The Executive Board of the Iowa Council for the Social Studies (ICSS) became aware on October 24, 2019, of a discussion by the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners (BOEE) regarding reductions to endorsements for the grades 5-12 All Social Studies, All Sciences, and All English-Language Arts endorsements.
As the Iowa Council for the Social Studies is the only statewide organization representing social studies, the Board feels compelled to respond to the discussion involving social studies.
The BOEE discussion would reduce the required number of hours to earn the All Social Sciences endorsement from the current level of 51 to a proposed 24 credit hours. According to the BOEE document, the discussion is a result of stakeholder input. Details about the discussion may be found on the BOEE website at. The information regarding these proposed changes begin on p. 31 of the document.
The discussion for the All Social Sciences (5-12) endorsement is focused on decreasing the number of semester credit hours from 51 to 24 to include:
The ICSS voices its opposition to the proposed reduction. Such a reduction would cut in half the content knowledge of prospective Social Studies teachers. Fewer hours also signify a marginalization of Social Studies at a time when our new Iowa Social Studies Standards expect greater competency of our teachers. To ICSS, the proposal indicates that teachers only need introductory or survey courses in order to teach Social Studies.
At this point, the proposal is at the discussion stage for the BOEE. An open comment period will be available and ICSS will notify members when that comment period opens. If you would like to voice your opinion now, contact your state legislators. You can find legislator contact information here.
Why Join ICSS?
ICSS has been recognized as a Gold Star Council by the National Council for Social Studies based on the following criteria:
ICSS Executive Board members Catherine Mein and Todd Hospodarsky accept the Iowa Council for the Social Studies reward as an NCSS Gold Star Council.