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New Content in History–Social Science Framework

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
July 18, 2017

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals:

INSTRUCTIONAL SHIFTS IN THE NEW HISTORY–SOCIAL SCIENCE FRAMEWORK

This letter is to update you on some of the instructional shifts and new content in the History–Social Science Framework for California Schools adopted by the State Board of Education on July 14, 2016. The course descriptions for the four major high school courses and the suggested electives have been completely rewritten to reflect new scholarship and other changes in content since the last major revisions to the framework more than 15 years ago.

The new framework puts strong emphasis on four main instructional shifts: content, inquiry, literacy, and citizenship. The framework uses guiding questions throughout the course narratives to facilitate instruction based on student inquiry. Students evaluate primary and secondary sources, develop and defend arguments, conduct research, and make presentations on important topics. The emphasis on literacy development includes explicit links to the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects; the English Language Arts/English Language Development Framework; and the California English Language Development Standards. This collaborative emphasis between language arts and history–social science instruction is developed in a series of classroom examples seeded throughout the course descriptions, including more than a dozen in high school. Finally, the emphasis on citizenship can be seen in various suggestions for student engagement through simulations of government, community activism, and service-learning projects. You will find these four shifts developed throughout the high school course descriptions and also in the chapters on Assessment, Access and Equity, Instructional Strategies, and Professional Learning.

I would like to draw your attention to some areas that were developed in the framework in response to recent legislation. This list is not exhaustive, and you will find many other new additions throughout the course descriptions.

  • The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act, signed into law in 2012, requires that instructional materials adopted at the state or local level include coverage of the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons and people with disabilities to the history of California and the U.S. References to support this legislation were added in grades nine, eleven, and twelve (the Principles of American Democracy course).
  • Information on financial literacy (Education Code [EC] Section 51284) was added to the Principles of Economics course in grade twelve and elsewhere in the framework, including a recommended Financial Literacy elective course in grade nine.
  • Coverage of the contributions of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans to the Pacific Campaign in World War II and to the farm labor movement in California (EC sections 51008 and 51221.3) was added in grade eleven.
  • Coverage of the Bracero Program (EC Section 51221.3) was added in grade eleven.
  • Coverage of the Armenian Genocide (EC sections 51220 and 51226.3) was expanded in grade ten, and references to several other genocides of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries were added.
  • The significance of the election of Barack Obama (EC Section 33543) is discussed in grade eleven.
  • Voter education information, including information about how students can register to vote, is discussed in the grade twelve Principles of American Democracy course (EC Section 33540).

In addition, numerous other topics were introduced into the high school course descriptions in response to public comment during the framework development process, such as the treatment of enslaved “comfort women” in World War II in grade ten. You will find many such topics addressed in the high school course descriptions in the framework.

You will find the complete History–Social Science Framework for California Public Schools on the California Department of Education Curriculum Frameworks Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/hs/cf/. A formatted, PDF version of the framework will be available later this year.

If you have any questions, please contact Kristen Cruz Allen, Administrator of the Curriculum Frameworks Unit, by phone at 916-323-4867 or by e-mail at kcruzallen@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson

TT:km
2017-03708

Last Reviewed: Thursday, January 24, 2019

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