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History-Social Science CFCC Guidelines

These are the State Board of Education approved guidelines for the History-Social Science Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee members.

Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (CFCC) Guidelines for the History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools, Kindergarten through Grade Twelve Update

Updated on September 3, 2014

The following guidelines are based on statutory requirements, information provided to the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission (now renamed the Instructional Quality Commission [IQC]) and the State Board of Education (SBE) at their January and March 2008 meetings respectively, feedback from the four focus group meetings held in May and June 2008, and public comment. They were adopted by the SBE at its meeting on November 5, 2008.

The guidelines recommended by the Curriculum Commission and approved by the SBE directed the work of the Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (CFCC) when it completed its work in February–June 2009.

  1. General principles. The updated History–Social Science Framework for California Public Schools (History–Social Science Framework) shall:
  • Retain its narrative format.
  • Keep the basic overarching goals and objectives of the current History–Social Science Framework.

  • Be aligned to the state-adopted history–social science standards adopted by the SBE in October 1998.

  • Include accurate information based on current and confirmed research.

  • When appropriate, follow the organization and design of other standards-based frameworks.

  • Be easy to use both for teachers with educational backgrounds in history–social science, and those without such experience.

  • Include information that supports the development of academic vocabulary.

  • Be accessible and inclusive to all students.

  • Promote the values of civic engagement and civic responsibility.

  • The History–Social Science Framework should address the “big picture” by taking a look at global perspectives at particular eras in time (using broad, synthetic statements).

  • Align to the Literacy Standards for History/Social Studies within the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, as appropriate.
  1. Develop a new chapter on assessments, including information on entry-level/diagnostic, progress monitoring, and summative assessments, that inform teachers on how to use assessments to shape instruction.

The chapter should include the following information:

  • Assessments should be based on multiple measures of student ability, and include a variety of techniques for various learning styles and levels of readiness.

  • Guidance for teachers on how to use assessment data.

  • The latest scholarly research on effective assessment strategies.

  • Suggestions for performance assessments and other creative ways of assessing student mastery of the material.

  • Examples of effective assessments and rubrics.

  • Assessments should test student mastery of higher-order thinking skills, not just recitation of specific facts. The Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills should be an integral part of any assessment system.
  1. Develop a new chapter on universal access, which includes strategies for differentiating instruction to meet the needs of all students, including English language learners, students with disabilities, and advanced students. This chapter should support teachers in providing standards-aligned instruction to all learners to close the achievement gap.

This chapter should include the following information:

  • Suggestions for making academic vocabulary accessible to all students.

  • Provide specific models of differentiating instruction.

  • Provide specific support strategies for:
  • English language learners.
  • Advanced learners.
  • Students with disabilities.
  • Students with reading skills below grade level.

  • Provide support for teachers in meeting the needs of students with diverse cultural and educational backgrounds.
  1. Develop a new chapter on instructional strategies and professional development, to provide guidance to both new and experienced teachers of history–social science.

This new chapter should include the following information:

  • Promote instructional strategies based on current and confirmed research that support student engagement in the history–social science curriculum.

  • Provide support for the use of technology in the history–social science classroom.

  • Provide examples of different methods of instruction.

  • Provide support for a collaborative teaching model that encourages teachers to work with colleagues across subjects and grade levels.

  • Provide resources on professional development opportunities.

  • Provide information for district administrators to support the history–social science curriculum and instruction.

  • Provide strategies for instruction that incorporate the history–social science analysis skills.
  1. Update the narrative to reflect current and confirmed scholarly research in history–social science, and changes in California, the United States, and the world since the last edition of the History–Social Science Framework was published.

  2. Update the narrative to improve the inclusivity of the History–Social Science Framework, and to reflect the contributions of all groups to the history of California and United States.


  • Include information about the Mendez v. Westminster court case, and its significance in the history of school desegregation.

  • Insert a reference to Sikhism in the course description for the ninth-grade elective “World Religions.”
  1. Update the current appendices to reflect new scholarship and new emphases in history–social science education.
  • Either remove Appendix A (“Nationalism, Free Markets, and Democracy in the Contemporary World”), and integrate this material into the tenth grade narrative, or update with more relevant contemporary examples.

  • Update and integrate the content of Appendix D (“The World History Sequence at Grades Six, Seven, and Ten: Content, Breadth/Depth, and Coverage Issues with Some Local Options”) into the narrative of the History–Social Science Framework.

