The long-awaited proposed draft revisions to the History and Social Science Curriculum Frameworks have arrived!

The November 2017 Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) agenda includes an overview and the proposed revisions. The entire packet of related documents is also available here. Let’s hope this time around, the ancient history battles remain ancient history…but public comment is expected to open in January 2018.

We outlined the multi-pronged issues on the horizon for educators, graduation requirements, curriculum and course assignments in an earlier post.

So far, the major updates include:

  • Focus on civics at all levels
  • Re-distribution of middle school history courses with to include an 8th grade civics course
  • Updated standards for reading, writing, listening and speaking in the content areas of  history and social science at all grade levels

The draft scope and sequence for history and social science courses would re-align geography and world history courses in many districts and potentially impact educator licensing requirements for employment. Stay tune on that front…

The working draft proposes the following course sequences:

PreK to 8

  • Pre-Kindergarten: Building a Foundation for Living, Learning, and Working Together
  • Kindergarten: Many Roles in Living, Learning, and Working Together
  • Grade 1: Leadership, Cooperation, Unity and Diversity
  • Grade 2: Global Geography: Places and Peoples, Culture, and Resources
  • Grade 3: Massachusetts, Home to Many Different People
  • Grade 4 North American Geography and Peoples
  • Grade 5: United States History to the Civil War and the Modern Civil Rights Movement
  • Grade 6: World Geography and History I: Foundations of Civilization: Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Grade 7: World Geography and History II: Central and South Asia, North and East Asia, Southeast Asia and Oceania, Europe
  • Grade 8: United States and Massachusetts Government and Civic Life

High School

Currently, high schools have flexibility to design course sequence and graduation requirements at the local level. Only one course in United States History is a graduation requirement. 

  • United States History I and II, late 18th Century to the Present
  • World History I and II, 6th Century to the Present
  • United States Government and Politics
  • Economics


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