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Curriculum and Instruction

History and Social Science Standards Review Panel

The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) has directed the Department to consult with PK-12 educators, curriculum specialists, and others to revise the 2003 Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document. A public survey has been posted on the Department's website, and it provides an opportunity for Massachusetts stakeholders to give input on the standards. Panelists will be asked to review that input to recommend any needed revisions to the standards and to consider implications for the next-generation Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) assessment in history and social science.

Rationale for review of the history and social science standards:

  • Massachusetts reviews all curriculum frameworks on a periodic basis to ensure that they align with current research and developments in curriculum, instruction and assessment in the respective disciplines
  • Massachusetts has a unique opportunity to revise the learning standards as the state moves to an updated assessment system

Panel charge:

  • To articulate recommendations for revising the 2003 Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework

History Social Science Review Panel Members:

  • 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).

  • Current list of Panel Members

  • Commissioner's Memo to the BESE (September 2016)

Contact:

Please direct inquiries about the History & Social Science (HSS) Standards Panel to historycivics@doe.mass.edu.

Request for Public Comment:

As part of the revision process, the Department is making available a survey to encourage public comment. The responses to this survey will inform the work of the panel making recommendations for the revision of the standards. The survey will take approximately 10 - 20 minutes to complete. The Department plans to keep it open until February 6, 2017.

Later in the process, the Department will solicit public comment on the draft History & Social Science (HSS) standards when they become available. This input will help to refine the standards before the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) votes on adoption of the revised HSS standards.

Background:

As part of the response to recommendations from a report by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education's (BESE) Working Group on Civic Learning and Engagement, the Board voted to accept the Working Group's report and endorse the recommendations to initiate the process to revise the 2003 History and Social Science Curriculum Framework in concert with other initiatives to support improved civic education, engagement and learning.

Overview of the review process:

Proposed timeline and budget estimate for the revision of the Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework:

Anticipated Timeline:

ActionTimeline
Recruit review panelists; solicit input/ initial public surveyJuly/August 2016
Phase 1: Review panel meetings (develop broad recommendations for changes; direction setting)Begin January 2017
Phase 1: Regional focus groups on overview of vision and design featuresTo be determined
Phase 1: Progress report presented to the BoardTo be determined
Phase 2: Review panel meetings (revising and reviewing draft standards)To be determined
Phase 3: Draft revised standards presented to the BoardTo be determined
Phase 3: Draft revised standards made available for public commentTo be determined
Phase 3: Final draft of revised standards presented to Board for public comment and adoptionTo be determined
Phase 4: Dissemination of standards; district curriculum adjustment and implementationTo be determined
Phase 5: Development of state assessment/first administrationTo be determined
Phase 6: Incorporate HSS assessment as part of Competency Determination (CD)To be determined

Budget:

FY16 — Phase 1
Anticipated FY 16 Total: $10 - 20k
  • Revision of standards — Funding to: recruit panelists, conduct outreach for initial input from the field
  • Assessment — no additional cost anticipated
FY17 — Phases 1, 2, 5
Anticipated FY17 Total: Revision of Framework $250 - 300k/ Assessment TBD
  • Revision of standards — Funding to: convene review panel meetings and regional focus/public feedback groups, develop progress report for Board;
    • Hire staff/consultants, conduct research, draft initial standards, establish meeting space, convene annual HSS conference
  • Assessment — some costs incurred as assessment development commences — $TBD
    • Hire staff
FY18 — Phases 2, 3, 4, 5
Anticipated FY18 Total: Revision of Framework $250 - 300k/ Assessment TBD
  • Revision of standards — Funding to: convene review panel meetings, draft revised standards-Board /public comment, make additional revisions, adopt revised standards; fund dissemination/implementation/professional development
    • Fund staff salaries/consultants, draft revised standards, establish meeting space, convene annual HSS conference
  • Assessment — item development, pilot — $TBD
    • Fund staff salaries, item development; pilot assessment
FY19 — Phases 4, 5
Anticipated FY19 Total: Revision of Framework $350 - 400k/ Assessment TBD
  • Revision of standards — Funding to: support dissemination/implementation/professional development
    • Fund staff salaries/consultants, establish History-Social Science Fellows program to support dissemination/educator professional development, convene annual HSS conference
  • Assessment — item development, field test — $TBD
    • Fund staff salaries, item development, professional development - more funds required if assessments are locally scored
FY20 — Phases 4, 5
Anticipated FY20 Total: Revision of Framework $350 - 400k/ Assessment TBD
  • Revision of standards — Funding to: support dissemination/implementation/ professional development
    • Fund staff salaries/consultants, continue History -Social Science Fellows program to support dissemination/educator professional development, convene annual HSS conference
  • Assessment — first full administration — $TBD
    • Fund staff salaries, item development, professional development - more funds required if assessments are locally scored

Civic Learning and Engagement:

The Department currently has the following new initiatives underway to support improved civic engagement and learning:

  • Revised Definition of College and Career Readiness Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document to include readiness for civic life

  • Civic Learning and Engagement Task Force
    The Department has enlisted partners that include teachers, as well as education and community organizations to create a Civic Learning and Engagement Task Force. The main goal of the Task Force is to seek input from the field on recommendations for steps that the Department may take to strengthen civic learning and engagement for students. Your comments on the Feedback Form on Civic Learning and Engagement will help to achieve this goal.

  • Civics Literacy Conference 2016

  • The Second Annual Civics Literacy Conference

  • Revision of the 2003 Massachusetts History and Social Science Curriculum Framework

Related Resources:

Commissioner's Memos to the BESE:

View HTML Page
Updated Response to Recommendations from Working Group on Civic Learning and Engagement
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Approved Massachusetts Definition of College and Career Readiness and Civic Preparation
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Civic Learning and Engagement: Progress Report including Proposed Timetable for Review and Revision of History/Social Science Curriculum Framework and Related Student Assessment

Reports:

Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Working Group on Civic Learning and Engagement: 2015 Report
Download PDF Document  Download MS WORD Document
Civic Learning and Engagement: Department Action Plan
View External Link
Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools report, Guardian of Democracy: the Civic Mission of Schools


Last Updated: January 13, 2017
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