Correction below

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Public Education Department is holding a briefing on Wednesday, Nov. 10 on proposed updated social studies standards. The department has put together 122 pages of new standards.

Currently, social studies is taught under four main pillars: civics, economics, geography, and history. The state also wants to add ethnic, cultural, and identity studies.

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PED states in a press release that social studies standards writing teams comprised of educators from across the state wrapped up their work in July. The standards are now awaiting New Mexico’s rule-making process which includes public notice of the change, a minimum 30-day public commenting period, and a public hearing.

The revision work started in July of 2020, almost a year bere a report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute rated the state’s current civics standards mediocre and U.S. history standards inadequate. Standards are usually updated every 10 years. Standards for science were updated in the summer of 2018 and the New Mexico social studies standards were adopted in March 1997 and last revised in 2001.

PED’s goal is to release the new standards in early 2022 in addition to professional development modules teachers can use to incorporate the new standards in the curriculum. Full implementation would be expected in the 2022 to 2023 school year.

PED is accepting written comments through email, fax, and mail until 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12. During the briefing on Wednesday, they will discuss some of the changes.

Comments can be submitted in the following ways:

  • Via email to
  • Via mail addressed to John Sena, Policy Division, New Mexico Public Education Department, 300 Don Gaspar Ave., Room 121, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Via fax to 505-827-6520

Standards and additional information on PED’s social studies standards update can be found online.

PED Administrative Rule Hearing on Nov. 12

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story stated that the new standards would include Critical Race Theory. PED has since emphasized that CRT is not taught in a K-12 setting and is not in the new standards.