Massive changes in California's assessment and accountability program, along with legislative interest in promoting civic education (which includes history, geography, economics, along with the content of a traditional senior civics class) present new opportunities to advance History-Social Science education in the schools of our state.
A new assessment plan to test 'the whole curriculum' is currently scheduled for presentation to the State Board by March 2016 by the Department of Education. The 'whole curriculum' includes those subjects not tested by the Smarter Balanced Common Core tests. Some of this may include performance assessments. How best to leverage History- Social Science into the 'next generation' of assessments is a major concern for CCSS.
The Academic Performance Index (API) will be back by 2016, but containing different measures in addition to test scores; high school API will use test scores for a maximum of 60% of API, and elementary/middle schools might have a similar percentage. The question of what should be included in the new API formula is a major concern of CCSS.
The new school funding system signed just months ago (the 'local control funding formula', or LCFF) will require schools to submit yearly reports about how they are using their funding allocation from the state to improve student achievement for all students, especially English learners and socioeconomically disadvantaged youth. A work in progress, the criteria for these reports at present could include History social science related performance assessments. CCSS is very interested in providing ideas and various types of support for schools to meet this new requirement. These yearly reports can be qualitative as well as quantitative, thus are not limited to test score or other numbers.
These issues will be discussed at the Governmental Relations Committee 'expanded' meeting on Saturday March 8.