When and Where Are the California History-Social Science Framework Rollout Sessions?


California History-Social Science Framework Rollout Dates and Locations


Join local teachers, administrators, and teacher educators for the first in a series of programs designed to introduce California’s History-Social Science Framework. These roll-out events are the result of collaboration between the California Department of Education (CDE), the State Board of Education (SBE), the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), and in partnership with the California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP).

Registration fee is $125 per participant. Registration includes continental breakfast, lunch, and materials.

March 2, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
California Council for the Social Studies Pre-Conference Event
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Sacramento

May 2, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Los Angeles County Office of Education

May 4, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Tulare County Office of Education

November 1, 2017
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Los Angeles County Office of Education

The agenda will be sent to all registrants prior to the meeting. These interactive and engaging one-day conferences across California offer time to collaborate with other educators, as well as state, regional, and local HSS leaders. Participants will leave with classroom-ready instructional materials, and a full-day examination of the instructional shifts, updated and expanded content, aligning HSS instruction with the ELA/ELD Framework, and inquiry-based instruction across grade levels.

Workshops and Sessions include:

  • US History (for 5th, 8th, and

    11th gradeteachers)

  • World History (for 6th, 7th, and

    10th gradeteachers)

  • K-5 Inquiry
  • 6-12 Inquiry
  • K-5 Literacy
  • 6-12 Literacy
  • Economics
  • Civics / Citizenship
  • Geography
  • Environmental Literacy
  • Ethnic Studies
  • Professional Learning in History-Social Science
  • Assessment in History-Social Science
  • Access & Equity
  • Administrator Session

Learn more and register today at:

How to Understand the State Board of Education Agenda

Summary/Review of California State Board of Education (SBE) Agenda for Sept 8-9 2016

by Jim Hill, Government Relations Chairperson Emeritus of California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS)


Teaching History-Social Studies Matters Teaching 9/11  Is it in on the Agenda? Read more...

As in previous SBE agenda review memos, the focus here is on issues relevant to the social studies community. Descriptions of agenda items will include my own observations and interpretations in brackets and [Italics] also in separate paragraphs starting with ‘comment’.

The agenda has fewer separate items than is usually the case, and only three are preliminarily scheduled for Sept 8, implying that there will be considerable discussion of at least some of the three.  The key item of interest to the social studies community appears to be Item 1, which recommends SBE adoption of a number of criteria for the new state accountability system that intends to replace and expand  the [much loved] Academic Performance Index of years past.  

In January 2016 the Agenda stated,

"The SBE envisions a new integrated and comprehensive accountability system that supports continuous improvement." (Required by Federal Regulation)

Note that Federal legislation, the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) titled Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that replaced No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires states to have accountability plans comparing districts and schools.  Hence comparison data must be used to meet this requirement.)

While social studies as a content area is not included in any of the recommendations, Item 1 very specifically states that the accountability process and design are not finished; these recommendations are the ‘initial phase’ and more is yet to be developed, especially in what is called the ‘local indicator’ category. [This is good news for the social studies community.] 

The challenge now is determining what kind of information Local Education Authority LEAs can and or must use in their Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) yearly reports.  The eight priorities that apply to LEAs are in summary:

None of these measures except the one on SBAC test scores reference subject content areas.

  1. The degree to which the teachers of the school district are appropriately assigned in accordance with Section 44258.9 and fully credentialed in the subject areas,
  2. Implementation of the academic content and performance standards ,
  3. Parental involvement,
  4. Pupil achievement,
  5. Pupil engagement,
  6. School climate,  
  7. The extent to which pupils have access to, and are enrolled in, a broad course of study that includes all of the subject areas described in Section 51210.  (Ed Code listing subject areas that must be taught)
  8. Pupil outcomes if available in the above subject areas.
Bishop Union High School student Lara Stickells 17, left, explains her two dimensional display to judges E. J. Renner, Anne Everton, and Dave Kahl during the National History Day California state finals.

