Standards Database Logo
Home | Browse | Search | Purpose | History | Process | Acknowledgment| Reference



List of Benchmarks for United States History

Standard 31.Understands economic, social, and cultural developments in the contemporary United States
  Level II (Grade 5-6)
   1. Understands changes in the contemporary workplace (e.g., how scientific and technological changes and the computer revolution affect the economy and nature of work, kinds of education and skills required for available jobs)  A 
   2. Understands the factors that prompted new immigration in contemporary American society (e.g., new immigration policies after 1965, areas of the world from which most immigrants have come)
   3. Understands influences on religion in contemporary society (e.g., how changing immigration patterns affected religious diversity, issues related to religious belief)
   4. Understands aspects of contemporary American culture (e.g., the international influence of American culture, increased popularity of professional sports, influence of spectator sports on popular culture, sports and entertainment figures who advertise specific products)
   5. Understands contemporary issues concerning gender and ethnicity (e.g., the range of women’s organizations, the changing goals of the women’s movement, and the issues currently dividing women; issues involving justice and common welfare; how interest groups attempted to achieve their goals of equality and justice; how African, Asian, Hispanic, and Native Americans have shaped American life and retained their cultural heritage)
  Level III (Grade 7-8)
   1. Understands changes in the workplace and the economy in contemporary America (e.g., the effects of a sharp increase in labor force participation of women and new immigrants; the shift of the labor force from manufacturing to service industries)
   2. Understands demographic shifts and the influences on recent immigration patterns (e.g., the flow from cities to suburbs, reasons for internal migrations from the "Rustbelt" to the "Sunbelt" and its impact on politics, implications of the shifting age structure of the population)
   3. Understands the growth of religious issues in contemporary society (e.g., the growth of the Christian evangelical movement and its use of modern telecommunications, issues regarding the guarantee of no establishment of religion and the free exercise clauses of the First Amendment, the significance of religious groups in local communities and their approaches to social issues)
   4. Understands various influences on American culture (e.g., the desegregation of education and its role in the creation of private white academies; the influence of the media on contemporary American culture; how ethnic art, food, music, and clothing are incorporated into mainstream culture and society)
   5. Understands how different groups attempted to achieve their goals (e.g., the grievances of racial and ethnic minorities and their reference to the nation’s charter documents to rectify past injustices, local community efforts to adapt facilities for the disabled)
  Level IV (Grade 9-12)
   1. Understands how changes in the national and global economy have influenced the workplace (e.g., sluggishness in the overall rate of economic growth, the relative stagnation of wages since 1973, the social and political impact of an increase in income disparities, the effects of increased global trade and competition on the U.S. economy, the influence of new technology on education and learning, and the relation between education and earnings in the workplace)
   2. Understands how recent immigration and migration patterns, and demographic shifts, impacted social and political issues (e.g., major issues that affect immigrants and conflicts these issues engendered; changes in the size and composition of the traditional American family; demographic and residential mobility since 1970)
   3. Understands how the rise of religious groups and movements influenced political issues in contemporary American society (e.g., the position of major religious groups on such issues as abortion, gay rights, women in the clergy, and educational issues; the causes and significance of religious evangelism and its effect on American political and religious culture in the 1980s; how Supreme Court decisions since 1968 have affected the meaning and practice of religious freedom)
   4. Understands the influence of social change and the entertainment industry in shaping views on art, gender, and culture (e.g., how social change and renewed ethnic diversity affects artistic expression in contemporary American society, the reflection of values in popular TV shows, the effects of women's participation in sports on gender roles and career choices)
   5. Understands major contemporary social issues and the groups involved (e.g., the current debate over affirmative action and to what degree affirmative action policies have reached their goals; the evolution of government support for the rights of the disabled; the emergence of the Gay Liberation Movement and civil rights of gay Americans; continuing debates over multiculturalism, bilingual education, and group identity and rights vs. individual rights and identity; successes and failures of the modern feminist movement)

 A  = Assessment items available