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The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education

Update on Department Support for History, Social Science, and Civics Education

To:
Members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
From:
Jeffrey C. Riley, Commissioner
Date:
May 10, 2019

At the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Board) meeting on May 21, 2019, Heather Peske, Senior Associate Commissioner for the Center for Instructional Support, and Michelle Ryan, History and Social Science Content Support Lead, will facilitate a discussion about the implementation of the 2018 History and Social Science Curriculum Framework.1 The Board will hear from a panel of educators who will share their experiences implementing the standards in their respective districts.

Department Support for History, Social Science, and Civics Education

Adopted by the Board on June 26, 2018, the 2018 History and Social Science Curriculum Framework sets forth the skills, competencies, and knowledge in history and social science, including civics, that students should attain at each grade or grade cluster from pre-K-12. Specific features of the Framework include Content Standards outlining what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or grade cluster in history and social science, including civics; Practice Standards designed to reflect the work of political scientists, economists, geographers, historians, and ordinary citizens; Literacy Standards drawn from the 2017 English Language Arts and Literacy Curriculum Framework; and a full-year civics course in grade 8, including coursework in news/media literacy.

Signed into law by Governor Baker on November 8, 2018, Chapter 296 of the Acts of 20182 is a law to promote and enhance civic engagement and support implementation of the Framework. Among other provisions, the law calls for each public school serving students in grade 8, and each public high school, to provide not less than one student-led, non-partisan civics project consistent with the Framework for each student.

The Department expects districts to begin implementing the 2018 History and Social Science Curriculum Framework in the 2019-2020 school year. At that time, student-led civics projects should also begin in many districts, with students in all middle and high schools doing projects by 2020-2021. In anticipation of stakeholder interest, the Department foresees collecting information on local implementation of civics projects beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.

We look forward to discussing this with the Board and hearing from the panel of educators at our meeting on May 21.

Attachment

Download PowerPoint File
Board Meeting Implementation Slides



1 http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/current.html

2 https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2018/Chapter296

3 http://www.doe.mass.edu/grants/2019/awards/590.html

4 https://www.facinghistory.org/

5 https://democraticknowledge.fas.harvard.edu/

6 https://www.inquired.org/

7 https://generationcitizen.org/