Civic Education Commission endorses alternate Virginia history standards
Commission to send a letter expressing “displeasure” with drafting process
Virginia’s Commission on Civic Education joined the public pushback against draft history and social science standards for K-12 schools.
On Wednesday, the commission, which includes lawmakers and appointees by the General Assembly, voted to send a letter to the Virginia Board of Education objecting to the process used to craft the standards.
The letter will also ask the board to accept alternate standards proposed by three education groups and urge the board to improve its transparency in the drafting process.
The vote was conducted by voice. Del. Amanda Batten, R-James City, was not present.
Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg, D-Henrico, who serves as chair of the commission, said he hoped the board will consider moving forward with the alternate draft standards, which combine the administration’s November standards and standards released in August based on public input collected over the past two years.
“We’re working together to create history standards that work for everybody because that’s the way it should be done,” said VanValkenburg.
The alternative version of the history standards released this week was developed by the Virginia Social Studies Leaders Consortium, Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and American Historical Association.
The groups followed the same approach that the board has directed Department of Education staff to take. Staff have been asked to revise the newest standards by including content from both the August and November drafts as well as prepare a “crosswalk” document comparing the drafts.
The Virginia Department of Education expects to have “the draft ready before the end of the year,” according to a Tuesday email from agency spokesperson Charles Pyle.
Members of the commission expressed concerns about the drafting process, content and impact of the new standards on school divisions at Wednesday’s meeting.
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