New Jersey Department of Education

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New Jersey Student Learning Standards

Social Studies

Frequently Asked Questions

Are schools required to teach African-American History?
Yes, the state law which specifies two years of US History (NJSA 18A:35-1,2) in the high schools also includes the teaching of African American History.

Has the state provided guidance to schools for the teaching of African-American history?
Yes, the NJ Amistad Commission Web-Based Curriculum can be accessed at

Are schools required to teach state history?
Yes, the same state law which requires two years of instruction in US History also includes New Jersey history.

Are schools required to teach economics?
There is a requirement that every student take at least 2.5 credits in financial, economic, business, and entrepreneurial literacy, effective with 2010-2011 grade nine class. The content of a course fulfilling the new 2.5-credit requirement addresses two key areas: personal finance and economics. Guidance for the course work that satisfies the requirement is articulated in Standard 9.2, Personal Financial Literacy. Any teacher of social studies, business, math, and/or family and consumer science with appropriate certification may teach the course.
In addition, in the social studies standards, there are CPIs addressing economics that are to be taught at each grade band cluster.

Are schools required to teach civics?
There is a legal requirement to provide a course of study in the United States Constitution.
In addition, there are CPIs addressing civics that are to be taught at each grade band cluster.

How many credits does a high school student need to take in social studies and are there any particular courses?
At least 15 credits in social studies, including satisfaction of N.J.S.A. 18A:35-1 and 2; five credits in world history; and the integration of civics, economics, geography and global content in all course offerings.