Secretary DeVos Approves South Dakota's ESSA State Plan

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Secretary DeVos Approves South Dakota's ESSA State Plan

January 16, 2018

Washington — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today announced the approval of South Dakota's consolidated state plan under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

"South Dakota's plan met the requirements of the law, and so I am happy to approve it," said Secretary DeVos. "This plan should not be seen as a ceiling, but as a foundation upon which South Dakota can improve education for its students."

Allowing states more flexibility in how they deliver education to students is at the core of ESSA. Each state crafted a plan that it feels will best offer educational opportunities to meet the needs of the state and its students. The following are some of the unique elements from South Dakota's approved plan as highlighted by the state:

  • Promotes work-based learning in the state through a pilot program in which participating schools will utilize a framework of career advising, early postsecondary opportunities, and work-based learning experiences to pave the way for students to make informed decisions about their postsecondary and career plans.
  • Ensures all high school students graduate ready for college, career and life by assessing readiness and measuring progress towards a post-high-school credential.

"South Dakota's plan reflects the state goal of ensuring that every student is provided the opportunity to be successful after high school," said South Dakota Secretary of Education Don Kirkegaard. "While we have set rigorous expectations, the plan also recognizes that there are many ways to prepare students for success in postsecondary, careers and life. South Dakota aims to provide flexibility for local school districts in working with their students, while still ensuring high expectations and accountability for all."