The State Board of Education is charged with conducting a review of all sets of academic standards at a minimum of every six years. The social studies standards, developed by a committee of Tennessee educators throughout 2017, set grade-specific goals that exemplify what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of a given grade or course.
The social studies academic review website launched in Winter 2015 to collect public feedback on Tennessee’s K-12 social studies standards. This highly transparent and comprehensive review process was an opportunity for every Tennessean to log in online, review each specific standard by grade level, and provide comments and make suggestions for changes. Once the data was collected from the first round of public feedback, it was aggregated and given to a team of educators to review and revise the standards during Summer 2016.
The Social Studies Standards Recommendation Committee (SRC) was appointed by the governor, lieutenant governor, and the speaker of the House of Representatives. The SRC began its review of the revised social studies standards in Fall 2016. After 10 months of work, the SRC completed its proposed Tennessee Academic Standards for social studies draft. The State Board of Education heard the proposed standards on first consideration at their quarterly April 2017 board meeting. In July 2017, the State Board approved the social studies standards on final reading. Educators across the state reviewed the new social studies standards during the 2018-19 school year for full implementation during the 2019-20 school year.
The initial public survey for the social studies standards review was open from June 20 to July 18. Educators, parents, and community members were invited to share their thoughts and feedback on the current social studies standards. During this initial review period, the State Board of Education collected 114,500 comments from Tennesseans. Feedback from this initial public review period informed the work of expert educator advisory teams that proposed revisions to the social studies standards. The Standards Development Committee, comprised of select members from the educator advisory teams, met October 12-14 to review all work completed by the educator advisory teams and ensure vertical alignment across all subjects and grade levels. The Standards Development Committee met the week of November 7 to finalize its work. Following this, the standards review process will continue in February with the launch of the second public feedback survey.
Additional questions about the social studies standards review process can be directed to TNStandards.Review@tn.gov.