Bishop Union High School student Lara Stickells 17, left, explains her display to judges E. J. Renner, Anne Everton, and Dave Kahl during the National History Day California State Finals.

The legislation includes specific measures for some of these priorities; these can be viewed at the CDE website if interested. These measures are now mostly called ‘statewide indicators’ because stateside data, comparable across districts, exists or will exist. 

Examples of such a statewide measures include:

  • drop out rate;
  • percentage of students scoring ‘3’ or above on one or more Advanced Placement exams.
  • performance on SBAC tests. 
  • Others are listed under various priority areas.

The SBE recommends adopting only a few ‘local indicator’ criteria for the LCAP rubric. 

The recommendation to the SBE is to adopt these measures with recommended cut points on the master LCAP rubric that the state will use to judge LEA performance on the priority areas.

The challenge for  the SBE has been and is to determine additional measures for LEAs, called ‘local performance indicators’ for many of these priority areas.  Some areas will have both statewide and local indicators, some only local indicators. Student learning outcomes are not generally addressed in the statewide indicators, except [possibly] test scores. Some of the priority areas such as school climate, engagement, pupil achievement, and pupil outcomes in subject areas do not have statewide data available. This is true also for the ‘college and career readiness’ legislated measure.

The local indicator issue is addressed in Attachment Three to Item One.

The SBE recommends adopting only a few ‘local indicator’ criteria for the LCAP rubric.  These include: (edited) from Attachment Three to Item One:

  • “Appropriately Assigned Teachers, Access to Curriculum-Aligned Instructional Materials, and Safe, Clean and Functional School Facilities (Priority 1)….
    • Evidence: LEA would use locally available information, including data currently reported through the School Accountability Report Card (SARC), and determine whether it reported the results to its local governing board and through the local data selection option in the evaluation rubrics…..
    • Examples of measures that could be included within the local data selection option in the evaluation rubrics to support LEAs in reporting progress are:
      • Number/percentage of misassignments of teachers of English learners, total teacher misassignments, and vacant teacher positions.
      • Number/percentage of students without access to their own copies of standards-aligned instructional materials for use at school and at home.
  • Implementation of State Academic Standards (Priority 2)….
    • Evidence: LEA would determine whether it annually measured its progress, which may include use of a self-assessment tool or selection from a menu of local measures that will be included in the evaluation rubrics web-based user interface, and reported the results to its local governing board and through the local data selection option in the evaluation rubrics…..
    • Examples of prompts that could be included in a self-assessment instrument for this LCFF priority are included below:
      • How would you rate the strength of your district’s progress in implementing California’s new standards in the following areas?
      • How would you rate the preparedness of the following district and school staff to implement California’s English Language Arts, English language development, mathematics, and science standards?
  • Parent Engagement (Priority 3)
    • Evidence: LEA would determine whether it annually measured its progress, which may include use of a self-assessment tool or selection from a menu of local measures that will be included in the evaluation rubrics web-based user interface, and reported the results to its local governing board and through the local data selection option in the evaluation rubrics.
    • Examples of measures that could be included in a self-assessment tool or tracked and reported through the local data selection option of the evaluation rubrics include:
      • Schools and districts have systems and structures in place to provide parents/caregivers with the interpretation and translation services they need to be full partners and participants.
      • Percent of teachers and administrators who have participated in one or more professional development opportunities related to engaging parents/caregivers in decision-making.
      • Percent of parents/caregivers serving on school/district committees who report feeling that their input is respected and valued and reflected in school/district plans.
  • School Climate – Local Climate Surveys (Priority 6)….
    • Evidence: LEA would determine whether it administered a survey as    specified and reported the results to its local governing board and through the local data selection option in the evaluation rubrics…..
    • Examples of the type of information that LEAs could provide through the local data selection option in the evaluation rubrics include:
      • Brief narrative description of key findings, including differences in results among student groups.
      • For surveys that provide an overall score, such as the School Climate Index for the California Healthy Kids Survey, report of an overall score for all student and student groups. 
      • Analysis of a subset of specific items on a survey that are particularly relevant to student safety and connectedness. 

