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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 03-80


[22 PA. CODE CH. 4]

Academic Standards and Assessment for Civics and Government; Economics; Geography and History

[33 Pa.B. 283]

   The State Board of Education (Board) amends Chapter 4 (relating to academic standards and assessment) to add academic standards for Civics and Government; Economics; Geography; and History, to read as set forth in Annex A, under the authority of the Public School Code of 1949 (act) (24 P. S. §§ 1-101--27-2702).

   Notice of proposed rulemaking was published at 32 Pa.B. 905 (February 16, 2002) with an invitation to submit written comments.


   This final-form rulemaking will establish academic standards for Civics and Government; Economics; Geography; and History. The purpose of these requirements is to specify academic standards to be achieved by students enrolled at various grade levels in the public schools (including public charter schools) of this Commonwealth.

Comments and Responses

   Public comment was received with regard to the proposed changes to the standards, with many requests for technical edits and clarifications. The Senate Education Committee held hearings on March 26, 2002. While the Senate Education Committee did not submit official comments, the Minority Chairperson of the Senate Education Committee submitted a one page summary of concerns she received regarding the proposed social studies standards, outlining four considerations related to the areas of: 1) the number of standards and instructional feasibility; 2) structure; 3) emphasis and contextual relevance; and 4) teacher certification. The House Education Committee (Committee) held hearings on April 3, 2002. No official Committee comments were submitted. The Chairperson of the Committee forwarded House staff comments to the Board for consideration. A Committee member also transmitted his concerns about the proposed rulemaking, and included a letter he received from a constituent.

   Finally, the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) provided detailed comments on the regulations to clarify and technically correct the proposed standards and to provide various improvements to the standards.

   Comments concerning the proposed standards were most commonly received in the areas of general comments, clarifying the meaning of individual standards, added and deleted words, definitions and examples, misspellings, punctuation and typographical errors, and policy considerations.

Overall Comments and Policy Considerations

   There were general comments and policy considerations about all four of the proposed standards as a whole. The House staff suggested that the term ''descriptor'' be removed from all of the proposed standards because it is not a common usage term. This term should remain in the standards since it has become a more widely used term in the education field. This is due to the fact that educators have added terms such as ''standard category,'' ''standard statement'' and ''standard descriptor'' to their lexicon to communicate with one another regarding the outline of the standards.

   Comments addressed a lack of coherence and vision for the social studies instruction, with suggestions to merge the four separate disciplines into one coherent set of social studies standards. Aside from the suggestion that there are too many standards, there also was the concern that the content of the four standards is too detailed and cannot be covered in the time allotted for social studies. IRRC and public comment indicated that an alternative to the current structure would be one standard organized around themes that demonstrate the interrelationships among the four separate standards. There also was the comment that educators believe that the standards ought to be based around themes or enduring understandings, including core ideas, conflicts, key questions and key persons. It was suggested that further emphasis is needed on predominant themes such as civil rights and political developments.

   A public commentator further indicated that there is a lack of interdisciplinary approach for the proposed standards. Another public commentator also questioned whether the standards would discourage local school board control of curriculum and allocation of resources to best meet the needs of the school's population. A constituent also indicated in a letter to a Committee member, that the standards need to be reviewed to take into account child development, age appropriateness and time constraints.

   Overall, the Board believes that Chapter 4 strengthens an interdisciplinary approach. The major focus of the development committees for the standards was to create standards that were both age and development sensitive, while at the same time considering various time constraints on the amount of information to be taught. Furthermore, both the manner in which the new standards are arranged and the intent behind them are to strengthen not only the interdisciplinary approach, but also to encourage a sense of vision and coherence.

   Rather than create one set of standards, the four disciplines remained separate in the final-form rulemaking. Districts can identify additional themes and build planned instruction around them. The importance of the standards is the focus on important information that students should know and the ability to demonstrate proficiency. Revising the standards to several themes would lose the focus on important disciplines and the content unique to the standards. Separate standards keep specific content constantly in the foreground, to ensure that it be addressed.

   In addition, Chapter 4 provides schools with significant latitude in delivering academic instruction to students. Maintenance of detailed standards in each of the four disciplines maintains a strong focus on academic content while also allowing schools to maximize flexibility in the design and delivery of curriculum. Schools may offer planned instruction through separate courses, separate instructional units within a course or as part of an interdisciplinary program. The maintenance of separate sets of standards will not negatively affect this practice.

   In a letter to a Committee member, a constituent raised the issue that the four standards need to be integrated and coordinated, in order to be aligned chronologically or topically. The constituent also suggested that the standards be organized conceptually, rather than by specific content. The standards are organized by concepts within disciplines, to create a broad overview of the subjects to be taught. The only way to maintain the integrity of the four standards, however, is to keep the four standards separate. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that integration will take place throughout the instructional process.

   The constituent also suggested that there needs to be more flexibility as to the level that topics are taught, so that, for example, World History would only be taught once at the high school level. Chapter 4 and the related standards specify civics and government, economics, geography and history at four different grade levels: 1-3, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. World History is to be taught at least four times, including once in grades 10-12.

