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SOCIAL STUDIES: New State Approved Social Studies Standards

On February 4, 2021 the North Carolina State Board of Education(SBE) approved new content standards for social studies, K-12. The standards define what students are expected to know, understand, and be able to do by the end of each grade or course.

Included as a part of the approval of the standards is a preamble written by NC Superintendent of Public Instruction, Catherine Truitt. The preamble states that the standards are a framework intended to teach the full spectrum of history to best help students learn and use the information they acquire in the course of learning experiences.

The revision process followed State Board of Education(SBE) policy SCOS-012 and was feedback-based, research informed, improvement oriented and process-driven and included:

  • Writing and review teams comprised of 70+ educators from across all SBE districts
  • Public feedback surveys that represented more than 7,000 stakeholders 
  • SBE support was requested to ensure that the survey was accessible and open to feedback from all stakeholder groups
  • 5 Drafts, with Draft 4 Public Feedback resulting in 85% overall favorable for adoption of standards.  Click HERE for Draft 4 presentation.   The SBE approved Draft 5 of the standards, which was nearly identical to Draft 4, except it removed the terms "systemic racism," "systemic discrimination" and "gender identity" from the document and replaced them with "racism," "discrimination and "identity." 

You can find a complete list of the 2021 Approved Social Studies Standards for each K-12 grade level via the link below:


Graduation requirements for students starting 9th grade in 2021 will include one American History course, one Economics and Personal Finance course, Civic Literacy course, and World History course.


You can find the Implementation Phase timeline via the link below: