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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

History and Social Science Curriculum Framework Review Panel

Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
Mitchell D. Chester, Ed.D., Commissioner
September 16, 2016


Summary of the Panel Review and Selection Process

In October 2015, I responded to the recommendations of the Board's Working Group on Civic Learning and Engagement by launching a number of initiatives to support history-social studies education and civic learning and engagement, including a plan to review and revise the 2003 Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework. In the spring of 2016, the Department announced the opportunity for educators and community members to apply to serve on the History and Social Science Curriculum Framework Review Panel. Application information was posted on the Department's website and disseminated broadly through schools, districts, and institutions of higher education; over 50 educator and history and social science professional organizations; professional networks; and the Civic Engagement and Learning Task Force.

The Department has selected 43 panelists to serve on the History and Social Science Curriculum Framework Review Panel. The panelists, selected from more than 160 applicants, bring significant knowledge, teaching experience, and expertise in various areas of history and disciplines of social science; background in aspects of education such as curriculum and assessment development; and expertise in teaching various ages and populations of students, including those with disabilities and English learners. They are broadly representative of various geographic regions (e.g., western MA), types of district (e.g., urban), types of school (e.g., vocational-technical), professional roles (e.g., classroom teacher), and professional organizations (e.g., MA Council for the Social Studies). A list of the panelists and their respective affiliations is attached.

The Department plans to work with the panel as a whole, as well as divide the panel into working sub-committees by content area (e.g., economics) and grade span (e.g., middle school). While each sub-committee will include panelists from PK-12 and higher education as well as representatives from nonprofit and community organizations, the majority of panelists are educators currently serving in PK-12 schools and districts in the Commonwealth.

The Department will also invite public comment on the current Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework via a web-form, and will provide those comments to the panel. There will be further opportunities for public comment later in the process, after the revised History and Social Science standards have been drafted (currently anticipated for the spring of 2018).

Next Steps

The panel will meet for three full-day sessions between January 1-June 30, 2017. The first phase of the panel's work, during the winter and spring of 2017, will be to develop and present to me a summary of proposed recommendations for revising the Framework. I will present recommendations to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. Based on the Board's direction, the panel will begin the second phase of its work during the fall and winter of the 2017-18 school year, focusing on rewriting the learning standards. I will keep the Board informed about the framework revision process and schedule.

Senior Associate Commissioner Heather Peske and other staff members will be at the Board meeting on September 27 to answer your questions.


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HSS Standards Review Panel Members and Affiliations

Last Updated: September 20, 2016
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