 These ‘local indicators’ are only a beginning. More indicators are to be researched and developed.

 Comment: The indicators listed in Attachment Three do not, in my opinion, have much to do with student achievement and/or learning. Years ago, the Department’s Program Quality Review (PQR) assessment of school quality focused on student work. A school review team would shadow randomly selected students, interview them, look at the work they did. So far, what is proposed in Attachment Three for local indicators of student achievement does not come anywhere close to PQR review.

Attachment Three seems to tacitly admit the weakness of the indicators proposed so far, however.

Item 1 on the SBE agenda recommends that the SBE:

  • “Direct CDE staff to complete further development work on the College/Career Indicator, including student course-taking information, and options to measure access to a broad course of study (Priority 7) as a state indicator, for the next phase of the evaluation rubrics.
  • Direct CDE staff to further develop the content for the statements of model practices and links to external resources so those components can be incorporated into the web-based user interface in the future.
  • Approve the proposed annual process for the SBE to review the evaluation rubrics to determine whether newly available data and/or research support the inclusion of a new state or local performance indicator or substituting such an indicator for an existing indicator. “

Comment: The SBE is looking for measures to be used at the local level to measure academic learning, college and career readiness, achievement, engagement, parent involvement.  Agenda Item 1 says several times that this set of rubrics is to be considered as ‘the initial phase of evaluation rubrics’ for LEAs, and that more is to be done.

LEA's Could Highlight Student Work in the Area of Social Studies

  • The SBE could require LEAs to use student learning outcome data from ‘performance’ activities in some of those priority areas. At the same time, there is nothing blocking a district from writing its LCAP plan to include student outcome data in several of the priority areas. A social studies activity, for example, a citizenship project done by all 6th graders, or a history day project done by all 11th graders, in a LEA would produce learning results that could be used in several priority areas. Parent and student survey data results dealing with student engagement during the time of the activity could be reported in those categories as well. Social studies organizations could approach individual LEAs with such proposals.


  • Social studies organizations should consider approaching individual LEAs with proposals for using student outcome data from content specific performance activities as a ‘local indicator’ in the yearly LCAP report.  Specifically connecting a performance activity to the ‘college and career readiness’ strand of the Common Core English Language Arts Standards as well as the appropriate History-Social Science Standards would add weight to any such proposal.


  • At the same time, letters from individuals, organizations, parents, to SBE encouraging the use of student outcome data may help the SBE add such requirements to its developing LCAP rubric. This process is not finished. And it will not work out the way the social studies community would like unless the social studies community is involved locally and at the SBE.

Jim Hill

Former Chair, Government Relations Committee, CCSS

Department of Education faculty member and faculty member of Educational Leadership Doctoral Program, California State University, San Bernardino (Ret)

July 7th update

Thanks to Jim Hill for allowing SJVCSS to print his analysis of the State Board Agenda. Teachers that are informed about public policies are better equipped to advocate for the need for a stronger social studies program k-12 with their local district and community leaders. The social studies have been marginalized in k-12 public education, but teachers uniting together with administrators and community members who understand its importance can ensure that measures are adopted to promote the quality teaching of this subject area.


San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies SJVCSS provides professional networking opportunities both on and offline for social studies teachers in Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Madera and Mariposa Counties. The council advocates keeping history-social science as an important part of the core curriculum in public education K-12.

California Department of Education HSS August 2016 Newsletter


History-Social Science Curriculum Framework (HSS Framework)

The State Board of Education (SBE) voted to approve the Draft California HSS Framework, contingent on additional minor edits, on July 14, 2016. This is great news for California schools, as it will provide long-awaited guidance on updating and upgrading history and social science instruction in California.

