Changes in School Social Studies

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The State Board of Education will hear and discuss revisions to the proposed draft of Tennessee Academic Standards for Social Studies at its July 27th workshop. The standards will be voted on final consideration the following day, July 28th.

The K-12 social studies standards were first considered in April 2017. Between first and final reading, the draft standards were revised according to feedback received from a variety of stakeholders and to align with recent legislative action affecting social studies. The 110th Tennessee General Assembly passed the Senator Douglas Henry Tennessee History Act, mandating that a Tennessee history course be taught in grades K-12. This legislative action, Public Chapter 482, prompted further changes to the draft standards.

"Tennessee is leading the way with the format and structure of this transparent and inclusive review process," said Dr. Sara Morrison, executive director of the State Board of Education. "The State Board is grateful for the thousands of Tennesseans who took time to provide feedback on the standards. These standards provide the foundation for every student to receive a rigorous social studies education."


The multi-year, comprehensive review involved teams of Tennessee educators, subject matter experts, higher education faculty, state history and geography organizations, and multiple public comment opportunities, ensuring that all Tennesseans had a voice throughout the process.

Both the workshop and the board meeting will be live streamed, and the proposed draft of social studies standards are on the State Board of Education's website. If approved, the new Tennessee Academic Standards for Social Studies will be implemented in classrooms in the 2019-20 school year.


In October 2014, Governor Haslam announced the creation of a standards review website that would be open to the public to review and offer feedback on what Tennessee students should know and be able to do by the end of each K-12 school year in both mathematics and English language arts (ELA). At the time of that announcement, Governor Haslam also laid out a comprehensive standards review process. This process was further expounded upon by the 109th Tennessee General Assembly in Pub. Ch. 423, which charged the State Board of Education with overseeing not only the review of math and ELA standards, but also science and social studies standards.

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