Youngkin responds to backlash over proposed Virginia school history standards

Virginia’s proposed changes to the state’s history standards in the classroom are receiving some criticism from Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

Youngkin recently expressed disappointment with his administration’s latest proposed history standards, released last week. He acknowledged omissions and mistakes regarding how race relations would be taught, according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.



Youngkin says he wants to make sure all aspects of history are represented as his administration works to draft changes to what kids in grades K-12 would learn in history class.

“I said from the first day, I want us to teach all of our history, the good and the bad — all of it,” Youngkin said.

His comments come after recent concerns over the latest proposal, which was rejected by the Board of Education.

The board pointed out the draft’s language implied there were several causes for the Civil War, besides slavery. Juneteenth and Martin Luther King Jr. were also omitted from the holiday sections in elementary education.

Another concern included a reference to Native Americans as “America’s first immigrants.” State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jillian Balow has since apologized for the reference.

Community members also expressed concerns during a recent board meeting, calling the proposal a whitewashing of history.

Youngkin says while the draft does not reflect his initial directive, his team “will get it right.”

Melissa Howell

Melissa Howell joined WTOP Radio in March 2018 and is excited to cover stories that matter across D.C., as well as in Maryland and Virginia. 

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