  • Remove Appendix E (“Examples of Careers in History–Social Science”) and incorporate information about the relevance of history–social science education to career paths into the narrative of the History–Social Science Framework.

  • Update Appendix F (“Using Primary Sources in the Study of History”) and include information about the use of primary sources in all grades, including elementary.
  • Remove Appendix G (“Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital”).

  • Revise Appendix H (“History–Social Science and Service Learning”) or replace it with a broader emphasis on civic education throughout the History–Social Science Framework.

  • Consider adding new appendices based on the following:
  • The Environmental Principles and Concepts developed as part of the Education and the Environment Initiative
  • The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and issues of technology in history education in general (This issue was addressed in the body of the framework.)
  1. Statutory Requirements

The History–Social Science Framework update must reflect changes in statute affecting the history–social science curriculum that have been enacted since the last revision of the History–Social Science Framework, in addition to continuing statutes. These statutes specifically require that certain topics be referenced in the History–Social Science Framework. These include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following topics:

  • Financial literacy, including, but not limited to, budgeting and managing credit, student loans, consumer debt, and identity theft security (Education Code [EC] Section 51284).

  • The Great Irish Famine of 1845-1850 (EC Section 51226.3)

  • Cesar Chavez and the history of the farm labor movement, and the role of immigrants, including Filipino Americans, in that movement (EC Section 51008)

  • Inclusion of the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, the Federalist Papers, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Gettysburg Address, George Washington's Farewell Address, the Magna Carta, the Articles of Confederation, and the California Constitution (EC Section 33540)

  • Encourage instruction that promotes an understanding of the governments of California and the United States of America, including, but not limited to, the development of democracy and the history of the development of the United States Constitution (EC Section 33540)

  • Description of how content can be delivered to intentionally build all of the following skills:

  • Creativity and innovation, including, but not limited to, thinking creatively, working creatively with others, and implementing innovations

  • Critical thinking and problem solving, including, but not limited to, reasoning effectively, using systems thinking, making judgments and decisions, and solving problems

  • Collaboration, including, but not limited to, working effectively in diverse teams, adapting to change and being flexible, demonstrating initiative and self-direction, working independently, demonstrating productivity and accountability, and demonstrating leadership and responsibility

  • Communication, including, but not limited to, communicating clearly and effectively through reading, writing, and speaking

  • Construction and exploration of new understandings of knowledge through the integration of content from one subject area to another to provide pupils with multiple modes for demonstrating innovative learning. (EC 60207)

  • The Environmental Principles and Concepts developed by the California Environmental Protection Agency and adopted by the SBE (Public Resources Code Section 71301)

The Commission and the SBE directs the CFCC to incorporate into the evaluation criteria for kindergarten through grade eight the following topics that are referenced in code that are required to be included in instructional materials. These topics include:

  • Information to guide the selection of textbooks that contain sections that highlight the life and contributions of Cesar Chavez, the history of the farm labor movement in the United States, and the role of immigrants, including Filipino Americans, in that movement (EC Section 51008).

  • Portrayal of the contributions of both genders, diverse ethnic and cultural groups, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans, persons with disabilities, and the role of entrepreneur and labor in the development of California and the United States (EC Section 60040).

  • Humanity’s place in ecological systems and the necessity for protection of our environment (EC Section 60041, and Public Resources Code Section 71301)

  • Civics education, including material that impresses upon students the importance of American values and civic responsibilities (EC Section 60200.5)

  • The life of Martin Luther King, Jr. (EC Section 60200.6)

The Commission and the SBE recommend that the CFCC incorporate the following areas of study that are encouraged within code. These include:

  • The Mexican Repatriation Program (Senate Concurrent Resolution 58, Chapter 128, Statutes of 2007)

  • Labor History Week (EC Section 51009)

  • Understanding the wise use of natural resources (EC Section 51221)

  • Instruction on World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War that incorporates oral or video history of American soldiers, and instruction on the Bracero program that incorporates oral or video histories of individuals who were involved in that program (EC Section 51221.3)

  • Instruction on the “Secret War” in Laos and the role of Southeast Asians in that war that includes personal testimony and oral/video histories. (EC Section 51221.4)

  • Materials and content resources for teaching about civil rights, human rights violations, slavery, and the Holocaust (EC Section 51226.3)

  • The federal Constitution Day requirement (118 Stat. 2809, 3344-45)

Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | | 916-319-0881
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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