   IRRC also suggested that for clarity and consistency, like the history standards, the introductions to the standards for Civics and Government, Economics and Geography include both a concise explanation of the general format of the standards, and the introductions should state that the standards are broken down into categories, statements, bulleted items (descriptors) and examples. Both explanations were included in the introductions for Civics and Government, Economics and Geography.

   IRRC requested consistency between the format of the Table of Contents with the Tables of Contents of the existing academic standards for Science and Technology and Environment and Ecology, by listing categories and identifying statements under those categories with corresponding capital letters. The format was included in the final-form regulations for Civics and Government; Economics; Geography; and History. IRRC commented that the standards listed in the Table of Contents for social studies (in particular the Table of Contents for Civics and Government and Geography) did not match the standards contained in the text. For example, under the proposed standards for Civics and Government, Section 5.1, the Table of Contents lists three standards, but the text of Section 5.1 contains 13 standards. Conversely, under the proposed standards for Geography, in Section 7.1, the Table of Contents lists three standards, but the text of Section 7.1 only contains two standards. IRRC indicated that the content of each of the standards should be accurately reflected in the Table of Contents. The Table of Contents for the final-form rulemaking includes all standard statement topics listed to appropriately reflect the outline and text of the standards.

   A public commentator raised the issue as to whether the standards impose a limit on instructional flexibility. The regulations do not require any specific courses or Carnegie units (hours of instruction). Furthermore, districts have much instructional flexibility in delivering planned instruction, and interdisciplinary planned instruction is encouraged. There was the comment that educators were concerned that the standards will emphasize rote memorization rather than an understanding of the larger social ideas. Teachers, however, have indicated that the themes expressed are important, and rote memorization is not an issue given the themes expressed throughout the standards.

   In a letter to a Committee member, a constituent indicated that innovative instructional techniques may be stifled, because of the tremendous amount of material content ''to be covered'' by the standards. The constituent suggested that many of the standards are too specific, prescriptive and numerous, resulting in the restriction of a teacher's use of instructional tools learned through training and experience; proficiency may not be possible for some students under these standards, and implementation of the standards as they are currently written will ultimately remove AP courses and other electives from school schedules.

   Local flexibility was given much attention throughout the development of the standards. The Board determined that the content of the standards is well balanced for each grade level, that innovative instructional techniques will be encouraged. It is also the goal of the standards to provide direction in order to develop curriculum. While electives may need to be reassessed, the local district will use the standards to choose what proficiency is and make a determination on the appropriate curriculum.

   Aside from general comments, there was the submission of comments on overall policy considerations. A public commentator indicated that the standards for Civics and Government, Geography and History are ''too open for interpretation'' in their current form, and may lead to varying curriculum expectations from district to district. However, the purpose of the standards is to outline major concepts, which all districts are required to teach at the appropriate grade levels. It is the responsibility of the districts and its teachers to determine the manner in which these subjects should be taught.

   Another public commentator indicated that the standards created financial hardships for the districts. Districts are charged with curriculum development. Although the standards may require some realignment and adjustment to the district's planned instruction, most standards concepts have been part of the courses previously taught. Therefore, the impact of the proposed standards in their final-form would not be financial hardship for the districts.

   This same public commentator suggested that there was too much to teach with the new standards, and as a result, educational basics would suffer. Educational basics for the 21st century, however, require students to deal with massive amounts of information. Nevertheless, students learn this information in stages, as subjects are expanded upon throughout a child's educational development. The purpose of content areas is to provide methods to teach and instruct the basics within their subject areas. The standards encourage instruction that models how many sources of information can be combined within one topic. The different levels of knowledge promulgated by the standards demonstrate an understanding that with so much to learn, it can only happen over time.

   This public commentator questioned whether assessments needed to be changed to align with the standards. Schools continually update and revise their curriculum and local assessment tools. Upon final publication of new academic standards, § 4.12 (relating to academic standards) requires that schools will revise their curriculum and align their local assessments. State assessments are neither planned for these standards, nor are they required by the new Federal education requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Pub.L. No. 107-110, 115 Stat. 1425) (January 8, 2001).

   This public commentator also inquired whether textbooks are written to comport with the standards. While standards-based textbooks exist, they are often aligned with National standards, and the standards of large states. It is anticipated that the Commonwealth's standards will be considered when textbook publishers revise and update their offerings. Therefore, as a result, the districts will have to do a crosswalk to match the textbooks to the standards, and where gaps exist, use handouts, workbooks, videos, library resources, the Internet or other instructional resources.

   A concern was raised that the omission of sociology, anthropology and social sciences from the standards will cause districts to drop the courses. Whether or not to include these subjects is not solely driven by the standards; local decisions by each school district about elective courses will determine whether or not these subjects are included in their local academic programs.

   There was the question of whether the separation of citizenship and social sciences would preclude development of well-rounded teachers from the certification perspective and limit districts in curricular offerings. Alternatively, it was recommended that the Board consider requiring social studies certification through continuing education for these teachers. However, the recent efforts of the Board with regard to teacher preparation and certification under Chapter 49 (relating to certification of professional personnel), as well as the efforts of the Department of Education (Department) regarding professional development, both promote and encourage the development of well-rounded teachers who are well versed in the academic content in their areas of certification.

