Welcome to the new school year,
The 2019-2020 school year is just around the bend and Social Studies educators across our state are already hard at work getting ready for the students’ arrival in the coming days. I hope you found moments of restoration during the summer months and are looking forward to a great new school year.
Summer has been a busy time for DESE Social Studies. In June, Missouri social studies educators worked on fine tuning potential items for the EOC exams. Later that month, Missouri educators from grades 3-8 worked on developing social studies assessment resources for younger students. In July, nearly 300 educators participated in the DESE Professional Learning Series examining the benefits of integrated curriculum on student achievement and student engagement. If you joined us for assessment projects or for an exploration of integrated curriculum in ELA, Science and Social Studies, I hope you found your time well spent.
As you begin to plan your school calendar, I want share three important opportunities with you.
- United States Senate Youth Scholarship Program application for Missouri is now available. Every Missouri high school is eligible to submit a student application. Two Missouri high school students will spend a week in Washington DC in March 2020 and both of those winners will receive a $10,000 scholarship. Please consider a deserving student from your high school and share this information with your school’s principal or counselor. Click on the bullet in the Quick Links box for additional information and for an application.
- The fourth year of our Missouri Social Studies Professional Development series, Thinking like a Social Scientist is set. In addition to featuring a social science scholar to share her/his current research at each session, our year’s focus will be on assessment:
- Tuesday, September 24, 2019
What did we learn about Missouri student skills and understanding from the EOC field test? How can we use that information to positively impact teaching, learning and assessment in our K-12 classrooms?
- Tuesday, November 12, 2019
What are the attributes of high-quality assessment? What Assessment Resource Packets are in development for grades 3-8? What tools do we have to support educators as they create high quality assessments in their classrooms or across their grade-levels?
- Tuesday January 14, 2020
How can we translate data from assessments into meaningful information for decision-making in the classroom and beyond?
- Tuesday, September 24, 2019
- On October 6 and 7, 2019, The St. Louis Holocaust Museum & Learning Center, in cooperation with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, presents a FREE two-part professional development event that will provide resources and pedagogical approaches to teach about the Holocaust, including a special focus on immigration and refugee issues. Resources from the US Holocaust Memorial Museum will be provided. The workshop is open to middle and high school educators Registration is required.
If you have questions or additional ideas to share, please contact me. My hope and my goal is to serve and support you in the important work you do educating all our children to become capable, contributing citizens.
Dixie Johnson Grupe
Director, Social Studies
Office of College and Career Readiness
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
The Missouri Civics Education Initiative, passed by the Missouri legislature and signed by Governor Nixon in June 2016, requires any student entering 9th grade after July 1, 2017 to pass an examination on the provisions and principles of American civics.
The law states that the examination shall consist of 100 questions similar to the one hundred questions used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and may be included in any other examination that is administered on the provisions and principles of the United States and the State of Missouri, and in American history and American institutions. The full text of the law can be found at http://www.senate.mo.gov/16info/pdf-bill/tat/SB638.pdf
So what does that mean for Missouri Social Studies?
- We will continue with the current Government EOC exam and the voluntary American History EOC exam.
- Local districts will assure compliance.
- School districts may use an online test to comply. See http://civicseducationinitiative.org/take-the-test/ for ideas.
- Districts may choose to create a crosswalk of the USCIS questions and their existing American Government, Missouri Government and American History assessment, and then to amend those assessments to comply with the USCIS content. Districts are encouraged to maintain the crosswalk and adjustments as verification of content assessed. The USCIS site testing materials are available at https://www.uscis.gov/citizenship/learners/study-test
If you have additional questions about this law and social studies testing, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org