OSPI NEWS RELEASE: Reykdal Signs New Social Studies K–12 Learning Standards

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Reykdal Signs New Social Studies K–12 Learning Standards

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OLYMPIA—September 17, 2019—Two-hundred and thirty-two years after the framers of the Constitution met in Philadelphia to sign the United States (U.S.) Constitution, Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal held a signing of his own—to ensure Washington’s students learn about the rich history and civic tradition of the U.S., the state of Washington, local governments, and tribal sovereignty.

At an event at Evergreen Forest Elementary in North Thurston Public Schools, Superintendent Reykdal signed the revised Washington State K–12 Learning Standards for Social Studies. 

“I became a social studies teacher because I wanted to help ensure our young people had opportunities to learn how to engage in thoughtful civic participation,” Reykdal said. “These standards provide educators with a framework to support the empowerment of students imagining how they can make the world a better place.” 

The updated Social Studies Learning Standards contain five individual standards for civics, economics, geography, history, and an overarching set of social studies skills. 

The new standards are based on the following principles: 

  • Focus on enduring understanding.
  • Promote authentic intellectual work.
  • Strike the right balance between depth and breadth.
  • Incorporate multiple perspectives and advance cultural literacy.

In addition, the standards include lessons that can be used to teach the standards using the Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State curriculum. 

The standards were developed over the past two years by educators on the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Cadre of Social Studies Educators, a statewide group of social studies teachers. It is the first time the standards have been updated since 2008. 

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Superintendent Reykdal, joined by educators from North Thurston Public Schools, holds up the Social Studies Standards.