   A public commentator suggested that a review process should be determined now and put into place upon implementation of the standards. Upon the Board's assessment of the review process, the Board determined that procedurally there is the need to focus on completion of the standards adoption process now, and then participate in an overall future review of Chapter 4 in its entirety. This review will take place in 2003.

   A public commentator recommended that the social studies standards should follow the National Council for Social Studies thematic structure. Movement on the Commonwealth's Academic Standards attempted to give direction to teachers, and substance for students. The Commonwealth's current format for the social studies standards matches the direction of the Federal government, and would be more closely aligned to the National Assessments for Education Progress assessments. Many of the themes of the National Council for Social Studies may be found in various standard statements, but in a more structured vein.

   IRRC had various comments, which are expressed throughout, relating to adding or deleting various words and phrases from the glossaries for all four of the proposed standards. A committee reviewed the comments and decided to accept, as necessary, certain terms specified by IRRC. IRRC's general comment about many of these words and phrases was that if a term is not used in the standard document then it should not be included in the glossary for that particular standard. That position was accepted and acted on by the Board when preparing the glossaries for the final-form rulemaking. As for other terms that were suggested to be included, however, the glossaries for the standards were developed in order to permit the layperson to understand what is being asked for or studied in the standards. The glossaries were not designed to be a course glossary for the teacher or a student, as such glossaries exist in grade appropriate texts and supplemental materials. The key to creating the glossaries was making the determination of whether the glossary provided the reader with assistance in understanding the standards by using a document that was clear and concise. Therefore, the major focus when determining whether or not to include suggested words and phrases in the glossary was whether or not these terms were used in the standards, and whether the term would be readily identified by the layperson.

Civics and Government

General Comments

   General comments were provided regarding the proposed standards for Civics and Government. IRRC noted that a public commentator questioned whether it would be helpful either to include an elementary level glossary for Civics and Government, or to expand the existing glossary to be more inclusive. The glossary, in its current form, was prepared for the layperson to understand what is meant by the standards document. Existing texts and supplemental materials will have appropriate glossaries for the applicable grade levels, thus no changes are needed to the Glossary for the standards for Civics and Government in its final form.

Clarifying the Meaning of Individual Standards

   Several changes were recommended to make individual standards for Civics and Government more precise and clear. Standard 5.1.3.H begins with ''Identify framers of documents of governments. . . .'' The House staff questioned how many and which ''framers'' students will be expected to know; also, which ''documents of government'' will be used. The House staff also considered that this requisite is inappropriate for the age or grade category. Local schools will choose which ''framers'' its students would be expected to know at the relevant age or grade category; it is expected that leaders and other people who played key roles would be identified. In addition, the ''documents of government'' are those listed in Standard 5.1.3.E.

   In Standard 5.1.6.J, the House staff suggested that the standard should read: ''Describe how the government protects individual and property rights and promotes the common good.'' The final-form rulemaking was amended accordingly.

   In Standard 5.3.6.G, the House staff suggested amending the standard to read: ''Describe how the [government] law protects individual rights. . . .'' The ''law,'' however, is the basis for government. Without government in place, therefore, ''law'' is ineffectual. Based on this rationale, the term ''government'' should remain within this phrase of the standard.

   In Standard 5.3.9.F and G, House staff suggested amending the standards to read: ''F. Explain the election process. . . .National and State Party conventions;'' ''G. Explain how the [government] Bill of Rights [protects] guarantees individual rights.'' The phrase was changed from ''national and state party conventions'' to ''political party conventions'' in order to cover both National and state levels. While the ''Bill of Rights'' had already been included as an example in Standard 5.3.6.G, the word ''protects'' was not replaced with ''guarantees'' in the final-form regulation for Standard 5.3.9.G. The Board reasoned that other than those listed, there are other amendments and State documents that protect individual rights. Therefore, the word ''guarantee'' would be limiting, as it connotes that individual rights can only be attained through application of one of the four bullets listed in the standard.

   In Standard 5.3.12.G, the House staff suggested amending the standard to read: ''Evaluate how the [government] law protects or curtails. . . .'' The intent of this standard is to evaluate an active participant responsible for the protection of rights. While laws are created to guarantee individual rights and freedoms, it ultimately is the duty of the government to ensure that laws protect the rights of individuals. Therefore, ''government'' is the appropriate term, and the suggested change was not included in the final-form rulemaking.

Misspellings, Punctuation Errors and Typographical Errors

   Standard 5.1.3.M uses as an example ''One small step for mankind.'' Upon review, it was determined that the correct quote should be ''One small step for man'' (Neil Armstrong), and the final-form rulemaking was revised accordingly.

   IRRC noted that in Standard 5.2.9.E, the word ''the'' should be inserted before the word ''political'' and that in Standard 5.3.9.D, the correct name of an agency is the ''Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission.'' The word ''the'' was added to the final-form rulemaking for Standard 5.2.9.E. Please note that the standards refer to the ''Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.'' After careful review, it was determined that this is the actual name of the agency.

