Social Studies Review 2023

Review Details

Revision Timeline and Summary


  • Winter 2023 – Public comment sought, and public hearing held, on current standards.
    • On March 9th, 2023, as part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results, the Maine Department of Education sought public comments regarding the current social studies standards. These comments were used to inform the work of the standards revision teams and can be found here. The public comment period ended on April 6th, 2023. This was advertised through the Maine DOE newsroom, Maine DOE social media outlets, and the Maine Council for the Social Studies.
    • On March 21st, 2023, from 3-5pm, in Room 103 of the Burton Cross Building, in Augusta, Maine DOE held a public hearing. No one provided public testimony regarding the social studies standards during the hearing.
  • Spring 2023 – Steering Committee is formed and convened.
    • On April 5th, 2023, the Maine Department of Education sent out invitations to educational leaders to join the social studies steering committee.
    • The Steering Committee convened on May 26th, 2023, from 9-4pm in room 101 of the Deering Building in Augusta.
      • During the meeting the Maine Department of Education reviewed the steering committee’s purpose and laid out the work ahead.
      • The work was divided into four areas for the committee to consider and provide guidance through the blueprint. The four areas are as follows:
        • Current Standards – the committee was asked to consider the existing standards and provide guidance around areas where revision was necessary.
        • Public Comments – the committee was asked to consider the opinions shared through public comment and determine how they should be included in the guidance for the standards revision.
        • Relevant Statute – the committee was asked to provide guidance around how to implement the requirements of LD 1664, which expanded 4706. Instruction in American history, African American studies, Maine studies, Maine Native American history and the history of genocide.
        • Necessary Updates and Agreements – Each review cycle, based on stakeholder feedback received over the previous 5 years, the Department determines some necessary updates and agreements regarding the standards revision that apply to all content areas. The Steering Committee’s role is asked to provide guidance on how to best include the necessary update and/ or agreements in their specific content area. The necessary updates and/or agreements for this review cycle are:
          • Ensure that all content standards align to the common format and standardized language of: 1) strand: A body of knowledge in a content area identified by a simple title; 2) standard: enduring understandings and skills that students can apply and transfer to contexts that are new to the student; 3) performance expectation: building blocks to the standard and measurable articulations of what the student understands and can do.
          • Ensure that Wabanaki studies, African American studies, and the history of Genocide, including the Holocaust are incorporated in all content areas of the Maine Learning Results.
          • Incorporate conceptual understandings in each content area of the Maine Learning Results
        • The committee worked throughout the day to come to consensus on guidance of each of these four areas. By the end of the day, the committee was able to come to consensus on the guidance for the writing teams.
      • Click here to view the Social Studies Standards Review Blueprint 2023.
    • Summer 2023 – Writing Teams convened, and standards revised.
      • On April 10th, 2023, the Maine Department of Education invited, via e-mail, all social studies teachers, to be part of the standards review writing teams. Additionally, the Maine DOE posted the call in our newsroom and on our social media sites. Educators were able to volunteer through June 2023.
      • Scheduling polls were sent out to all who responded and four days during the summer were selected: July 18, 19, 26, and 27th.
      • To support the work of incorporating Wabanaki studies, African American studies, and the history of Genocide, including the Holocaust, the Department brought in several community experts to support the writing teams.
      • The writing teams met and created a draft of the revised standards.
        • Working with members from tribes of the Wabanaki confederacy, Maine African American community members, and experts from the Holocaust and Human Rights Center, the social studies standards revision focused on incorporating authentically throughout the standards.
        • The writing teams reviewed all the standards to include more higher order thinking throughout.
        • The writing team revised the civics and government section to better address civic discourse.
        • The writing team expanded the Economics and Personal Finance strand to include JumpStart’s national standards topics.
      • The draft revision went through an internal DOE review and was approved to move forward.
    • Fall 2023
    • Winter 2024
      • The Maine DOE prepared and submitted provisional adoption of standards revision to the Secretary of State and Legislative Council.
      • The Legislature referred the rule as a legislative document to The Education and Cultural Affairs Committee where it was given LD 2182.
      • The Education and Cultural Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing and work session before sending the proposed rules on to the full legislature.
    • Spring 2024
      • As a result of the democratic process of major substantive rulemaking in Maine State government, the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee has declined to authorize the proposed social studies content standards of the Maine Learning Results. The Education and Cultural Affairs committee directed the Department to reengage in the rulemaking process for the social studies standards. To this end, the Department will reopen steering committee and writing team conversations for the social studies standards. The Education and Cultural Affairs Committee has indicated that they will expect the new revision to be submitted next year during the 1st session of the 132nd.
      • Recordings of the public hearing and the submitted testimony can be found on the Education and Cultural Affairs website or through the State of Maine Bill Tracking site.
Writing Team Members



Grade Level

Erin Magaw


pk-2; 3-5

Leah Galipeau-Eldridge

RSU 16


Natasha Domina

South Bristol (AOS 93)


