Breaking News
More () »

Youngkin proposes new history standards, critics say it is politically motivated

The standards overhaul is "to restore excellence, curiosity and excitement around teaching and learning history."

NORFOLK, Va. — Governor Glenn Youngkin unveiled a new draft policy that would update the standards of learning when it comes to teaching history in Virginia classrooms. 

However, critics are calling the policies "politically motivated" and have accused the administration of glossing over difficult parts of American history.

"It's just another attack on trying to make history what they want it to be," said James Fedderman, President of the Virginia Education Association.

In the 53-page document, policies outline what and when certain subjects are taught to Virginia students. Many difficult topics such as lynching would not be taught until 6th grade, and Christopher Columbus' role in the slave trade by 11th grade.

"There is also a removal of content of Martin Luther King Jr from the K-5 standards, no mention of Juneteenth, removal of content of LGBTQ+ histories," Fedderman said.

The Virginia Board of Education had been originally scheduled to vote on the recommended guidelines in August but delayed the decision for months. By law, Virginia is required to update its "History and Social Science Standards of Learning" -- also known as the SOLs -- every seven years. 

The last time the guidelines were updated was in 2015. Several proposed policies under previous Governor Terry McAuliffe were ultimately scrapped, which included subjects such as gender equity and renewable energy.

"The resulting standards right now are racist. They are factually incorrect. They are not age-appropriate and they reflect explicit political bias," said Fedderman.

The Board of Education is set to review the draft policy by Thursday, November 17. After the policy hearing, the State Board of Education will hold public engagement sessions later this year.

A vote is not expected until early next year.

Before You Leave, Check This Out