They’re coming. Right now we have math and ELA standards, but we’re told that they will expand. J.R. Wilson asks in a recent article for Education News – who’s writing the social studies standards for the Common Core? He notes that the Council of Chief State School Officers has said they were not writing the Common Core Social Studies standards, but it appears that they are.
What transparency I tell you! Raising the bar high! This makes the math and ELA process seem like it had tons of day light in comparison.
In November 2012 the CCSSO released Vision for the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Inquiry in Social Studies State Standards. They say they are developing a framework for states to use as a resource as they upgrade their social studies standards and that this will not be a set of standards for states to adopt. They also say this framework is “being developed through a state-led effort”. They contend this framework, like the common core state standards, “will be based on evidence and will aim at college and career readiness.” The CCSSO is not disclosing the names of people on the writing team and tightly controls information about how and what business is being conducted.
While this is to be a framework and not a set of standards, it still may be extremely influential as states develop standards under its guidance. Remember the influence NCTM’s standards had on state math standards? Remember how the federal government required, encouraged, bribed, or coerced states into adopting the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for ELA and math? Will the federal government use similar enticements to get states to commit to using this framework? (i.e., with programs like RTTT and NCLB waivers?) And last but not least, will there be a common “national” assessment that addresses social studies in each state’s uncommon core state standards for social studies? (In case you’re getting confused, those are the standards developed with the commonality of CCSSO’s “framework”.)
…With no mention of NGA involvement, the CCSSO is leading the way to develop a social studies framework claiming it is a state-led effort. It’s intriguing that the NGA is absent from this effort. Are the chief state school officers now so confident in their ability to lead the way for the states, that they can now do so without the NGA as well as the states and still be able to say it is a state-led effort? Or are the people in your state leading your state by asking your chief state school officer to undertake this effort on their behalf? Do the people in your state even know about this effort? Did they know about the effort when the CCSS for ELA and math were being developed as a so-called state-led effort? Which leads me to conclude that a state-led effort doesn’t mean that states are leading the effort. What a state-led effort really means is that states are being led in an effort to impose something the states had nothing to do with.
Be sure to read the rest.