Iowans sought for social studies standards writing team

From Iowa Department of Education

Application due December 11; team to rewrite social studies standards for public review

DES MOINES – Iowans are invited to apply to serve on a state team that will rewrite Iowa’s social studies standards for public review and possible adoption statewide, Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise announced today.

The team will draft new social studies standards during the 2015-16 school year.

“Statewide academic standards are important because they reflect the knowledge and skills that all students need to graduate from high school prepared for college and career training,” Wise said. “Iowa has set clear and consistent state standards for mathematics, English-language arts, science and 21st century skills that will be revisited on an ongoing basis. Our social studies standards, however, have a lot of room for growth and improvement. This is why a rewrite of these standards is a good next step.”

For example, about a third of middle school and high school teachers who responded to a recent survey on social studies said they were dissatisfied with Iowa’s social studies standards. Of the written comments submitted with survey responses, 17 percent reflected a need for clearer, more specific social studies standards.

The social studies standards writing team will develop draft standards that will then be subject to public review in line with Gov. Branstad’s Executive Order 83. This will include convening a special review panel and seeking public input statewide.

Any Iowan may apply to serve on the social studies standards writing team, but priority will be given to applicants who have a background in K-12 or higher education. Applications are due Dec. 11.

To apply, please visit:

Members of the writing team will be announced in December. Meetings will be open to the public.

Academic standards outline consistent expectations for what students in kindergarten through 12th grade should know and be able to do. Standards represent a set of expectations, not a curriculum, so decisions about how to help students reach the standards remain with school administrators and teachers.

For more information about Iowa’s state standards, please visit

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