On Monday, the South Dakota lawmakers propelled an initiative offering an optional social studies curriculum for K-12 and university students rooted in the subjects of American exceptionalism and the founding ideals of the United States.
Lawmakers in other states of Florida, Tennessee and South Dakota have shown their support in the programs offering similar education models like the Michigan-based program from conservative Hillsdale College. However, a state-funded program would be presented by the Center for American Exceptionalism out of Black Hills State University, which is South Dakota’s largest teacher preparation institute.
The House education committee passed the bill and recommended it to proceed to the state budget-making process. If the bill is enacted, it possibly would be the first of its kind that would engage the center in developing the courses of public university courses comparing the U.S. with socialist and communist nations. It will also oversee the K-12 and civic curriculum from the Center for Civic Education, named as “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Program.”
Republican Rep, Scott Odenbach, the prime sponsor of the program emphasized that the $150,000 bill aims to balance critical thinking with a love for the United States. Mr. Scott also asserted that as the students graduate from the institutions, they should love America. Nicholas Drummond, the political science professor at Black Hills State University applauded the center’s initiative of creating a unified history by generating hope for the future based on founding ideals. He pointed out the fact that the country is passing through two paths—one of warring identity politics and excessive individualism. Professor Nicholas said, “I spent far too much time studying the decline of this country, (It) leads us away from a conception of national interest in the common good.”