The updated Framework:

  • will give students access to the latest historical research and help them learn about California’s rich diversity and the contributions of people and groups who may not have received appropriate recognition in the past;
  • adds stronger emphasis on civic learning and aligns with the recommendations set forth by the Task Force on K–12 Civic Learning in their 2014 publication, Revitalizing K–12 Civic Learning in California: A Blueprint for Action, and
  • includes more than 20 classroom examples that show teachers how they can integrate instruction to build students' knowledge and skills in HSS, literacy, and English language development.

The CDE and external colleagues are currently planning activities designed to support the rollout of the new framework. More information will be available soon!

2017 History–Social Science Instructional Materials Adoption

The application for reviewers for the 2017 History­–Social Science Adoption is now live on the CDE Instructional Materials Web site, under the tab “Reviewer Info.”

  • Please share this information with anyone you know who might be willing to serve as a reviewer.
  • Applications will be accepted through October 19, 2016.

New CDE HSS Education Programs Consultant

The Professional Learning Support Division is pleased to welcome Janet Mann, the new HSS consultant in the Literacy, History, and Arts Leadership Office. Janet brings over 25 years of experience in secondary education, having taught all the required Social Science courses and many electives such as AP Human Geography, Psychology, and Sociology in California public schools.

Keeping up on subject matter content as well as instructional strategies is a “hobby” for Janet as she participates in institutes most summers, including Street Law, the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, the Foundation for Teaching Economics, and the National College Testing Association. She is a member of the ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) and the APA (American Psychological Association).  If not at an institute, she travels, sometimes with students, and has visited over 20 countries. This includes a Fulbright exchange to South Africa.

  • At the CDE, Janet works closely with colleagues in the Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division, the Superintendent’s Civic Education Initiative, and many outside organizations to support professional learning activities around the new framework and civic learning blueprint. She will also be actively involved in the California Global Education Network, along with many other HSS-related activities.

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Update: Using Federal Funds to Improve Student Outcomes in Humanities

In a Key Policy Letter from the U.S. Department of Education, educators nationwide now have additional guidance and examples of how to leverage existing federal funds, for the 2016–2017 school year, for Humanities Education, which includes social studies areas of history, civics, government, economics, and geography.

  • Stay informed on the ESSA and the development of the California State Plan by visiting the CDE ESSA Web page and subscribing to the CDE’s e-mail newsletter by sending a blank e-mail message to join-essa@mlist.cde.ca.gov. 

MyVote Student Mock Election

California’s MyVote Student Mock Election program allows middle and high school students the opportunity to research and vote for real candidates and ballot measures.

  • The mock election will take place on October 11, 2016
  • School registration is available on the Secretary of State’s Web site. Early registration ensures a school receives a free tool kit, which includes research materials, mock ballots, “I Voted” stickers, and more.

Assembly Bill 1817 (Statutes of 2014) designates the last two full weeks in April and September as High School Voter Education Weeks and encourages school districts to conduct voter registration and education drives on campus and in classrooms during these four weeks.

The Kinsey Collection: Historical African American Art on Tour

The California-based Kinsey African American Art & History Collection is receiving national recognition through its recent exhibitions, including the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington D.C., the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, and an ongoing exhibit at the American Heritage Gallery at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida.

  • The most recent exhibition in California was at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History last spring. The next exhibit in California will be opening on January 20th, 2017 at California State University, San Bernardino.


The 12th Annual Constitution Day Conference: Resources for Teachers, K–12
Saturday, September 10, 2016
8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Simi Valley, California

Conference includes:

  • A tour of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, the Discovery Center & Air Force One
  • Constitution Scholar Series
  • Interactive teacher workshop sessions and
  • FREE LESSONS from sponsor organizations
  • Showcase featuring recipients of the California Civic Learning Award

Register at http://cms-ca.org/constitution_day_2016.html
Deadline: September 2, 2016
($25 Registration Fee)

ABOTA Foundation Teachers Law School

September 16 –17, 2016
Sacramento, California


October 7, 2016
San Francisco, California


The American Board of Trial Advocates Foundation is proud to present the Teachers Law School, a program designed for middle and high school educators with an interest in prioritizing civics and law-related education in the classroom. The presenters are esteemed members of the bench and bar with a wealth of information and stories to share.

