Minnesota’s academic standards in social studies have been revised to be more honest and inclusive.

The new standards, which go into effect in the 2026-27 school year, honor all Minnesota students. The standards make what students learn more relevant to their lives, and the skills students hone more valuable to their communities.

What’s new

“Ethnic Studies” has been added alongside pre-existing social studies strands. And, across all strands, the standards embed the contributions of Minnesota’s American Indian tribes and communities.

The Ethnic Studies standards, as adopted, read as follows:

Subp. 6. Ethnic studies.

  1. Identity: The student will analyze the ways power and language construct the social identities of race, religion, geography, ethnicity, and gender. The student will apply understandings to one’s own social identities and other groups living in Minnesota, centering those whose stories and histories have been marginalized, erased, or ignored.
  2. Resistance: The student will describe how individuals and communities have fought for freedom and liberation against systemic and coordinated exercises of power locally and globally. The student will identify strategies or times that have resulted in lasting change. The student will organize with others to engage in activities that could further the rights and dignity of all.
  3. Ways of Knowing and Methodologies: The student will use ethnic and Indigenous studies methods and sources in order to understand the roots of contemporary systems of oppression and apply lessons from the past that could eliminate historical and contemporary injustices.

What are the Minnesota K-12 Academic Standards?

The top-level knowledge and skills all Minnesota students learn in school. By law, state academic standards are revised every ten years. The new social studies standards were adopted in March 2024.

Social studies standards are organized into five main areas or “strands”: Citizenship and government; Economics; Geography; United States and world history; and Ethnic studies.

For each standard, there are grade level-appropriate benchmarks for what students need to learn in each grade and in order to graduate.