The State Board of Education is seeking public feedback on Tennessee’s newly revised K-12 social studies standards.
The board announced Thursday the launch of an online review site open through Oct. 28.
The standards are only two years old. But the State Board of Education hastened another revamp this year in the wake of concerns from parents and activists about how Islam is being taught to middle schoolers in world history, along with complaints from educators that the standards are cumbersome. Standards, which set grade-specific goals for what students should know and be able to do by the end of a grade or course, are typically reviewed every six years.
An initial online public review was held last winter, with comments from more than 1,400 reviewers, mainly teachers. This summer, a panel of teachers from across the state used the feedback to revise the standards.
“The public’s earlier online review of the current standards was very successful and paved the way for our educator advisory teams to make significant changes,” said Sara Heyburn, the board’s executive director. “We hope all Tennesseans, especially teachers and parents, will now review the revised social studies standards and give even more feedback.”
The newest round of feedback will be reviewed by another committee appointed by the governor and speakers of the House and Senate, with additional revisions completed by January. If approved by the State Board of Education, Tennessee’s new social studies standards will be implemented in the 2019-20 school year.
Social studies is the fourth subject to get the rigorous revision treatment mandated by the Tennessee legislature in 2015 in response to criticism of the Common Core standards for math and English. Those new standards will reach classrooms next school year, while new science standards will roll out in 2018-19.