Background: New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework

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The New York State Board of Regents Reform agenda is centered on ensuring that all students graduate prepared for postsecondary education and career opportunities. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is committed to continuous improvement in teaching and learning to make that goal a reality.

Each instructional content area must include standards and frameworks that describe the knowledge and skills required for students to progress toward College and Career readiness. NYSED has taken steps to align the current social studies learning standards (United States and New York State History; World History; Geography; Economics; and Civics, Citizenship, and Government) with the requirements of the Common Core State Standards. This work has been developed in consultation with teachers and leaders in K-12 schools and higher education institutions. The draft New York State K-8 Social Studies Framework was posted in September 2012 for public review and comment.  A survey was conducted during September and early October and results were reviewed by the Social Studies Content Advisory Panel in October.

At the September 2012 meeting, the Board of Regents discussed a requirement for dividing the current Global History and Geography course of study into two units of study. The Social Studies Content Advisory Panel met in October and discussed this proposal. At the November 2012 meeting, the Board directed staff to seek public input on the proposed changes. A limited survey was conducted in December and the results supported a chronological approach. This information was reviewed with the Board of Regents at the January 2013 meeting and the draft New York State 9-12 Social Studies Framework was developed accordingly.  The draft of 9-12 Social Studies Framework is structured with a chronological approach such that Grade 9 addresses the Neolithic Revolution to the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution (approximately 1765) and Grade 10 addresses 1750 to the present. As directed by the Board of Regents at the January, 2013 meeting, the draft 9-12 Social Studies Framework was posted for public review and comment in February, 2013, with the public comment period ending March. The Content Advisory Panel met in March, reviewed the survey results and made recommendations for revisions to the draft framework.

In June, the National Council for the Social Studies released a draft of The College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework which was conceptualized by the Council of Chief State School Officials in 2010, and a final version of this document was released in September 2013. This document was developed to serve as guidance for enhancing the rigor of K-12 civics, economics, geography and history. This document presented the Inquiry Arc, which is now incorporated in the Revised Draft New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework. The Inquiry Arc provides an overall approach to increasing rigor by developing questions and planning inquiries, applying disciplinary concepts and tools, evaluating sources and using of evidence in order to communicate conclusions and take informed action.

The Content Advisory Panel met in November to review the revised Framework which incorporated recommended changes including fewer key ideas and the content specifications, as well as the C3 Inquiry Arc. A second revision draft New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework was made available for public comment in December 2013, with the comment period closing in January, 2014. The Content Advisory Panel met in January to review the feedback provided by the survey and made recommendations for final revisions to the document. The Framework was submitted to the Board of Regents for discussion at the March, 2014 meeting and posted for further comments. With some additional revisions, the New York State K-12 Framework was adopted by the Board of Regents at the April, 2014 meeting.

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