Draft social studies standards up for review

KAILUA-KONA — The public and educators are invited to weigh in on draft standards for the state’s social studies coursework before the Department of Education seeks to implement them in the classroom.

The standards, in part, look to the “C3 Framework” from the National Council for the Social Studies. The three “Cs” are college, career and civic life, three areas for which the group said the field of social studies is meant to prepare students.


A total of 15 professional organizations, including the National Geographic Society, the American Bar Association and Council for Economic Education were among the task force that collaborated to develop the framework.

Social studies standards across the state were last reviewed in 2005, said DOE communications specialist Derek Inoshita, adding that the department adopted the C3 Framework for two primary reasons. The first, he said, was to provide a foundation for new standards while, secondly, also supporting the development of “meaningful, broad-based and rigorous curriculum.”

“The C3 Framework offers an advantage for designing curricula because it is student focused and allows for students to explore and inquire about what is important to them,” Inoshita said.

Because it’s “rigorous, creative and innovative,” he said, the framework complements all of the state’s larger-scope plans for education, allowing for a “thorough exploration” of issues at the local, national and global levels.

“The department is writing standards that address place-based and culturally responsive issues,” Inoshita said. “This allows students to grapple with topics that relate to their culture and identity no matter where they are from.”

Educators and the public have the opportunity to give input on the draft social studies standards for the rest of this month. A survey of the course review document is available at http://bit.ly/SSReviewLinks.

At that link, reviewers have the opportunity to evaluate a given standard’s clarity, measurability and rigor and advise whether they would recommend no change, a revision or discarding the standard entirely.

Those who recommend a revision or discarding of the standard will then have a chance to offer their rationale and, if appropriate, their proposed revision.

Inoshita said those comments will be reviewed to strengthen the standards’ language and content for classrooms.

Written by state social studies educators that included middle school, high school and postsecondary faculty, the standards have also been reviewed at the national level by stakeholders with interests in social studies education.

The standards are exclusive to grades 6-12. Inoshita said after public comments for these draft social studies standards are reviewed, there will be a public review of elementary standards.


That’s expected later this summer, he said. A timeline for implementing standards will go before the state Board of Education when DOE seeks the standards’ adoption.

Inoshita cautioned that the draft standards aren’t final, and public comments will go toward developing and shaping what the final standards look like.

  1. Buds4All April 20, 2018 4:15 am

    This will turn out to be more Leftist Indoctrination just wait and see. It is almost hard to see value in the majority of degrees being offered these days. There should be a push for the basics where this country is falling behind mathematics and sciences, what we do not need is more politicians screaming.

  2. Ken Conklin April 20, 2018 6:31 am

    The so-called “standards” are extremely vague and do not provide any guidance on how to measure whether any particular “standard” has been achieved. The standards are more like a list of topics to be covered, without describing any specific pieces of knowledge which students should take away. As a result, teachers use a textbook which covers the topics in a biased, slanted way conforming to the “politically correct” views of the “Hawaiian Studies” department at DOE and at UH. The online questionnaire linked in this article is structured in a way that does not allow the necessary criticisms. Try it; you’ll see.

    In 2011, I wrote a webpage providing detailed analysis of the two textbooks used in school, and analysis of some of the so-called “standards.” To find the webpage, put its title into your internet browser or Google, including the quote marks:

    “History of modern Hawaii as taught in Hawaii schools”

    The version in Hawaii Reporter is a short summary; the full webpage is on the angelfire platform.

    Also, about two years ago I wrote a webpage specifically focused on one particular falsehood being taught about Hawaiian history:

    “Holding the State of Hawaii Department of Education accountable for propagating the lie that Hawaiian language was banned”

    The version in the history/mystery blog is a short summary; see the angelfire version for the full webpage.

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