(Frankfort, KY) – Social studies teachers from across the Commonwealth met Oct. 15-16 at the Kentucky Department of Education’s (KDE) offices to thoughtfully consider and respond to the 1,227 respondents who provided 5,306 public comments on the survey of the draft Kentucky Academic Standards for Social Studies.
The standards outline the minimum knowledge and skills Kentucky students should learn in each grade-level kindergarten through 8th-grade or high school grade-span. The standards address what is to be learned, the goals and outcomes of the K-12 educational program.
“Overall, the feedback we received on the standards was positive,” said KDE Social Studies Consultant Lauren Gallicchio. “Our panel is carefully reviewing and responding to the feedback, and we hope to bring the updated draft standards before the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) for consideration of adoption during its December 2018 meeting.”
According to the Appalachian Regional Comprehensive Center, an independent third party who collected and compiled the data, approximately 78 percent of survey respondents were current Kentucky classroom teachers. Representatives from all 120 Kentucky counties, with the exception of nine (Butler, Caldwell, Carlisle, Hickman, Lyon, McCreary, Robertson, Trigg and Union) participated in the survey.
“We were pleased that 86 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed the standards ask students to show understanding of the fundamental ideas relevant to social studies disciplines,” said Gallicchio. “Eighty-seven percent also agreed or strongly agreed the standards set high expectations for learning for students and they ask students to demonstrate disciplinary thinking.”
Kentucky Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis said he was pleased with the results of the public comment period for the social studies standards.
“While social studies standards have been contentious in the past, I believe that this advisory panel has done a nice job of creating standards that will benefit our students for years to come,” said Lewis. “I’m excited that so many Kentuckians have reviewed and commented, but this not the end of the process. I look forward to continued input and conversation with stakeholders.”
Following a hearing by the Interim Joint Committee on Education, the standards will be reviewed by the Standards and Assessments Process Review Committee, which is made up of the commissioner of education as a non-voting member and three voting members who were selected by the KBE. If the committee agrees the correct process was followed and stakeholders had adequate opportunity for input, then the KBE would vote on the new standards. That vote could happen as early as this winter with schools implementing the new standards for the 2019-2020 school year.
Social studies is one of several academic standards required to be reviewed and revised under a process laid out in Senate Bill 1 (2017).