Allison Ladner

RSU 39


Amy Stanley



Brandi LeRoy

Bangor School Department


Brett Cole

RSU 18

9-12; 6-8

Carisa Hammer


3-5; 6-8

Deborah Carver

RSU 10


Donna Newhouse



Donna Olsen



Doretta Callahan

RSU 34


Duchess  Killam

SAD 44


Ethan Brownell



Evan  Mooney

Husson University

pk-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

Geoffrey Wingard

Bangor School Department


Jessica Graham

Waterville Public Schools


Leanne Groening

RSU 20


Lisa Emerson



Melissa Poston

SAD 44


Shana Goodall

RSU 26


Shawn Magaw



Stephanie Doane



Stephen Riitano

Bangor School Department


Susan Callahan





Steering Committee Members

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceLaura Dwyer has taught gifted and talented education for the past 20 years in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine at the K - 12 levels. She champions civic education and services as Maine’s state coordinator for We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution and Project Citizen. She also instructs both programs. Her Stearns Junior Senior High School Project Citizenteam was recognized in 2021 at the National Showcase as Supreior for their Drugs in Millinocket entry. She has a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Leadership and Integrated Arts and has acquired her K - 3 Early Childhood, K - 12 Principal, and Maine Gifted Certifications. Her expertise includes designing successful middle school gifted programs. She served as the Enrichment Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator for the Nashoba Regional School district in Massachusetts, transforming the after-school program into a successful Extended Learning Program that provided enrichment opportunities in sports, foreign languages, STEM, language arts, theater, and music, increasing enrollment and revenue by 40% in four years. She received the Boston Society Civil Engineers Section Pre-College (BSCES) Educational Award 2021 and the UNSUNG HERO AWARD 2009. She was recently chosen to participate in the prestigious 2023 Supreme Court Institute in Washington.


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Description automatically generated with low confidenceMary Dyer has worked in higher education for 30 years, assisting students and families with planning, paying, and saving for higher education. Currently, she serves as a Financial Education Program Manager at the Finance Authority of Maine, providing college access, financial education and debt management services and training to Maine students and families, as well as the professionals who support them.

Mary also serves as President of the Maine Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, a nonprofit volunteer-based organization that is dedicated to improving the financial capability of Maine children and young adults. Under her leadership, the Coalition was named 2014 State Coalition of the Year by the National Jump$tart Coalition. Maine is the first state in New England to receive this important recognition.

Before joining FAME, Mary worked as Assistant Director of Financial Aid at the University of Maine for seven years. Prior to that, she was Assistant Director of Financial Aid at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. She began her career at the University of Maine at Augusta.

In addition to her professional experience, Mary served as training chair for the Maine Association of Financial Aid Administrators for four years. She has also presented at several state, regional, and national conferences and has served as a trainer for the National Association of Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).

In 2007, Mary was the recipient of the Candance Johnson Vinette Award for Distinguished Service to her profession.

Mary received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maine at Augusta. She currently resides in Glenburn, Maine.


Lance Gibbs

Bob Green

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceTomasz Herzog holds a Ph.D. in Education, a graduate degree in Sociology, 33 years of experience that includes teaching social studies in high school and teaching social studies methods courses for elementary and secondary Education majors (both in the US and abroad). Tomasz has the content and pedagogical background knowledge necessary to understand the pedagogy needed to implement the knowledge, skills, and dispositions embedded in the standards. He has served as a member of the ETS (Educational Testing Service) National Advisory Board for Social Studies, collaborated with the Maryland Center for Civic Education and civic education organizations in Europe (Poland, Germany). Over the last few years, he has been a Review Board member of a peer-reviewed “The Journal of Social Studies Research”. Currently Tomasz serves on the Board of the Maine Council for the Social Studies.

Barry London

JaSon Long

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceDr. Larissa Malone is associate professor and chair of the Teacher Education Department at University of Southern Maine. Dr. Malone holds a Ph.D. from Kent State University in Cultural Foundations of Education, a M.A. in Education from Walsh University, and a B.A. in International Studies from Case Western Reserve University. A certified primary educator through the American Montessori Internationale, Dr. Malone taught early childhood and early elementary and served as an administrator in a bilingual community-based school. Dr. Malone has taught a variety of courses related to social studies education, including Social Studies Methods, Diversity in Schools, Equity in School and Society, Education in a Democratic Society, and Critical Race Studies in Education. Dr. Malone has shared her research through presentations at the Maine Council for the Social Studies, the Maine Department of Education, and numerous community libraries across the state of Maine. She serves on the board of Wayfinder Schools and Maine Humanities Council. Dr. Malone is the founder of Maine Black Educators Collective, an organization that aims to support Black Educators in the state of Maine through educational opportunities and socio-emotional connection and advocates for the teaching of African American studies. In 2022, Dr. Malone was the recipient of the Maine Education Association’s Human and Civil Rights Award for her contribution to school success.

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Description automatically generated with medium confidenceErica Nadelhaft is the Education Coordinator for the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine. Erica earned a B.A. Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis University; an M.A. Summa Cum Laude from the Institute of Contemporary Jewry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and is A.B.D. from the Department of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at Brandeis. She reads and works in four languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, Polish and German. Professionally, she has taught courses on world history, the history of genocide, World War II, the history of the Middle East, women’s history, introduction to Judaism, and Hebrew, among others, in the University of Maine system. She has also taught at the University of Moncton in Edmunston, New Brunswick. In her current role, Erica oversees the HHRC educators, coordinates school visits, develops new programs, and works with Maine school districts to address bias, prejudice, and hate speech in schools.

Nicole Rancourt

Adam Schmitt

Earl Watts is a veteran of the US Army, having a total of 31 years in service, including a deployment to Afghanistan in 2009.  He has been an adjunct instructor at Thomas College for ten years and a high school social studies teacher at Waterville Alternative High School (WAHS) for 5 years.  This year he has also assumed the administrative duties for WAHS. Earl has a Master of Arts in American History and a Master of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in American Government.  He is a 2021 James Madison Fellow and has been selected to attend the 2023 Midway Institute for Teachers. Earl is also a member of the School Board for the Winslow Public Schools system, and he has had two sons go through the Winslow Public School system.  As a military veteran, a parent, a college instructor, a high school teacher & administrator and a municipal government member, Earl brings a well-rounded point of view to the table and is uniquely positioned to understand the intersection of social studies in our society today and moving forward.


Public Comment

Public comments received on current social studies standards