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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Secretary of Education Don Kirkegaard announced the state has officially replaced its Common Core standards.

But a newspaper analysis by the Argus Leader indicated that nearly 75 percent of the new South Dakota State Standards approved last week by the state Board of Education were taken verbatim or almost verbatim from Common Core.

Math standards matched Common Core at a slightly higher rate than English overall, but both subjects were between 60 and 65 percent identical to former standards, according to the analysis.

The last time South Dakota updated its reading, writing and math standards was when it adopted Common Core in 2010. Common Core standards have received pushback throughout the state and efforts to remove them have been thwarted over the years.

Two parents sued Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the state in 2015, alleging that South Dakota’s adoption of the Common Core standards was illegal. A judge ruled against them.

State legislators proposed a bill last year that would’ve replaced Common Core with standards from Massachusetts, but it failed in the Senate Education Committee.

Nicole Osmundson is a Sioux Falls parent who helped review the new standards because of her skepticism of Common Core.

“We took every single standard, looked at it — it was painstaking at times, to be honest — and fit it to the needs of South Dakota students,” Osmundson said.

She said if the standards mirror what they were before, it’s because they’re good standards.

Kirkegaard said it’s not unusual for standards to look similar after a revision. He said the focus should be on the changes that are unique to the state.

“Our standards are going to be similar to standards across the nation, but they really are ours,” he said.

The new standards will be fully implemented this fall.


Information from: Argus Leader,