Virginia Board of Education delays history standards review

The Virginia Department of Education is headquartered in the James Monroe Building in Richmond.
The Virginia Department of Education is headquartered in the James Monroe Building in Richmond.(Scott Elmquist/ Style Weekly)
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 7:52 AM EDT
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The Virginia Board of Education is delaying a vote on the state’s new history and social science standards by a month to address concerns with timing and a number of errors and content issues Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration said were in the proposal.

At a Wednesday board meeting in Richmond, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow recommended against the board moving the draft standards forward for review, instead urging members to allow the proposal to undergo further development by Virginians and national experts prior to its acceptance.

The standards outline Virginia’s expectations for student learning in K-12 history and social science education and are assessed through the Standards of Learning tests. Virginia code requires the board to review the standards every seven years to update content and reflect current academic research.

“We’re on our way to having the best standards in the nation, and I don’t want any of us to settle for anything less,” said Balow.

Among Balow’s criticisms of the draft, standards were their use of the word “succession” instead of “secession.” She also referenced the removal of the “Father of our Country” title for George Washington and “Father of the Constitution” title for James Madison, which the Department of Education has said was done in error.

Suparna Dutta and William Hansen, two of the newest board members, said they would not feel comfortable moving forward with the current proposal.

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NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news...
NBC12 is a partner with The Virginia Mercury, an independent, nonprofit online news organization covering state government and policy.(Virginia Mercury)

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