Added and Deleted Words, Definitions and Examples

   The following words and phrases were removed from the Glossary, because as IRRC noted, they were not used in the text of the Civics and Government standards: ''civil law;'' ''civil liberties;'' ''common law;'' ''compromise;'' ''concurrent powers;'' ''confederation;'' ''consent of the governed;'' ''constitutionalism;'' ''delegated powers;'' ''diplomat;'' ''judicial power;'' and ''political efficacy.''

   IRRC suggested that definitions for 34 words and phrases be added to the Glossary since they were used in the text of the standards. IRRC's suggestions were added to the Glossary, with the exception of: ''preamble;'' ''personal responsibilities;'' ''political leadership;'' ''constitutional democracy;'' ''executive branch;'' ''legislative branch;'' ''judicial branch;'' ''bill;'' ''regulation;'' ''primary election;'' ''general election;'' ''political unit;'' ''International Red Cross;'' ''Amnesty International;'' and ''World Council of Churches.'' These terms were not added because the Board believes that, as used in the text of the standards, these terms are understandable. In addition, the terms ''right to counsel;'' ''civic responsibilities;'' and ''political rights'' had already been included in the Glossary prior to final-form.

   Both IRRC and a public commentator also suggested that the following terms be added to the Glossary: ''framers of documents;'' ''direct democracy;'' ''representative democracy;'' ''limited government;'' and ''unlimited government.'' These terms were included in the Glossary in the final-form rulemaking, with the exception of ''framers of documents'' and ''representative democracy.'' It was not appropriate to add ''framers of documents'' based on the terminology used in the standards. The final-form regulation was amended to include, where appropriate, the terms ''republic'' and ''republican form of government,'' in place of such phrases as ''representative democracy,'' to align the terms with such used in the Pennsylvania School Code. See section 1605(a) of the act (24 P. S. § 16-1605(a)). The terms ''republic'' and ''republican form of government'' also have been defined in the Glossary.


Clarifying the Meaning of Individual Standards

   In Standard 6.1.12.C, the House staff questioned to what the phrase ''to other years'' refers. The House staff questioned whether this was to be a comparison of current times to the Depression or the early 1990s, or was it simply a review of economic indicators for any given period of time, and if so whether some clarification or specification should be provided. As a result of the House staff's comments, the text of this standard was changed to read ''another time period'' instead of ''to other years.'' The Board reasoned that this change would further add to the clarification of this phrase.

   In Standard 6.2.9.E, the House staff suggested amending the language to read: ''Explain the laws of supply and demand and how these affect the prices of goods and services.'' This phrase was added to the final-form regulation.

Added and Deleted Words, Definitions and Examples

   IRRC identified 37 technical words and phrases that should be added to the Glossary. All of IRRC's suggestions were added to the Glossary, with the exception of: ''expansion;'' ''contraction;'' ''market transaction;'' ''monopoly;'' ''limited resources scarcity;'' ''regional economy;'' ''national economy;'' ''non-competitive market;'' ''international economy;'' ''limited resources;'' ''unlimited wants;'' ''allocation of resources;'' ''economic decision;'' ''decision making (in the context of marginal analysis);'' ''import;'' ''export;'' ''inter-regional trade;'' ''international trade;'' ''trade barrier;'' ''labor market;'' and ''retirement savings.'' These terms were not added because it was not appropriate, as they are terminology that was not used in the standards. Therefore, in order to be consistent with the standards and to maintain a Glossary that is ''user friendly,'' these terms were not included in the Glossary.


General Comments

   A public commentator questioned whether multiple textbooks would be needed to teach Geography under the proposed standards. Schools already use multiple sources of instructional materials in delivering instruction. While standards-based textbooks exist, they are often aligned with National standards, and the standards of large states. It is anticipated that the Commonwealth's standards will be considered when textbook publishers revise and update their offerings. As a result, the districts will have to do a crosswalk in order to match the textbooks to the standards, and when gaps exist, use handouts, workbooks, videos, library resources, the Internet or other instructional resources.

   In Standard 7.2.3.A, both IRRC and the House staff questioned the age appropriateness of the language of the standard stating: ''Identify the physical characteristics of places and regions. . . . earth's basic physical systems. . . lithosphere. . . hydrosphere. . .atmosphere. . . and biosphere. . . .'' The staff suggested that these four terms for third-graders be rephrased to something more meaningful, such as ''earth, water, air and life forms.'' It also was suggested that perhaps these concepts should be shifted to sixth-grade standards in Standard 7.2.6.A.

   Using the more simplified language removes the actual concept, and an elementary teacher urged the inclusion of these terms in the standards. Teachers should use words such as ''earth,'' ''water,'' ''air'' and ''life forms'' to explain these terms when delivering instruction. Furthermore, teachers on the development committee for the standards considered the actual terms used to best describe the intent of the standard statement.

   In Standard 7.3.3.E, the House staff considered whether it was inappropriate to expect all third-graders to: ''Identify. . .[the] type of political units (e.g. townships, boroughs, counties, states, countries [nation state]).'' Knowing concepts such as counties, states and nations appear, according to the House staff, to be fundamental concepts for first-through third-graders. According to the House staff and public comment, knowing and identifying local municipalities seems complex. The House staff, therefore, suggested changing the standard's requirements. The staff also questioned why ''cities'' and ''towns'' were deleted from the list of local municipalities in the proposed rulemaking.

