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Mississippi Seeks Public Comment on Revised Learning Goals for Social Studies

by Xi Guo | Mar 21, 2018

Carey M. Wright, Ed.D., State Superintendent of Education

Office of Communications & Legislative Support
Patrice Guilfoyle, APR, Director of Communications *601-359-3706 *FAX:  601-359-3033
Jean Cook, Communications Specialist *601-359-3519


For Immediate Release: March 21, 2018

Mississippi Seeks Public Comment on Revised Learning Goals for Social Studies

JACKSON, Miss. – The Mississippi State Board of Education voted today to begin the public comment period for the Mississippi College and Career Readiness Social Studies Standards, which will enhance learning guidelines for civics, civil rights and history education in the state. The new learning goals will be piloted in the 2018-19 school year with full implementation in the 2019-20 school year.

A 35-member Social Studies Writing Task Force spent 18 months working to develop the new standards. Task force members included Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and Institutions of Higher Learning Social Studies faculty and educational specialists. Mississippi last revised its Social Studies learning standards in 2011.

The task force reviewed and borrowed from several national standards to form Mississippi’s standards, including the National Council for the Social Studies, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), ACT benchmarks, Framework for Civics, Economics, Geography and U.S. History, and the National Standards for History Education.

“We want our Social Studies standards to go deep so we focused the learning goals on Civics and Citizenship, Civil Rights, Economics, Geography and History. These strands run throughout K-12, and grades K-5 will have an overarching theme,” said Dr. Kim Benton, chief academic officer at the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE). “Elementary students get key concepts and build on that solid foundation throughout middle and high school. The new standards will develop a more cohesive experience for students and promote teaching and learning.”

A new Civics thread has been added to the learning goals throughout K-12, providing students with a basic understanding of civic life, politics, and government, said Jennifer Nance, a director in MDE’s Office of Secondary Education.

“It should help them understand the workings of the American political system and others, as well as the relationship of American politics and government to world affairs. Schools should expand the Civics education through related learning experiences that enable students to learn how to participate in their own governance,” Nance said.

Under the new standards, some elective high school courses have been eliminated, such as Field Experience, Local Resource Studies and Survey of World Religions, and elective courses that remain include Advanced World Geography, Problems of American Democracy, History of the Ancient Middle East, African American Studies, Psychology, Sociology, Minorities Studies, Law-related Education and Humanities. The MDE will provide teacher training on the new standards over the summer and into the fall.

The public can submit comments beginning Thursday, March 22-April 25. Comments may be emailed to Nance at The Social Studies Standards can be found here.

Timeline for implementation of new social studies standards


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