Meets at JCISD, Room 215, Second Monday

October - May

Secondary 3:30-5:00 pm, Elementary 4-5:30 pm

Register for SS Network Meetings - Elementary LINK COMING SOON

Register for SS Network Meetings - Middle/High School LINK COMING SOON

Monthly meetings led at the JCISD by Western High School teacher, Erika Sponsler

contact info:

The C3 Framework allows teachers and students to use an Arc of Inquiry to address social studies topics. This framework is also a part of the revised social studies standards. If you have not started your review the standards, please let me know how I can help and register to come to the Social Studies Kick-off happening Oct 9:

Dave Johnson from the Northern Michigan Consortium had shared the inquiries his teachers have developed. Hopefully these will inspire you to develop your own inquiries with your students in 2019-20!

ATTENTION (April 2019)--Social Studies Benchmarks are now LIVE linked at the MDE.

As most of you know, I attended the State Board of Education meeting on Tuesday for the presentation of the Draft Social Studies Standards. After much discussion and several public comments, the Board agreed to release the Draft Standards for public comment. The decision was not unanimous but it was significantly in favor of opening for public comment. So I am happy to present--the proposed Social Studies Standards draft:

The link for Social Studies Standards and public review is now LIVE.,4615,7-140-37818_44099-339831--,00.html

1) PLEASE--read these standards and SHARE these standards and make comments...both in FAVOR and if you have concerns. I can assure you, your comments are read, listened to, and acted upon by the task force. It is important that we all take action. The task force and the MDE really want to hear from all stakeholders on what they like and perhaps do not like/are concerned about in the standards. As part of the task force, I can tell you that a large part of our work was looking at where there was overwhelming feedback--in either direction--and then adjusting and improving those areas of the standards. Your voice matters! The voices of your colleagues matter! The voices of the population of Michigan matter.

2) If you would like to take further action there will be public "Listen and Learn" sessions in the coming months. The dates are listed at the above link--please consider attending one. I will be attending at least the one in Lansing and possibly others.

3) If you are hearing concerns or reading press coverage on some of your social media platforms, (This one, This one, This one, and the others I am sure will show up in the coming weeks) and you have questions, PLEASE ASK ME. This process was incredibly inclusive, expansive, and as unbiased and balanced as possible when dealing with our subject matter. Hundreds of people, thousands of hours, and countless experts, general citizens, and students weighed in throughout the process. I would appreciate and encourage your questions--I want to share what we did and the how and the why.

If you'd like to meet and ask me questions, these standards will be my main focus for the April Social Studies Network Meeting at the JCISD this coming Monday April 15 (Secondary 3:30-5:00 pm, Elementary 4-5:30 pm)...feel free to attend, even if you haven't yet this year, and we can chat then. Or I'm willing to talk via email, after school, or can arrange a time that works for you.

We have created an amazing set of standards which allow all the diverse voices which shape our world, country, state, and subject to have a place and be represented. Most importantly these benchmarks will allow teachers to guide students into developing and defending their own perspectives and using inquiry to develop the habits of thought which create strong participatory citizens. I'm excited to get working on helping teachers implement them later this summer.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.

Updates on SS Benchmarks (March 2019)

        • Benchmarks are now public!

Article from The Bridge:

Adapted from an email from my team leader:

The MDE social studies page does not contain the links but was supposed to today. The state board of education agenda does have the information, however. For those of you interested in some reading in the car/at home on spring break, I present the following link:

There are three documents at the end of the link above worth noting.

Attachment A: The standards -- presented as if they were final. They will not be final until at least June -- we (the writing team) will be at the board meeting in April to gauge reaction and answer questions as necessary. There will be "listen and learn" sessions following that meeting before concluding in early May, (I will send info on these when I have it) allowing us to make any last necessary revisions and make a return trip to the board in June. Possibly August, but let's think positive and go with June.

Attachment B: For those of you wanting to see what the 2007 standards look like next to this new 2019 draft - Attachment B is for you. Not quite as pretty in terms of formatting and the like.

Attachment C: For those of you wanting to see how the standards have changed from the last public draft (the one that caused all the controversy)... Attachment C is for you!

