State extends comment period on social studies learning standards


Tennessee Department of Education

The Social Studies Standards Recommendation Committee (SRC) voted today to extend the review timeline for K-12 social studies standards.

The new timeline now includes a longer public comment period. All Tennesseans will be able to review the proposed draft of K-12 social studies standards through Dec. 15 at

The new timeline will also include additional SRC meetings to ensure this legislatively appointed committee is able to continue to hear feedback and propose additional changes to the initial draft standards.

“As a committee, we decided to extend our deadline because we want to be absolutely sure that all Tennesseans have had a chance to be heard,” said Jason Roach, chair of the Standards Recommendation Committee.  “As we move forward, we encourage all who have a vested interest in updating our standards to match our instructional needs for our teachers and students to log in to our public feedback site and review the draft standards.”

The 10-member Standards Recommendation Committee is appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House of Representatives and confirmed by the General Assembly. The SRC will send a final proposal for social studies standards to the State Board of Education for first consideration at the April 2017 board meeting.

The K-12 social studies standards set grade-specific goals that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of a given grade or course.

“The State Board of Education wants to make sure this is a very thoughtful and inclusive review process,” said Dr. Sara Heyburn, executive director of the State Board. “We have heard from many Tennesseans that there is real interest and commitment to ensuring the best possible standards for the students and teachers of our state. Therefore, it makes sense to slow down and extend the review period to ensure all voices are able to be heard and considered before anything goes to the State Board for their consideration.”

The initial social studies standards review website was made available for public comment during the winter of 2015. The website drew over 63,000 public reviews from more than 1,400 reviewers on the current social studies standards. The feedback was shared word-for-word with the Educator Advisory Team during the summer of 2016 to directly inform their review and revision work. The Educator Advisory Team created the draft standards currently available for public review. The SRC will now work with the advisory team to review all feedback collected during this second online review and determine additional revisions to the standards.

In October 2014, Gov. Haslam introduced a similar process, in partnership with the State Board, for review of the Tennessee Academic Standards in English language arts and mathematics. This process was codified by the General Assembly in HB 1035. For more information, please visit

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