State Board of Education works on history and social science lesson changes

Published: Sep. 14, 2022 at 4:38 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 14, 2022 at 7:07 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Board of Education hopes to approve those final changes to history and social science lessons in January. But it will take up to three years to implement the new curriculum.

The 402-page draft contains a host of revisions to how history and social science are taught in the commonwealth.

Last month, the board punted any work on the proposed changes due to errors in the draft. One removed the “Father of our Country” title for George Washington and the “Father of the Constitution” title for James Madison. VDOE said that was an error, but now those in charge want a deeper dive to make sure there aren’t other issues.

“Our goal is to make sure that we are teaching history about Virginia, about the United States, and about the world comprehensively, at all grade levels and in an appropriate and factual way,” said Jillian Balow, Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Over the next three months, staff will continue to work on the draft changes. 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.

Law requires the board to review the standards every seven years.

“First and foremost, we’re doing it because the law requires us to. But more importantly, it’s important to update all of our standards periodically to make sure that they reflect the best practices,” said Superintendent Balow.

The board will meet Thursday again, and that’s when you can have your voice heard on all of this if you haven’t already. That starts at 9 a.m. inside the Monroe Building.

With all those public comments, the board plans to review the plans in November.

And you can still have a say in what’s happening after that. The board will also have a series of public hearings on December 5 - 9.