Virginia Board Of Education Rejects GOP Governor’s Proposed History Education Standards

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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The Virginia Board of Education will not advance proposed revisions to the state’s history standards following backlash, the board told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The state board of education unanimously rejected the American history curriculum changes proposed by Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Thursday, instead ordering Virginia’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow to write new standards, the board told the DCNF. The decision comes after community members critiqued the standards for calling Native Americans “America’s first immigrants.” (RELATED: ‘Keep Your Politics Off My Identity’: Here’s What We Saw At Virginia Student Walkouts Over Youngkin’s Trans Policy)

“Earlier this fall, Balow recommended decoupling the standards and curriculum frameworks (reflecting the department’s historic practice in revising the state’s history standards) and the Board of Education accepted her recommendation,” Charles Pyle, director of communications for the Virginia Department of Education, told the DCNF. “Much of the recent public comment has centered on content that is still in the draft curriculum frameworks. As Balow said yesterday, the content in the revised curriculum frameworks presented in August is still before the Board of Education and has not been discarded.”

In kindergarten students learn about patriotism and how to label their county in Virginia, the revised standards stated. The students are taught about America’s first “immigrants” from Asia and how the immigrants transitioned from hunting and gathering to farming.

“This is our home. We are not immigrants,” Aaron Winston, a board member for the Virginia Tribal Education Consortium, said at the meeting, according to ABC 8 News. “No one is trying to say the English didn’t come from England or the Chinese didn’t come from China. Why are you telling us that now we come from somewhere else?”

Balow said it was “wrong” to call the Native American community immigrants and said the language will be adjusted in the next standards, ABC 8 News reported.

“The Democrats inaccurate and hyper politicized attacks on the State Board of Education’s draft history standards is detrimental to the process,” Macaulay Porter, Youngkin’s spokeswoman, told the DCNF. “They should be ashamed of themselves for using the review process to sow division. The Board will continue to work on the draft standards to create a final document that is focused on teaching all history – the good and the bad.”
Amy Grady, who is running as an independent for a seat in the West Virginia state Senate, teaches in her classroom at Leon Elementary October 18, 2018 in Leon, West Virginia. - Teachers like Amy Grady successfully went on strike this year across West Virginia demanding better health care and higher pay, and now she hopes to give state legislators a lesson, by winning a state senate seat. With labor activism catching fire and spreading to multiple US states, a record number of teachers -- 1,455 current and former educators, according to the National Education Association -- are running for office in the November 6 midterm elections. (Photo by MICHAEL MATHES / AFP) / With AFP Story by Michael MATHES: From picket lines to polls, US teachers eye political office (Photo credit should read MICHAEL MATHES/AFP via Getty Images)

Amy Grady, who is running as an independent for a seat in the West Virginia state Senate, teaches in her classroom at Leon Elementary October 18, 2018 in Leon, West Virginia. (Photo credit MICHAEL MATHES/AFP via Getty Images)

The proposed changes included critical thinking skills in first grade, and in fourth grade students learn about the “development of slavery in colonial Virginia.” In 11th grade, students are taught about the “development of African American culture in America and the impact of the institution of slavery,” the standards showed.

“The erasure of Black Americans in these new proposed changes is disrespectful and harmful. Teaching history in a truthful way does not make our children victims, but shows them how far we have come and also how far we have to go,” Monica Hutchinson, a member of the NAACP chapter in Henrico, Virginia, said at the meeting, according to ABC News 8.

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