Published Online: January 3, 2006

South Dakota's State Highlights

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Vital Statistics
Public schools 734
Public school teachers 9,245
Pre-K-12 students 125,537
Annual pre-K-12 expenditures $0.9 billion
Minority students 15.1%
Children in poverty 15%
Students with disabilities 13.6%
English-language learners 3.6%

Summary of Grades

South Dakota scores above average in only one of the four graded policy categories in Quality Counts.

Performing near the national average in standards and accountability, the state could improve on its assessment and accountability measures. For example, South Dakota does not sanction or provide assistance to all low-performing schools or reward high-performing or improving schools. However, South Dakota receives high marks for its academic standards.

South Dakota receives its lowest grade in teacher quality, ranking near the bottom in the nation. There is room from improvement on teacher assessments and accountability for teacher quality. For example, prospective teachers are not required to pass tests of basic skills or subject-specific pedagogy to earn an initial license.

South Dakota scores about average in school climate. In the area of school safety, the state loses points because it lacks specific penalties for incidents of school violence. It also is one of only 10 states without a charter school law.

The state posts an above-average score in resource equity. Its score on the wealth-neutrality measure indicates that poorer districts in the state tend to have higher per-pupil funding levels than do wealthier districts. South Dakota is one of only 10 states in which this pattern is found.

State Policy Report Card
South Dakota Avg. State Score
Standards and accountability B- B-
Efforts to improve teacher quality D+ C+
School climate C+ C+
Resource equity C+ C
Overall Grade C C+
Quality Counts Grading Breakdown
Standards and accountability Points awardedPoints possible
Standards 37.92 40
Assessment 21.82 30
School accountability 21 30
81 100
Efforts to improve teacher quality Points awardedPoints possible
Teacher education and qualifications 25.81 35
Teacher assessment 19.5 30
Professional support and training 13.5 20
Accountability for teacher quality 9.6 15
68 100
School climate Points awardedPoints possible
Engagement 11.17 15
School safety 15.42 20
Parent involvement 12.15 15
Choice and autonomy 15 20
Class size 8.33 10
School size 10 10
School facilities 5 10
77 100
Resource equity Points awardedPoints possible
Wealth-neutrality score 33.33 33.3
McLoone Index 28.33 33.3
Coefficient of variation 16.67 33.3
78 100
Note: Details may not sum to totals due to rounding.

Vol. 25, Issue 17

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