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Indigenous history, culture cut from South Dakota standards

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 03: U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD) speaks during a news conference February 3, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Noem spoke at the news conference along with House GOP leaders to discuss issues related to jobs and responded to the latest unemployment figure, a rate of 8.3 percent, the lowest in three years, that was released this morning. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Teachers, educators and other South Dakota citizens charged with crafting new state social studies standards say Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration deleted many elements intended to bolster students’ understanding of Native American history and culture from their draft. Members of the working group said Tuesday they were caught by surprise when the department released the new document last week. They say changes made to the draft they submitted in late July gave it a political edge they had tried to avoid, instead aligning with the Republican governor’s rhetoric on what she calls patriotic education. The Department of Education has not responded to a request for comment.

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