The most problematic pressing issues facing my school district and almost
every school districts in South Dakota is what I call,"Leave No Child
Untested" legislation. I teach in a district that is primarly Native
American Lakota Sioux. We are also the third poorest county in the States.
We have a lot of poverty and all the educational problems that can go with
it including a 70% High School drop out rate. Our district has gone through
a modernization process in which progressive thinking has embraced whole
language and current best practices in teaching. All this effort has now
been put on a hold so we can attempt to meet the new testing mandates. If
mandates cannot be meet, the schools are face with budget cuts, which we
felt a 20% cut this coming year. If budget cuts run deeper in the following
years we will be faced with doing away with Arts and PE programs along with
many electives in our High School. Being the Art Teacher, this effects me
directly and it robs the students here of the hopes of a better education.