situation is summed up best by Sheena Louise Roteman's piece at Indian Country Media Network. Here is a taste: