Virginia history learning standards delayed for 3rd time

Efforts to update standards of learning for history and social sciences for Virginia students are being delayed for a third time, marking a miss for the state-mandated deadline to update them this year.

Standards for the way history and social sciences are taught to Virginia students in kindergarten to 12th grade haven’t been updated since 2015. They won’t be updated this year, despite the deadline, because new members of the state’s board of education “have raised important concerns and questions” about the changes that have been proposed so far, according to Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.

Public meetings will be held in December and January, with a final board review set for February, Balow said.

The goal, according to Balow, is “to have best-in-class standards that teach students that America is simultaneously diverse and united, that we continuously endeavor to become the greatest country in the world, and that our freedoms are both protected and fragile.”

In a memo, Balow said more tweaks will be made before the board gets its first review of the draft standards next month.

Balow said the goal is to present a document to the board that is understandable and accessible for experts, educators and the public, neutral in content and approach, and inclusive of more voices.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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