   Typical studies of political units include sequences that use the words ''neighborhood'' and ''community'' at these grades. Therefore, it also would be appropriate to use complementary political units. This terminology is consistent with other standard statements in Civics and Government, Economics and History, and therefore, students at this age level should be able to comprehend these concepts and terminologies.

   A public commentator requested clarification of the meaning of the word ''human features.'' This term is well defined in the Glossary and is the thrust for all of Standard 7.3; therefore, is no need for further clarification.

Clarifying the Meaning of Individual Standards

   In Standard 7.1.3.B, the House staff and IRRC questioned why the symbol ''i.e.'' (meaning id est. or ''that is'') is used, rather than the symbol ''e.g.'' (meaning ''for example''), as is used throughout the other levels of this section, as well as throughout the standards. The staff further indicated that the use of ''i.e.'' would indicate that those items are to be used specifically, rather than serving as possible examples of certain factors. The House staff and IRRC suggested that changing the ''i.e.'' usage to ''e.g.'' usage because they believed that this abbreviation might be misinterpreted. The abbreviation ''i.e.'' remained in the final-form rulemaking for this particular standard, as the purpose of its use was to specifically include the items listed. This list would not be all-inclusive, but every student would need to know these particular items.

   In addition, the term ''intervening opportunities'' was changed in the Glossary at the suggestion of IRRC to ''intervening opportunity'' to be consistent with the tense of the term used within the standards. There was some concern from a public commentator that the use of the term ''mental map'' was too confusing for elementary grade students. This term is used in the final-form rulemaking, as the Board determined that it was a term that could be understood by children in these grades.

   In Standard 7.1.9.A, the House staff suggested the use of the term ''key (or legend)'' in place of ''symbol systems.'' Geography encompasses a key or legend as part of the ''symbol system.'' The term used is broader than just a legend; therefore, the term must remain in the regulations.

   In Standard 7.1.9.B, the House staff suggested an additional bullet to read: ''How geography has influenced certain events or phenomena (e.g. battles, natural disasters, settlement patterns, the rise of specific industries).'' Standard 7.1 refers to ''Basic Geographic Literacy.'' This suggestion has already been addressed in Standards 7.4 and 7.3.

   Standard 7.3.12.C requires students to ''Use models of the internal structure of cities (e.g., concentric zone model, sector theory, multiple nuclei theory).'' IRRC suggested that the example should refer to ''sector'' and ''multiple nuclei'' models as opposed to ''theories.'' These suggestions were made to the final-form regulation. Further, IRRC suggested that the definition of the term ''sector model'' in the Section XXI Glossary should reflect the use of the term in the standards. The current definition does reflect the use of the term in the standards, as ''Sector'' is used as an example in Standard 7.3.12 of a model of an internal structure of cities. The definition of ''Sector model'' in the Glossary specifically defines the concept used to create this model.

   Standards 7.4.6.A and 7.4.9.A refer to ''hazard-prone areas.'' Rather than use this term in the Glossary as IRRC suggested, the Board used ''natural hazard'' because Standard 7.4.3.A begins with the discussion of natural hazards and, as appropriate, it is defined in the Glossary.

   IRRC considered the appropriateness of the definition of ''absolute location.'' In the Glossary of the Geography standards, the definition of the term ''absolute location'' states ''the position of a point on the Earth's surface that can usually be described by latitude and longitude but also including nine digit zip code and street address.'' IRRC questioned why the phrase ''but also including nine digit zip code and street address'' was relevant to this definition. The phrase remained in the definition because the ''position'' is a point on the Earth's surface that can usually be described by latitude and longitude. However, for the sake of clarity, the definition of ''absolute location'' in the final-form rulemaking was amended to read as follows: ''The position of a point on the Earth's surface that can usually be described by latitude and longitude. Another example of absolute location would be the use of a nine-digit zip code and street address.''

Added and Deleted Words, Definitions and Examples

   The following terms were deleted from the Glossary, as IRRC suggested: ''choropleth map;'' ''climatic processes;'' ''contour map;'' ''demography;'' ''cultural hearths;'' ''industrialization;'' ''land degradation;'' ''map projection;'' ''regionalization;'' and ''urbanization.'' ''Equinox'' was not removed because it is a necessary term, as it is used in Standard 7.2.6.B. However, the definition was made plural in the Glossary to be consistent with the use of the term in the standards.

   IRRC suggested the following technical terms be included in the Glossary: ''biomes;'' ''tertiary;'' ''legend (i.e., relating to a map);'' ''NAFTA;'' ''NATO;'' and ''OAS.'' Definitions for all of these words and phrases were included in the Glossary with the exception of ''legend'' and ''tertiary.'' ''Legend'' is a common term used in reading maps so it does not need a definition, and ''tertiary'' is defined in the bullet where it was used in the standards so it was not necessary to include this term in the Glossary.

   IRRC questioned the need to define ''distribution;'' ''population size;'' and ''satellite image'' in the Glossary. All of these words and phrases were removed from the Glossary except for ''satellite image.'' It was appropriate to define this term due to its complexity. Therefore, because this term had special meaning, as applicable to the standards, it was included in the Glossary.


General Comments

   Comments expressed an overall deficiency with the history standards, as there appeared to be an absence of traditional and well-recognized themes. However, history is about people and groups, primary documents, material artifacts, historic places, continuity and change over time, conflicts and cooperation, and development of historical analysis and skills. The standards incorporate all of these themes.

   A Committee member indicated that the history standards were created without regard to the years that history is taught, the comprehension level of students exposed to the material and a true grasp of the meaning of history or the usefulness of the historical process. The Committee member further indicated that the history standards are unrealistic, and do not conform to the age or grade levels that United States history is taught (which will be the course where the history of this Commonwealth is incorporated). However, teachers throughout the State have remarked that the history standards are consistent with their actual course of instruction. While the actual historical process is strongly enforced by the content of Standard 8.1, the actual years that history is taught varies greatly throughout the State from district to district. Furthermore, the comprehension of students always remained in the foreground in all deliberations surrounding the creation of these standards.

   A public commentator suggested that the history standards have vague examples for benchmarks for the third grade. The benchmarks have the same concepts used in other grade levels, but some have more specific descriptors of history. A Committee member also suggested that ''religious freedom'' is not included in the standards, and should be addressed by looking at the issue in several periods of time from the 17th to the 21st century. The concept of religious freedom, however, is addressed throughout the History standards.

   A constituent indicated, in his letter to a Committee member, that some of the standards lack coherence, as for example, in the History standards, by grade 6 one bullet in the standards listed that students needed to know both the Code of Hammurabi and Anne Frank. This comment actually referred to a proposed draft of the History standards from January 2001. It is the local entity, however, that chooses the content to be addressed from the History standards, as long as it addresses individuals and groups, primary documents, material artifacts, historic places, continuity and change, conflict and cooperation within the Americas, Asia, Africa and Europe, with regard to World History.

   The House staff suggested the need to revise the seventh paragraph of the preamble for the History standards, to identify why these standards treat history as a narrative. The staff further indicated that if there needs to be a ''common cultural history,'' as the paragraph states, then there needs to be a greater emphasis on key, and therefore, inclusive information. It is not necessary to revise the preamble for this purpose, as the actual intent of the standards is actually the same as the purpose of a narrative: that teachers will use the standards to make history ''come alive'' for students.

   The issue was raised questioning the age appropriateness of various concepts at various grade levels. For example, a Committee member indicated that some of the issues discussed in the history standards in the period ''beginning to 1824'' are too complex to be mastered by sixth grade students, and that an appreciation of certain documents cannot be mastered by grade three. However, the standards are designed so that students can ''master'' concepts that are appropriate for their age or grade level.

   A constituent suggested, in his letter to a Committee member, that bulleted, arrowed and diamonded items throughout the standards should be cited as ''suggested activities only.'' This comment actually referred to a proposed draft of the History standards from January 2001. In the final-form rulemaking, there are no arrowed or diamonded items in the History standards. The standards only contain bulleted items, which are explained in the Introductions.

Clarifying the Meaning of Individual Standards

   The Introduction preceding the history standards contains the following sentence: ''Although different grade levels outline different chronological periods within the standards, it is intended, as any good teacher would do, that the specified chronological eras be linked to past learnings and that all eras be linked to the present.'' IRRC suggested that the phrase ''as any good teacher would do'' be removed as it is subjective. This phrase was removed from the final-form rulemaking.

   IRRC questioned why in Standard 8.3.3.A so many sports figures were chosen as examples of ''role models'' for United States history. These examples were used because citing several current individuals with whom students may already be familiar gives the teacher the ability to link these examples with individuals who may have been popular in the past. Furthermore, the sports figures used as examples have had an impact on society and, therefore, are considered as role models.

Added and Deleted Words, Definitions and Examples

   The Board responded to detailed comments about definitions and examples used in the proposed history standards. A public commentator raised the issue of whether examples of various political leaders and military leaders should be added to the list of examples included in the standards. These examples were not officially included in the final-form rulemaking, as the Board relies on local districts to include these individuals in local planned instruction. The standards do not replace local responsibilities in creating appropriate content.

   The Board attempted to balance this reasoning with the appropriateness of including the additional examples suggested, by the both the House staff as well as from a public commentator, in Standards 8.2.6, 8.3.6 and 8.3.9. This public commentator also requested that an example be added to Standard 8.2.12. The Board reviewed all of the suggestions, but the original examples remained in the final-form rulemaking to be consistent with the requirements of the standards, and because the Board considered them to be the most important examples for that particular subject as well as the historical time period. Furthermore, some of the suggestions had already been included in the standards prior to final-form.