Find out more about the program and what past participants are saying about their experience with the TLS by visitingwww.TeachersLawSchool.org. 

Understanding Sacrifice World War II in The Pacific

National History Day®, the American Battle Monuments Commission, the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have partnered to reinvigorate the teaching of WWII in middle and high school by helping teachers understand the sacrifice of fallen American heroes of World War II.

Apply now to be one of 18 middle and high school teachers selected to study the experiences of America’s World War II soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen as they fought throughout the Pacific. The program will allow teachers to study this phase of World War II, engage in scholarly readings and discussions with experts and peers, and develop multimedia, multi-disciplinary lesson plans to help teachers and students around the world understand the service and sacrifice of America’s armed forces.

In July 2017, teachers will follow the path of the armed forces and travel to San Francisco, Honolulu, and Manila. Teachers will visit several American Battle Monument Commission and National Cemetery Administration cemeteries to honor individuals from their home states who sacrificed their lives in the war.

Most fees are covered by the program including travel to San Francisco, Honolulu, Manila, and all courses. The resources teachers create will be hosted online and will be free for any teacher to use. Teachers from a variety of disciplines including social studies teachers, science teachers, art teachers, and physical education teachers are welcome to apply.

DEADLINE TO APPLY: September 2, 2016

Additional information is available at http://abmceducation.org/apply


Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf Association Presents "Wharf Walks - Walking Tours at Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf" the First Saturday of Each Month

The next Wharf Walk will be held on Saturday, August 6th on Monterey's Old Fisherman's Wharf and will focus on "The History of Fishing on the Monterey Bay."  The tour is for ages 10-adult only.  Advance reservations are required and there is a fee to participate.

More information is available at http://www.montereywharf.com/event/montereys-fishermans-wharf-association-continues-wharf-walks-walking-tours-at-montereys-old-fishermans-wharf-on-saturday-august-6-2016-a-look-at-the-h.html,


Asia Society

Visit the Asia Society’s Web page to follow a blog, learn about upcoming events and initiatives, and more. Attend their upcomingGlobal Education Forum 2016 in October in Philadelphia to explore how to prepare students to be globally competent, review trends and best practices in teacher and leadership development, and develop strategies for teaching and assessing critical 21st century skills.

California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP)

Stay current with the latest happenings in HSS by visiting the CHSSP Web site for regional events and reading the UC Davis CHSSP blog at http://chssp.ucdavis.edu/blog/6things.

  • Subscribe to access classroom-ready resources for the 2016 Election with Teach the Election.

Constitutional Rights Foundation

New Civil Conversation Lessons

The Constitutional Rights Foundation’s civil conversation method gets students engaged in policy-based discussions on current, crucial controversies. Students are encouraged to engage intellectually with challenging materials, gain insight about their own point of view, and strive for a shared understanding of issues. Two new lessons are available: Immigration Enforcement Raids and The Syrian Refugee Crisis and U.S. Policy.

Global Oneness Project

The Global Oneness Project offers free multicultural stories and accompanying lesson plans. Their award-winning collection of films, photo essays, and articles explore cultural, social, and environmental issues from around the world with a humanistic lens. Aligned to National and Common Core Standards, their curriculum content contains an interdisciplinary approach to learning and facilitates the development of active, critical thinking.

The story of the month, When a Town Runs Dry, tells the story of Stratford, a small town in California that is suffering from a severe drought and its impact on the community, land, and residents’ daily lives.

Veteran National Education Program

The Veteran’s National Education Program offers a variety of educational resources, including videos, to support the teaching of history and world affairs and encourage critical thinking. The materials are focused on events “as seen through the eyes of veterans” and highlight both past and current events.

  • Check out the Global Awareness Map for detailed information about the people, government, religions, and U.S. military presence in countries around the world.


