• Delaware Social Studies Assessment

    Assessments are an integral part of the instructional cycle and fulfill several purposes for educators, students, parents, policy makers, and community members. Assessments administered at the state, district/charter, and school levels combine to form a system of assessments with the goal of supporting student growth.

    Delaware’s state social studies assessment system helps students, families and teachers understand each student’s strengths and areas for growth on the state’s standards for social studies . The state’s standards for social studies outline what students should learn in each grade. Each state sets its own standards. Delaware adopted its original social studies standards in 1995 and refreshed these standards in 2017 to be more current. The goal of the social studies standards is to make certain all students leave Delaware schools able to become informed and active citizens who accept their responsibilities, understand their rights, and participate actively in society and government.

    The state’s social studies test is just one measure for understanding how a student is progressing in social studies. Other measures include the student’s grades, classroom exams, district-wide tests. Working with the Delaware Social Studies Coalition, Delaware teachers helped develop Delaware’s social studies assessment.

     Delaware Transitions to Innovative Through Assessment System for Social Studies by SY2024-2025; Field Tests Begin Fall of 2021

    General Overview
    • Students tested : Students in grades 4-8 and11
    • Test date :  Click here for the DeSSA Calendar
    • Cut scores : To be determined Summer 2023
    • State/district results : Click here for the Delaware Report Card
    • Test provider : Pearson Assessments
    • Test type : Students are given a set of social studies documents and asked to apply their knowledge of social studies to answer grade-specific questions on civics, economics, geography and history.
    • Achievement Level Descriptors (ALDs): Achievement Level Descriptors describe a student’s degree of success on an assessment (i.e. well below standard, below standard, on standard, beyond standard).  The Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) created ALDs for social studies to assist with the standard-setting process for its DeSSA Social Studies Assessment.  ALDs can assist with score interpretation on student reports and assist teachers with understanding expectations for the progression of student learning and performance at each level of achievement during and after instruction.


    Family and Educator Resources
    • Delaware Social Studies Curriculum

      • Provides families and educators with information and resources about in-class social studies instruction. Maintained by the Delaware Department of Education Standards and Instruction workgroup.

      Digital DE

      • Digital DE serves as Delaware’s online hub for best-in-class instructional, professional development, and family resources for this academic year and beyond. This site is accessible, searchable, and free.
Last Modified on August 3, 2023