Ohio Social
Studies Signal

Ohio Social
Studies Signal

August 2014 Social Studies Signal


Changes in graduation requirements and assessments

House Bill 487 updated Ohio’s graduation requirements to ensure that all students are ready for success in college and work. As a result, the class of 2017 (10th-graders in the 2014-2015 school year) will be the last students to take the current Ohio Graduation Tests. The new requirements take effect with the class of 2018 (ninth graders in Fall 2014). Additionally, every student in the class of 2018 will have the opportunity to take a nationally recognized college admission exam free of charge in the 11th grade. The honors diploma remains another option for students.

The Ohio Graduation Test for social studies for the spring of 2015 and beyond will be dually aligned between the 2002 Academic Content Standards for Social Studies and Ohio's Learning Standards, with the focus on American History and Modern World History. However, in order to maintain the test requirements (blueprints) of the social studies OGT, there will be a few questions from the following 2002 benchmarks (that are also aligned to Ohio’s Learning Standards): People in Societies A-C; Geography A-C; Economics A-B; Government A-B; Citizens Rights & Responsibilities A-B.


Network Regional Leaders for Social Studies to assist in implementation of Ohio’s New Standards and Next Generation Assessments

A team of teachers, curriculum specialists and college professors comprise the Network Regional Leaders for social studies. This group will be sharing best practices regarding Ohio’s Learning Standards and Next Generation Assessments implementation to Ohio teachers. They also will review state and nationally-developed instructional materials.


C-SPAN announces 2015 StudentCam documentary competition

C-SPAN is pleased to announce the new 2015 StudentCam documentary competition theme. Students in Grades 6-12 are asked to create a five to seven- minute documentary on “The Three Branches and You: Tell a story that demonstrates how a policy, law or action by either the executive, legislative, or judicial branch has affected you or your community. Students should pick an aspect related to one of the three branches on which to focus their documentary-- be it legislation passed by Congress, a policy of the executive branch, a decision in a Supreme Court case or otherwise. Cash prizes totaling $100,000 will be awarded to the filmmakers of the top 150 documentaries, as well as the teacher advisers of the top 50 documentaries. The submission deadline for all eligible documentaries will be Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015.

For more information about the competition and to view past winning videos, visit www.StudentCam.org.

For additional details, call the program’s Educators' Hotline at (800) 523-7586, or email educate@c-span.org.

Social studies resource portal for intermediate grades is open

The Ohio Council for the Social Studies added a portal to capture social studies resources for Grades 4, 5 and 6. Teachers can add resources to the site. Click here to access the website.


Law & Citizenship Conference registration is now open

Registration is now open for the Law & Citizenship Conference that will be held Sept. 21-22. Keynote speakers Mary Beth Tinker (Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District) and Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. Ms. Tinker will discuss students’ constitutional rights.  Chief Justice O’Connor will engage teachers in a discussion about her plan for Ohio Judicial Reform. Additional session topics include: primary sources, historic documents, 2014 elections, public policy, mock trial and much more. Special rates are available for first-time attendees, as well as colleagues from the same district/school. To register, visit http://www.oclre.org/2014-law-citizenship-conference-registration. For additional details, visit www.oclre.org or contact Program Coordinator Tim Kalgreen at tkalgreen@oclre.org.


Ohio Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference registration open

Join other Ohio teachers at the Ohio Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference this fall. Registration is now open.

The theme of this year’s conference, Civil Literacy: Taking Informed Action, emphasizes the need for civic education and the literacy skills students need to mature and grow into their roles as informed, engaged, and contributing members of our republic and marketplace. Kathy Swan and Bob Bain headline the list of quality conference speakers and presenters. Dr. Swan is the lead writer of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework recently released by the National Council for the Social Studies. Dr. Bain is the designer of the Big History Project’s High School Course and an innovator in teaching pre-service teachers to use disciplinary and content area literacy in their lessons. The conference will be held Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 29-30 at the Embassy Suites Columbus – Dublin. Please visit  http://ocss.org/ for more information or register here.


Fall workshops offered on teaching economics and personal finance

The Barker Center for Economic Education is offering a series of workshops. These will be facilitated by experienced teachers in the field of financial and economic education. Teachers will receive valuable resources and a framework for bringing economics and personal finance to life for students. The first 25 educators that successfully complete selected workshops will receive a $60 stipend and a certificate for contact hours. Participants can earn graduate credits for attending many of the workshops at the reeducated rate of $145 per credit hour (traditionally, $400). The fall workshops include:

  • Sept. 27: Award Winning Author Jackie Cummings Koski, "Money Letters to My Daughter"
  • Oct. 3: Teaching Personal Finance, Grades 6-12
  • Oct. 25: Real World Economics: Focus on Student Learning Objectives and Strong Assessments
  • Nov. 10-11: Using Video Games to Teach Financial Literacy

To register for any of these workshops or to learn more about the H.K. Barker Center for Economic Education at The University of Akron, visit us at www.economiceducation.us.


National Council for the Social Studies offers 2014 professional development series

The National Council for the Social Studies is presenting its 2014 Social Studies Professional Development Series. These extensive webinar and workshop offerings focus on the C3 Framework, Ohio’s Learning Standards, technology integration, using primary sources, geographic connections, and grant writing in preparation for the 2014-2015 school year. Attendees can receive a certificate of attendance upon request for professional development needs.  Click here to see the full list of workshops.


National Council for the Social Studies  Annual Conference to feature Ken Burns, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Eric Foner

Filmmaker Ken Burns and historians Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Eric Foner headline the list of conference speakers at the 94th National Council for the Social Studies Annual Conference in Boston Nov. 21-23. More than 3,000 educators from across the U.S. will share the most current knowledge, ideas, research and expertise in social studies education. Click here for more information.


Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?: Teaching Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12 by Bruce Lesh.  Stenhouse Publishers, 2010.

Reading, Thinking, and Writing About History: Teaching Argument Writing it to Diverse Learners in th Common Core Classroom, Grades 6-12 by Chauncey Monte-Sano, Susan De La Paz, Mark Felton. The Common Core State Standards in Literacy Series, 2014.

Ohio Historical Society Founding of America Documents Program



Send comments/questions to:

Dwight Groce, consultant, Office of Curriculum and Assessment, Ohio Department of Education, 25 S. Front Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215, or dwight.groce@education.ohio.gov