These professional learning opportunities and resources are intended merely to provide access to information. The CDE does not warrant or guarantee the effectiveness or results of any opportunity or resource that may be made available through this listserv. The inclusion of an opportunity or resource is neither an endorsement nor recommendation by the CDE. Please closely review these opportunities and materials before use.

To subscribe to CED's electronic mailing list, send a blank e-mail to join-history-social-science@mlist.cde.ca.gov.

Follow CDE on Twitter @CaEdGlobal and @CaEdHSS

CDE’s History-Social Science Professional Learning & Curriculum Resources

We would love to hear from you! Please send let us know of any events and/or resources you would like to see included in the next edition of the newsletter.


Aileen Allison-Zarea, Administrator

Literacy, History & Arts Leadership Office

Professional Learning Support Division

California Department of Education

1430 N Street, Suite 4309

Sacramento, CA 95814

Phone: 916.323.6269

Fax: 916.323.2928


Understand CA’s State Department Accountability Plan Like an Expert

by Jim Hill, Government Relations Chairperson Emeritus of California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS)

Part One of Hill's California State Board of Education (SBE) agenda review:

  1. the new Framework adoption
  2. School Accountability, particularly the role of testing History-Social Science (HSS).


Part Two of the SBE agenda review/summary

Item Two contains proposed updates of criteria and rubrics for districts and in particular some definitions of criteria that are important to the HSS community.

(HSS) could be included as a 'state level indicator' 

The first part of this Item is the rubric/criteria for what are called 'state level' indicators in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) /Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) priority areas. These are for measures taken from statewide data:

  • statewide test scores,
  • course enrollments,
  • absentee rates,
  • graduation rates.

The Grade 11 tests in ELA and math (required by Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) are statewide measures and are included in the rubric under the 'college and career readiness' metric. Proposed 'statewide indicators' of college and career readiness. These include students doing one of:

  • Completing all A-G courses required by UC or CSU with a grade of C or better;
  • completing a Career/Technical Pathway with an average grade of C or better; two years of dual enrollment in a Career Technical (CT) pathway or A-G courses;
  • passing two Advanced Placement (AP) exams, passing four International Baccalaureate (IB) exams.

To be added later to this list is the State Seal of Biliteracy and the Golden State Merit Diploma. SBE fully expects this district rubric to 'evolve over time', so it will not be a done deal.

2015-2016 Social Studies Review

2015-2016 Social Studies Review

[Observation: HSS could be included as a 'state level indicator if HSS was included in some way in state testing. Or...if a social studies performance activity (History Day, Project Citizen, Civic Action Project) was required statewide in one or more grade levels. This would require calibration of scoring on a single rubric statewide, possibly by districts grouped into consortia for scoring purposes which are not cheap solutions.

Civic Action Project

Civic Action Project

However, in my opinion, and experience, calibration of scoring is a great way to improve teaching and learning. They can be used with students as part of their instruction in writing, speaking, or any kind of performance activity. It might be possible to use a common rubric, as described in the recent California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) Social Studies Review, with a common language for different kinds of performance activities. Statistics experts might not be comfortable with that, however.]

Local indicators for Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) /Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)

The second part of this Item describes the local indicators for Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) /Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP)  reporting.

Here, districts will be required to report on self-generated and self-compiled studies, reports, surveys;  (Attachment 2, P. 3) "...(the Local Education Authority (LEA), or district), can determine whether it conducts a self-assessment...." (on various LCAP priority areas) and (P. 4) "rate itself on a scale of 1-5" for its self-assessment.

[Observation: This section is not inspiring. My experience is that most districts will search for the most simple, quickest, easiest way to meet these requirements and function in a 'compliance' mindset.]

Page 3 of Attachment 2 notes that "as potential new indicators are identified, the evaluation rubrics would be likely to evolve over time. This will necessarily include revisiting the approach to setting standards for these LCFF priorities." And still on P. 3, for the College and Career Readiness metric, "...This is likely to evolve as additional measures...become available." We hope that HSS would be included in these additional measures.

The other attachments to Item Two include reporting processes and in the last attachment, 15 pages listing specific legislation shaping the accountability and LCFF/LCAP process.

Attention Social Studies Community!

All LCAP plans must include 'measurable outcomes...' 

Item Three is a proposed revision of the LCAP template, the online form that districts have to complete stating their LCFF and LCAP plans. Of importance to the social studies community is the restatement that all plans must include 'measurable outcomes' from specific activities districts will put in place to meet their goals, said goals being developed from the various state priority areas.

The template must include:

  • reference to a specific priority area,
  • a specific metric,
  • a description of what the district will do,
  • a description of what groups of students will be impacted,
  • an explanation of outcomes and how they will be measured,
  • and a budget for the specific activity.


Some Measurable Social Studies Performance Activities

Most of Item Three is the revised template and a comparison with the existing template, showing what had been deleted and what added.

{Observation: As described in the Social Studies Review, measurable social studies performance activities could be listed in the 'measurable outcome' sections of the template. Social studies content mastery, shown by scores on History Day projects, civic activity projects, DBQ essays, etc., could be listed as ways districts will show student mastery and growth in social studies.

History Day Exhibits

History Day Exhibits

In addition, measurable social studies activities could be used as indicators of mastery of College and Career Readiness skills as defined in the Common Core ELA Standards. DBQ essay writing could be an indicator of writing skills, critical thinking, social studies content mastery, and persuasive/argumentative writing.

Mock Congressional Hearing

Mock Congressional Hearing

There is a host of social studies activities that could be used as indicators by districts; samples and sources are described and listed in the 2015-2016 Social Studies Review.

CCSS should, in my view, recommend that measurable social studies activities, be listed in the template as options for districts to use to measure status (how good are we now) and growth (how much are we improving).]

Jim Hill

Part One of Hill's California State Board of Education (SBE) agenda review:

San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies (SJVCSS) provides professional networking opportunities both on and offline for social studies teachers in Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Madera and Mariposa Counties. The council advocates keeping history-social science as an important part of the core curriculum in public education K-12.


Two Contentious Board of Education Issues Regarding Social Studies in California

by Jim Hill, Government Relations Chairperson Emeritus of California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS)

Want to Be in the Know?

The State Board of Education (SBE) agenda for its every other monthly meeting is characteristically huge when including all the appendices and references to earlier SBE agenda items and reports. In this agenda, there are two sets of items of particular concern to the Social Studies community.

California State Board of Education Seal

California State Board of Education Seal

Framework Adoption and Accountability System


  • One set deals with the adoption of the History-Social Studies (HSS) Framework revision.
  • The other with the ongoing development of criteria and rubrics for evaluating local education agencies (LEAs) such as school districts, schools, charter schools success (or not) in meeting requirements of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) legislation and the associated Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) that appears to be the major component of the developing new state accountability system.


This summary/review will include descriptions and explanations of the agenda items and relevant attachments, and also 'observations' that will be labeled as such and are opinions about the items being discussed.

Contentious Issues Concerning Social Studies

Special Interest Groups appeared to make comments during the public comments times of the Framework Review public meetings.

Special Interest Groups appeared to make comments during the public comments times of the Framework Review public meetings.

The first set of items promises to be contentious. These are:

  • Item 7, proposing the SBE adopt the revised HSS Framework developed by the HSS Subcommittee of the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC) and adopted by the IQC for a proposal to the SBE. This is scheduled for Day Two (July 14).
  • Items 18 and 19 deal with aspects of instructional materials for HSS and are predicated on the adoption of the Framework by the SBE.

Thousands of Changes Submitted to the Framework


Item 7 includes a review of the Framework development process from the suspension of that process in July 2009 to present. The review describes the public comment received by the Subcommittee and the IQC in the two required 60 day comment periods and notes that in the second period (Dec 17 2015-Feb 19 2016) there were over 10,000 emails and 'thousands of additional printed comments'' received by the IQC.

Commenters during the public sessions.

Commenters during the public sessions.

Professional subject matter experts were hired to review these comments for substantive accuracy.