A few things to note:

If you look at the side-by-side comparisons, particularly 2007 v 2019 you'll sometimes see N/A and may think to yourself "They deleted standard X! Why would they do that?" This is most notable in HS World (Where Era 8 was absorbed into Era 7 - it hasn't left, but it has moved) and HS Civics which was significantly reorganized. These things haven't been deleted, rather...absorbed elsewhere. Another great example of this is in HS US History where the Women's Rights' Movement piece from the progressive era was absorbed into 6.3.2 (instead of having a standalone 6.3.4 that almost implied it was separate from the era itself) Take a look around and you'll probably find that critical piece of content you're looking for.

Examples are no longer in a far column. They've been significantly expanded and now read "Examples may include but are not limited to" right underneath the standard. This has an effect on what assessment can do with the new standards if passed. More on that later.

Please pay close attention to this--The entire introduction was rewritten from scratch by the writing team. You'll see the C3 Framework and the Arc of Inquiry all over the intro.

What happens next:

Public review opens after the State Board Meeting on April 9th. I will be attending that meeting. Take some time to familiarize yourself with what's changed for your grade level between now and then and leave your feedback in the online survey once it opens (I will send a link once I have it), or attend a Listen and Learn session (I will also send a list of these once I have it).

The public review survey (online) is supposedly going to be broken up so you don't have to answer 300 questions before you get to your grade level (HS teachers) and so that elementary teachers don't have to answer 300 questions to get to the end of the survey and submit.

Updates on SS Benchmarks (Jan 2019):

January 2019 meeting of Co-Chairs and Writers

        • Possible presentation to SBE in February or March

        • Potential SBE approval in June

        • Caution is advised ...we know that anything can happen between now and then

Updates on SS Benchmarks (Sept 2018):

MDE SS Consultant updates MCHE Board on Social Studies Standards Project

(A) At its Sept. 15th meeting, the MCHE Board was provided with a full briefing by MDE Social Studies

Consultant Jim Cameron on the status of the Social Studies standards Project. By September 30, MDE will

have completed a series of public “Listen & Learn” hearings along with an online survey. NOTE: You can

still participate in the online survey at e,4615,7-140-28753_64839_65510-


(B) To complete this project, MDE is forming a new Social Studies task Force. If interested, you may apply

using the Application attached to this E-Notes or Email Jim Cameron at Those

interested in serving on the Taskforce must submit an application and a one-page summary of their

resume/Curriculum Vitae.

(C) The Task Force will review info from the surveys and the “Listen & Learn” public hearings in order to

compile a document to submit to the State Board of Education in Spring 2019. After accepting the report, the

State Board will determine a meeting date for voting on approval of the Social Studies Standards. Six

subcommittees of the Social Studies Taskforce (K-4, 5th/8th/HS US History & Geography, 6th/7th/HS World

History & Geography, Economics, Civics/Core Values, and Bias Review) will be tasked with revising the

2007 Standards. The Social Studies Taskforce members will be selected based on educational background,

teaching experience, ethnic/cultural diversity, and geographic diversity. Students, teachers, parents, and

community members will join the subcommittees to appropriately represent Michigan stakeholders.

(D) The Taskforce will hold an organizational meeting on October 15, 2018 at the Crown Pointe Hotel in

Lansing. The final meeting of the Taskforce will be held December 19, 2018 also at Crown Pointe. Up to three

additional meetings will be held between those dates to complete the work.

SS May 2018 Cut Cap Final.pdf

Social Studies Standards--Cut Cap FINAL

This is the newest (2018) document being presented to the MDE. It opened for public comment in May and will remain open until September 2018.

**This version is for you to see the edits...the public version will not show edits***

Updates to the Social Studies Content Standards--FAQ

Social Studies Standards Update Frequently Asked Questions

Social Studies content standards:

Social Studies standards can still be found at the MDE online. These are the original, 2007, benchmarks.

SS COMBINED August 2015.pdf

Social Studies Draft update from 2015

These were the original draft of the updated content standards. They have been presented and updated several times since 2015.