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California History/Social Science Framework and Standards


The California History/Social Science Framework is available for purchase at the CDE Publication website. The standards are now embedded in the document and some of the out-of-date information has been updated.


Standards-driven curriculum and assessment have been the major education reform during the last 5 years both in California and the nation. Nationally, establishing standards in history/social science proved to be very controversial as interest groups with widely varying world views collided over what essential ideas must be taught and assessed in public schools. This conflict was less apparent in California. The State of California Academic Standards Commission and the State School Board by-and-large followed the topics and chronology of the award-winning and broadly accepted California History/Social Science Curriculum Framework adopted in 1987 and renewed with slight revision in 1997. The final History/Social Science Content Standards document was approved in October 1998 and is available at:

Listed below are the California History/Social Science Content Standards by grade level. There are no California H/SS Standards for Grade 9 and there are two sets for Grade 12, one for civics/government and one for economics.

Thinking Skills Embedded in California's History-Social Science Standards

Embedded at all grade levels of History/Social Science are a set of Critical Thinking and Analysis Skills. Becoming more sophisticated at each education level, all students are expected to develop a gradual understanding of chronology and spatial thinking, research techniques, uses of evidence, historical enterpretation and analysis of point of view. These thinking skills are to be taught and assessed through the content standards at each grade level.

Questions, comments, and suggestions may be addressed to

Resources on the SCORE H/SS pages were evaluated by history/social science leaders in California. Going beyond these links allows student access to unknown material. Each school site is responsible for evaluating resources for appropriateness in the local school community.

A Project of the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools.

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