   It also appeared that there was some chronological confusion in the proposed history standards between the 6th and the 9th grade. The confusion was as a result of the listing of the year ''1815'' instead of ''1824'' in the standard. Since 1824 was used for all other 6th grade statements, this change was made to all portions of this standard that discussed the year ''1815.'' A constituent also suggested, in a letter to a Committee member, that there is some chronological confusion when the history standards for grade 6 discuss events and issues surrounding the year ''1815,'' but the standards for grade 9 revert to the year ''1776'' (the actual year used in the standards was ''1787''). The Board determined, however, that the purpose of using these different years is not to create chronological confusion, but to build on previous information already taught and to allow for local flexibility.

   It was suggested that the terms ''multiple causation'' and ''multiple points of view'' be added to sections of Standard 8.1. The final-form rulemaking included ''cause and result'' in the plural in the relevant parts of this Standard. This permits ''multiple causations'' and ''mul-tiple points of view'' to continue to be used as a descriptor in the standards.

   IRRC suggested the following terms should be removed from the Glossary because they were not used in the text of the standards: ''archive;'' ''legends;'' ''time lines;'' and ''monument.'' The word ''time lines'' was included in the Glossary, however, because it was used in the text of Standard 8.1. IRRC questioned the necessity for the term ''memorial'' to be defined in the Glossary because the meaning of this term is commonly understood. However, it remained in the Glossary because the term encompasses many items as applied in the standard.

   ''AME Church'' is listed as an example of a social organization. IRRC suggested that a definition of ''AME Church'' should be included in the Glossary. Since the term ''social organization'' was never contained in the Glossary, given the extent to which it is addressed in the standards, the suggestion was adapted with ''AME Church'' being spelled out in the example where the term was used in Standard 8.2.6.C.

   The House staff suggested that the reference to ''C.E.'' (Common Era) be omitted. Previously, ''C.E.'' was necessary to delineate eras. However, ''eras'' themselves were removed from the standards, and this reference (C.E.) also was deleted from the final-form rulemaking.

Policy Considerations

   A public commentator expressed concern about how to teach war concepts to third graders and the impact of teaching this subject, and indicated opposition to the teaching of contemporary religion, based on the content of Standard 8.2. Elementary teachers may discuss military conflicts. Rather than using the term ''impact of wars'' a change has been made to the standards to provide greater flexibility. As an example of military conflicts, the ''e.g.'' section was changed to ''struggle for control'' in Standard 8.2.3.D. With respect to contemporary religion, how continuity and change have influenced history and conflict among social groups and organizations cannot fully be understood unless teaching concepts include the roles of contemporary religions.

Affected Parties

   The final-form rulemaking affects the students and professional employees of the public schools of this Commonwealth (including intermediate units, area vocational-technical schools, public charter and alternative schools).

Costs and Paperwork Estimates

   The Department believes implementation of this final-form rulemaking will be cost neutral to school districts. Costs to implement this final-form rulemaking may include curriculum development and the professional development of teachers. However, these costs may be cost neutral, as they have already been included in the budget. For example, curriculum revision is an ongoing activity for schools and is typically part of their normal budgeting. Costs associated with aligning curricula with these standards at the local level will be minimized by the following State efforts: technical assistance in curriculum development provided by Department staff; implementation materials developed by the Department; training provided by intermediate units; and professional associations to public schools. Professional development of teachers is an ongoing activity for schools and is addressed in the normal budgeting process by school dis-tricts. Specific programs designed to support the implementation of these standards will minimize any financial impact on school districts. Current year funds available for the Department to support these activities total $4.38 million. These funds are available for implementation of both Appendix C, as well as other academic standards, by way of professional development.

Effective Date

   These amendments will become effective upon final-form publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Sunset Date

   The effectiveness of Chapter 4 will be reviewed by the Board every 4 years, in accordance with the Board's policy and practice respecting all regulations promulgated by the Board. The Board plans to initiate its review of Chapter 4 in 2003. Thus, no sunset date is necessary.

Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on January 31, 2002, the Board submitted a copy of the proposed rulemaking, published at 32 Pa.B. 905, to IRRC and to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Committees on Education for review and comment.

   In compliance with section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, the Board also provided IRRC and the Committees with copies of the comments received as well as other documentation. In preparing the final-form rulemaking, the Board considered the comments received from IRRC, the Committees and the public.

   Under section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(d)), the final-form rulemaking was deemed approved by the Senate and House Committees on November 8, 2002. IRRC met on November 21, 2002, and approved the final-form rulemaking in accordance with section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act.

Contact Person

   The official responsible for information on the final-form rulemaking is James E. Buckheit, Acting Executive Director of the State Board of Education, 333 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17126-0333, (717) 787-3787 or TDD (717) 787-7367.


   The Department finds that:

   (1)  Public notice of the intention to adopt this final-form rulemaking was given under sections 201 and 202 of the act of July 31, 1968 (P. L. 769, No. 240) (45 P. S. §§ 1201 and 1202) and the regulations promulgated thereunder in 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1 and 7.2.

   (2)  A public comment period was provided as required by law and all comments were considered.

   (3)  The final-form rulemaking is necessary and appropriate for the administration of the act.


   The Board, acting under the authorizing statute, orders that:

   (a)  The regulations of the Board, 22 Pa. Code Chapter 4, are amended by adding Appendix C to read as set forth in Annex A.

