After more than a year of study, writing, rewriting, and public input sessions, followed by more rewriting and revisions, the State Board of Education has voted 8-0 to adopt updated Nebraska Social Studies Standards.
Nebraska school districts now have a year to adopt the new standards – or more rigorous standards – and then implement the curriculum that will help students be able to learn these standards.
The Nebraska Legislature directed the process take place to revise content standards for all core subjects. Social Studies is the last content area on the Legislature’s timeline. The State Board had until July 2013 to revise and adopt these new standards.
A large group of educators K-16 – including a large number of NSEA members – were engaged in the development of the first broad draft that was available for public comment in April 2012. Through rewriting, more public input, rewriting, and validation by outside experts, the standards began to take form.
Additionally, more than a thousand individual citizens commented about the standards online through the Nebraska Department of Education’s website survey process. More than 100 participants spoke at each public forum, providing additional input. A State Board subcommittee, chaired by Robert Evnen and including board members Lynn Cronk, John Sieler and Rebecca Valdez, reviewed all of the comments and validity reviews and presented a “final draft” of the Social Studies standards for board approval on Friday, Dec. 7 – ironically an historical day in our nation’s history.
The standards cover grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; grades 6-8, and grades 9-12 in four major areas: History, Geography, Economics and Civics. The standards are broad, provide examples, and leave the decision on what the curriculum and instruction is to be to local school districts and the teachers who are the educational professionals responsible for student learning in the classroom. State Board members commended the teachers of Nebraska for their work on the standards and put their trust in the educators to implement the new standards in the classroom.
The new standards can be found at the NDE website by following this link: www.education.ne.gov
Statement of Purpose:
The purpose of the Nebraska Social Studies Standards is to teach our children to become young patriots who have an intellectual understanding of the genius of our country’s founding principles and who feel an emotional connection to our nation. Achieving this purpose requires teaching Nebraska students to become responsible citizens who are prepared to preserve, protect and defend freedom and democracy in our nation and in the world.
As responsible citizens of the U.S. and Nebraska, our students must:
- Master and be able to use knowledge of the history of the United States, Nebraska, western civilization, eastern civilizations and ancient civilizations (Historical Perspective);
- Master and be able to use spatial patterns on earth (Geographic Perspective);
- Master and be able to use knowledge of the foundations and form of American federalism, our representative democracy, and American politics (Civic Perspective);
- Master and be able to use knowledge about the efficient allocation, production, distribution, and consumption of scarce resources and the advantageous role of free market economics in such allocation (Economic Perspective).