The IQC recommendations on these comments and the full draft of the Framework can be seen at <http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/cf/>.


[Observation: A number of groups and individuals submitted proposals for:

  • changing language,
  • including material reflecting the viewpoint of each particular group for inclusion in the Framework.


Concerns and Changes often differ from Scholar Understandings.


Many of these people are not satisfied with the Framework revision and can be expected to turn out in some numbers at the SBE meeting to express their concerns, which often differ from scholar understandings and interpretations. SBE adoption is not guaranteed. Various folks at California Department of Education (CDE) had to read and summarize those thousands of comments, and that work fell often to Ken MacDonald.


Item 18 proposes a timeline for submission, review, and ultimate adoption of HSS materials to by the SBE, which has to adopt K-8 materials from which districts can select. The item includes the process to apply to be a materials reviewer, which is extensive. The proposed date of adoption of new materials to meet the new Framework is November 2017.


Possibly Coming: Fees to Publishers Submitting HSS Materials


Item 19 would establish fees for publishers submitting HSS materials, in large part to offset review costs. This has already been done for English Language Arts and Math submissions, and would align the HSS process with the process used for those subject areas.


Social studies is not directly included anywhere in proposed state criteria for districts.

School Accountability

School Accountability

The second set of items includes Items 2 (update on LCFF/LCAP rubrics for districts), Item 3 (update on revising the planning template for districts for the LCFF/LCAP, and Item 4 (meshing the developing new state accountability system with the requirements of federal legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the latest iteration of the Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and which replaced the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) iteration of 2001.



1) This set of items concerns the social studies community in part because social studies is not directly included anywhere in proposed state criteria for districts. We have all learned that if it isn't included in accountability, it often...isn't.

2) There are some spots in the developing criteria that open the door for social studies. However, this looks to be at the district level. The state at present is not including specific social studies requirements.

3) At a previous SBE meeting, one of the advisory committees to the SBE recommended that social studies be included in the state testing program only by a 'very short multiple choice' type of test dealing with civics only. This would be administered anywhere between grades 9 and 12, hence must be general and not include course-specific material students would learn from grades 10 on, including the required Government/Civics course at grade 12.

4) In the original State Superintendent report on testing and accountability in 2013, the Superintendent said that all the curriculum needed to be included in accountability. This proposed civics test is hardly, in my view, any kind of measure of social studies learning. Mention was made in the Superintendent's report of using sampling at many or all grade levels, rotating grades tested and subjects tested at each grade level each year, for accountability purposes. In my view, this would be much better than the proposed civics test.

California Classroom

California Classroom

You Decide.

Where Should California Council for the Social Studies (CCSS) stand on the Issues?


  1. Should CCSS  oppose or support a civics-only test f this is all that will be tested?
  2. Should we support, if given, to inclusion of test results in accountability?
  3. Should we oppose or support Superintendent's original proposal for sample testing of HSS?
  4. Should rotating grades be tested in a non-predictable pattern?
  5. Should the scores be counted only if they are included in accountability?
  6. Should there be some other proposal for testing HSS in addition to the federally required ELA and math?


The Ideal SBE Accountability System

The SBE (and of course CDE) want to create a new accountability system that meets the requirements of the federal ESSA so that schools and districts will have one accountability system, not two.


[Observation: SBE and CDE are working to align into one set of documents a set of measures that would fit state and national accountability requirements. At the same time, SBE/CDE want to include the data from the School Accountability Report Card, and the materials requirements of the Williams settlement. Working to bring all this together--'smoosh' is the technical term, I believe--takes time and input from many, often disparate, groups. There are some real possibilities for social studies in some of the local evaluation requirements.]

Stay Tuned for Part Two

Stay Tuned for Part Two


San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies SJVCSS provides professional networking opportunities both on and offline for social studies teachers in Fresno, Tulare, Kings, Madera and Mariposa Counties. The council advocates keeping history-social science as an important part of the core curriculum in public education K-12.