Feedback sought on proposed social studies, arts and humanities standards


The Kentucky Department of Education is seeking feedback on proposed social studies and arts and humanities standards.

Senate Bill 1 (2009) calls for Kentucky to revise all standards so they are aligned with the latest research, informed by national efforts, internationally comparable and focused on the critical thinking and practices students need for success in the 21st century. Though both sets of standards have met those criteria and have involved Kentucky educators, the department is seeking broader feedback to inform next drafts/steps in the process of adoption into Kentucky’s required academic standards.

Between now and Dec. 5, all interested Kentucky citizens are invited to review the proposed standards in social studies and the arts and share feedback and suggestions that will be used to revise/refine them prior to final consideration. In order to allow adequate time for this process, the Kentucky Board of Education will delay action on the standards. The board originally was scheduled to consider the proposed standards at its December meeting; however, feedback and comments will need to be thoughtfully considered and any needed revisions made before bringing forward final sets of proposed standards to the board for action.

The draft social studies standards focus on deeper learning and inquiry, not just the memorization of facts. They encourage students to make connections to the world around them and apply their knowledge and skills. To provide feedback on the draft social studies standards, please use this link:

Nearly 45 Kentucky school districts, from every region of the state, were represented in the social studies standards development process. Two cohorts of approximately 40 members each, including 55 Kentucky teachers with more than 550 years of combined experience, developed the vision for and wrote the proposed social studies standards informed by the C3 Framework, How Students Learn: History in the Classroom, and other publications including the Global Competence Matrix and P21 Skills.

Kentucky teachers also served on a state advisory team and on the Social Studies Assessment, Curriculum and Instruction Collaborative (SSACI), a collaborative of 20 state education agencies and 15 key national stakeholder groups that would frame the vision for social studies standards to adequately prepare K-12 students for civic engagement and college/career-readiness in the 21st century.

The proposed arts and humanities standards are designed to engage students in the processes used to create and understand artistic expression and include discipline-specific performance standards.

To provide feedback on the proposed arts standards, you may select to review the standards for only one of the disciplines – or all of them. The links are listed below.

The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, a coalition of national arts and education organizations and media arts representatives led by Kentucky educator Phil Shepherd, developed the new arts standards and involved more than 70 writers with the input of more than 6,000 reviewers, including several thousand from Kentucky.

Tentatively, pending approval, the new social studies and arts standards would be taught for the first time in the 2015-16 school year.