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Social Studies Standards FAQ

Social Studies Standards FAQ 2022-01-26T18:22:29-07:00

When will the new standards be publicly available?

The standards have been posted for public comment on the following link: The Social Studies Revisions Working Group is in the process of revising the proposed standards to allow more time to consider all 2,909 pages of written comments and 109 verbal comments from the November 12 public hearing. The Social Studies Revisions Working Group completed revisions in December 2021, and the final rule will be submitted and published in the New Mexico Register in February 2022.

What is the expected implementation date for these new standards?

The implementation phase will begin with professional development in the spring of 2022, which will continue into the 2022-23 school year to include instructional material adoption and full implementation of the standards by the 2023-24 school year.

When will school districts be required to acquire new instructional materials to teach to the new standards?

Funding for instructional materials currently flows through the State Equalization Guarantee and local education agencies (LEAs) can choose to purchase materials for any academic content areas on any schedule they choose based on local need.

Regarding the adoption cycle, the content area of social studies is scheduled as follows:

  • Spring 2022: Once standards are codified in Rule the new standards will be provided as part of a call to vendors to apply for consideration as a core High Quality Instructional Material aligned to NM Standards.
  • June 2022: Review Institute to train NM teacher committees in selection.
    • Includes culturally and linguistically responsive considerations and other considerations to assure high quality.
  • Adopted list published for LEA local decision-making July 2022
  • We will also call for vendors to submit applications for supplemental materials in order to assist LEAs by curating a list of other available resources beyond core texts.
    • A list of vendors will be provided for LEAs to conduct their own review of supplemental materials.
    • Supplemental materials are not reviewed by PED. However, we will provide a tool which districts can use to vet any supplemental materials they would like to consider.

What options will local school boards/school districts have to reject any standard(s) that do not meet community needs or concerns?

The Social Studies Standards, once the Rule approval process has taken place – including a 45-day public comment period – will be codified under NMAC 6.29.11 and will continue to be mandated for students in grades K-12.

What outreach does PED expect to make to the legislature in regards to these new standards? (i.e. Will PED be offering briefing sessions for legislators??

NMPED regularly presents to legislative committees as requested, as legislators and committee staff are responsible for setting meeting agendas.

Has PED heard from the Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC) regarding a briefing on these new standards or any inquiry regarding how these new standards could be subject to a future LESC hearing?

NMPED presented to LESC on November 17; handouts are available here and a recording of the hearing is available here.

What impact is the Governor’s office having in the development of these new standards?

The Governor’s Office is aware of the process but has no direct involvement. The Governor’s team is aware of the expertise in education leadership at the PED and with the working group involved in revising the standards.

Has the working group developing these new standards reached out to other states to see how they have developed similar new K-12 social studies standards?

The writing teams reviewed an array of sources, including other state standards and other documents, including those listed and linked to below:

What is the purpose of New Mexico’s social studies standards?

State standards set the expectations for achievement in social studies for K-12 students in New Mexico. The standards outline what students should know and be able to do over the course of their progression from kindergarten to 12th grade.

Will teachers receive training or other support in implementing the new standards?

NMPED will create a suite of supports to accompany the rollout of the new standards.

What kinds of support will be available for teachers and districts as they work to implement the standards?

Each year of the standards roll out, support will be provided in implementing New Mexico’s new social studies standards. This includes instructional resources and professional development.

Why is social studies education important now, more than ever?

High-quality social studies standards allow educators to teach effectively, moving their practice to an inquiry-oriented, student-centered classroom. New Mexico’s new social studies standards require higher order thinking and reasoning. The implementation of these standards will allow students to engage in critical thinking and the disciplinary practices of a social scientist in preparation for college, career, and participation in civic life.

What was the timeline for developing New Mexico’s new social studies standards?

  • February 2021: NM PED calls for K-12 educators to participate on writing committees. 64 members representing 38 LEAs were convened.
  • March-June 2021: Educator writing teams received professional development and wrote draft standards.
  • June 2021: Focus groups conducted: parents, superintendents and board members, teachers, principals, tribal education leaders, and students.
  • June-July 2021: Educator writing teams utilized focus groups’ feedback to revise and refine standards.
  • August 2021: Draft standards posted on PED website.
  • September 2021: Submission to the NM Register to begin the rulemaking process. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking posted 45-day public comment period began on September 28, 2021.
  • November 2021: Public hearing Friday, November 12, from 1–5 p.m. on Zoom.
  • November-December 2021: Educator writing committee reconvenes to develop revisions to draft based on public comment.
  • February 2022: Completed re-developed standards will be adopted, posted in the New Mexico Register, and disseminated.

Where can I find the new standards?

You can view the standards at

Do the standards have to be addressed in the specific grade level/grade band in which they appear?


Are all standards required for all students?

Yes. This means, for example, that standards cannot be addressed in elective courses that only some students take.

How can I find out more about how the standards are organized?

See pages 8-11 of the New Mexico Social Studies Standards for more information about how the standards are organized.

Do social studies teachers have to now address financial literacy standards?

Yes. Personal financial literacy is now embedded within the social studies standards.

What does the implementation of these new standards look like over the next few years?

Implementation is a process that takes time. Because of this, implementation of the social studies standards is a process that should take place over time. The implementation plan outlines this. Within the implementation plan, you can see a detailed view of the timeline for implementation.

Do we need to develop a scope and sequence across the grades to ensure the viability of common assessments?

A scope and sequence is not required, but it is recommended to ensure all standards are addressed and there is a clear picture about the K-12 social studies program.

Does every standard have to be assessed or simply taught?

Every standard should be taught to every student. It is up to districts to determine how standards will be formatively and summatively assessed.

What are the statewide graduation requirements for social studies in New Mexico?

Social studies graduation requirements are stipulated in subsection J(4) of 22-13-1.1 NMSA 1978:“three and one-half units in social science, which shall include United States history and geography, world history and geography, government and economics and one-half unit of New Mexico history.”

How should I think about the new standards in relation to the credits required for high school graduation?

Apart from the required 3.5 credit for graduation, which must include United States history and geography, world history and geography, government and economics and one-half credit of New Mexico History, specific courses are not required for social studies at the high school level. These standards should be utilized regardless of how LEAs choose to put together social studies courses for high school.

Page last updated January 26, 2022