I received today, an interesting e-mail from the folks at TCI (Teacher's Curriculum Institute), which included this:
"News from California Department of Education
The California Department of Education (CDE) is updating the Framework for History-Social Sciences to ensure that it reflects the current research and best practices in history education. The work on the 2010 framework began last year when CDE conducted teacher focus groups at four locations across the state. At these sessions teachers shared what they liked and disliked about the current framework and what they thought should be incorporated into the new framework. At these sessions, CDE staff was careful to note that the changes to the frameworks will not include any modifications of the current History-Social Science Content Standards. These can only be changed when there is legislation that directs CDE to update or modify content standards.
The next step in the framework revision process is to begin the writing. In early February, a committee of 20 educators will be looking at creating new chapters on assessment and universal access, two areas that teachers in the focus groups wanted to see expanded.
TCI will be at each of the framework committee meetings and will bring you the latest on changes through this newsletter. If you would like a sneak peek of what to expect from the framework committee, take a look at the California Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee Guidelines that have been approved by the State Board of Education. You can find these on the CDE Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/cf/hsscfccguidelines.asp. "
I had heard that something was in the works to change the California State Framework for Social Studies. I would have been interested in attending one of those meetings and being part of a "committee of educators" who are to be involved in this process. However, I am saddened to see this part:"CDE staff was careful to note that the changes to the frameworks will not include any modifications of the current History-Social Science Content Standards. These can only be changed when there is legislation that directs CDE to update or modify content standards."
Why am I saddened by this? Take a look at the standards for California History-Social Science. They are HUGE. H U G E ! There is way too much stuff in there, so much that I do not believe the majority of it gets taught. Yes, some of it is "covered," but not taught. There is simply too much there.
And, since the focus of NCLB will apparently remain Language Arts and Math, I foresee little hope that much History and Social Studies will be taught in our Elementary schools; History and Social Studies will continue to be the neglected foster child of lower level education, especially at school districts such as the one where I teach that consists of mostly "failing" (by NCLB standards) schools.
However, with Polski3 looking at something positive for a change, I see that it requires "legislative action to update or modify content standards." I can and will share my thoughts, feelings, opinions and ideas regarding our current Californian History-SS content standards with my elected reps in Sacramento.
Thanks for reading this post. Have a Super rest of the week !