Social Studies Standards Review

A strong social studies education depends upon a clear understanding of its interrelated disciplines. Although social studies curricula vary in their breadth and depth, the Social Studies Standards reflect a focus on government, history, geography, and economics as the pillars of the content, with other disciplines within the social sciences deemed important, but not essential. With that in mind, the social studies standards include four content areas (Civics and Government, Personal Finance and Economics, Geography, History) with the application of social studies processes, knowledge, and skills embedded throughout these strands. Each strand breaks down the standard into performance expectations for each grade kindergarten through grade five and grade bands for 6-8 and 9-Diploma that include foundational and developing notations to support instruction. The standards also include an introduction, connections to Maine’s Guiding Principles. and a section of key ideas in the social studies standards.

Standards Updates


Standards Review Process

2018 2023 2024


Step Time Period Details
Step 1 Fall Commissioner gives the approval to begin the standards review process
Step 2 Fall Public comment period and hearings on current content standards
Step 3 Winter

Steering Committee: A committee of content area experts who represent the cultural diversity found in Maine and a range of viewpoints as to the content of the standards is formed and tasked to:

  • review all comments submitted during the initial public comment period;
  • develop a blueprint for the revision of the state standards in their assigned content area;
  • address and advise the writing committees when deadlocks occur.

The Maine State Board of Education will appoint one member of the Steering Committee.

Step 4 Winter Maine DOE review and approval of the steering committee's recommended blueprint for standards revision
Step 5 Summer Writing Team: Teams of pk-12 public school teachers who represent Maine’s cultural and geographical diversity are formed and broken into smaller groups, facilitated by the Maine DOE content specialist, to revise content standards based on guidance from the Steering Committee.
Step 6 Summer The Writing Team submits draft proposal to the Maine Department of Education.
Step 7 Fall Internal Maine DOE review of standards revision
Step 8 Fall The Maine DOE files the standards revision document as proposed rules with the Secretary of State.
Step 9 Fall Maine DOE will hold a public hearing followed by a public comment period on the proposed rules.
Step 10 Winter Maine DOE prepares and submits provisional adoption of standards revision to the Secretary of State and Legislative Council. The Legislature, once in session in January, will refer the rule as a legislative document to the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee where they will be given an LD Resolve to revise during session.
Step 11 Winter The Education and Cultural Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing and work session before sending the proposed rules on to the full legislature.
Step 12 Spring Final adoption of revised standards by the Maine State Legislature.
Step 13 Spring The Maine Department of Education will prepare the standards regulation for final adoption