   (b)  The Acting Executive Director will submit this order and Annex A to the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Attorney General for review and approval as to legality and form as required by law.

   (c)  The Acting Executive Director of the Board shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau as required by law.

   (d)  This order is effective upon final publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

Acting Executive Director

   (Editor's Note:  For the text of the order of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 32 Pa.B. 6016 (December 7, 2002).)

   Fiscal Note:  6-275. (1)  General Fund; (2)  Implementing Year 2002-03 is $*; (3)  1st Succeeding Year 2003-04 is $; 2nd Succeeding Year 2004-05 is $; 3rd Succeeding Year 2005-06 is $; 4th Succeeding Year 2006-07 is $; 5th Succeeding Year 2007-08 is $; (4)  2001-02 Program--$3.67 million; 2000-01 Program--$3.95 million; 1999-00 Program--$1.92 million; (7)  For teacher professional development associated with new academic standards, etc.; (8)  recommends adoption.

Annex A






Academic Standards for Civics and Government
and Economics and Geography and History

Academic Standards for
Civics and Government


Introduction . . . . . XIV.


Principles and Documents of Government . . . . . 5.1.
A.  Purpose of Government
   B.  Rule of Law
   C.  Principles and Ideals that Shape Government
   D.  Documents and Ideals Shaping Pennsylvania Government
   E.  Documents and Ideals Shaping United States Government
   F.  Rights Created by the Pennsylvania and United States Constitutions
   G.  Use, Display and Respect for the United States Flag
   H.  Contributions of Framers of Government
   I.  Sources, Purposes and Functions of Law
   J.  Individual Rights and the Common Good
   K.  Roles of Symbols and Holidays
   L.  Role of Courts in Resolving Conflicts
   M.  Speeches and Writings that Impact Civic Life

Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship . . . . . 5.2.
   A.  Civic Rights, Responsibilities and Duties
   B.  Relationship Between Rights and Responsibilities
   C.  Sources and Resolution of Conflicts
   D.  Political Leadership and Public Service
   E.  Ways Citizens Influence Decisions and Actions of Government
   F.  Consequences of Violating Rules and Law
   G.  Competent and Responsible Citizen

How Government Works . . . . . 5.3.
A.  Structure, Organization and Operation of Governments
   B.  Branches of Government
   C.  How a Bill Becomes a Law
   D.  Services Performed by Governments
   E.  Role of Leaders in Government
   F.  Elements of the Election Process
   G.  Protection of Individual Rights
   H.  Impact of Interest Groups on Government
   I.  How and Why Governments Raise Money
   J.  Influence of the Media
   K.  Systems of Government

How International Relationships Function . . . . . 5.4.
A.  How Customs and Traditions Influence Governments
   B.  Role of United States in World Affairs
   C.  Impact of United States on the Political Ideals of Nations
   D.  How Foreign Policy is Developed and Implemented
   E.  Purposes and Functions of International Organizations

Glossary . . . . . XV.


   This document includes Academic Standards for Civics and Government that describe what students should know and be able to do in four areas:

   *  5.1.  Principles and Documents of Government

   *  5.2.  Rights and Responsibilities of Citizenship

   *  5.3.  How Government Works

   *  5.4.  How International Relationships Function

   The Civics and Government Academic Standards describe what students should know and be able to do at four grade levels (third, sixth, ninth and twelfth). Throughout the standard statements, concepts found in lower grades must be developed more fully throughout higher grade levels.

   The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1790 was the basis for the Free Public School Act of 1834 that is the underpinning of today's system of schools operating throughout the Commonwealth. These schools were created to educate children to be useful citizens, loyal to the principles upon which our Republic was founded, and aware of their duties as citizens to maintain those ideals.

   The Academic Standards for Civics and Government are based on the Public School Code of 1949 which directs ''. . . teaching and presentation of the principles and ideals of the American republican representative form of government as portrayed and experienced by the acts and policies of the framers of the Declaration of Independence and framers of the Constitution of the United States and Bill of Rights. . .''. The intent of the Code is that such instruction ''shall have for its purpose also instilling into every boy and girl who comes out of public, private and parochial schools their solemn duty and obligation to exercise intelligently their voting privilege and to understand the advantages of the American republican form of government as compared with various other forms of governments.''

   The Academic Standards for Civics and Government consist of four standard categories (designated as 5.1.,5.2., 5.3., and 5.4.). Each category has a number of standards statements designated by a capital letter. Some standard statements have bulleted items known as standard descriptors. The standard descriptors are items within the document to illustrate and enhance the standard statement. The categories, statements and descriptors are regulations. The descriptors may be followed by an ''e.g.''. The ''e.g.'s'' are examples to clarify what type of information could be taught. These are suggestions and the choice of specific content is a local decision as is the method of instruction.

   Civics and Government along with Economics, Geography and History are identified as Social Studies in Chapter 4. This identification is consistent with citizenship education in Chapter 49 and Chapter 354. Based on these regulations, Social Studies/Citizenship Programs should include the four sets of standards as an entity in developing a scope and sequence for curriculum and planned instruction.

   A glossary is included to assist the reader in clarifying terminology contained in the standards.

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