The Virginia Board of Education unanimously approved a new, final version of the commonwealth’s K-12 history standards, which standards were criticized by the media and the Left.
Board President Dan Gecker said, “There’s no reason that this had become as controversial as it became.” Gecker noted, “That said, I am looking forward as opposed to back, and I’m comfortable that the standards will meet the needs of Virginia’s children.”
In the words of board member Andy Rotherham, “If you’re the kind of person who thinks that all of American history is simply just a litany of sins and bad things, you will be disappointed by these standards.” Rotherham, a Youngkin appointee, noted, “Likewise, if you think all of American history is just a story of heroics, you’re going to be disappointed, too. Because we hit a really, really good balance.”
The standards spanned 65 pages and the board members went line-by-line for six hours, according to the local news outlet The Richmond Times-Dispatch. Some of the notable changes were the added description of Columbus Day as “Indigenous People’s Day,” language about post-9/11 treatment of Muslim Americans, and respecting the American flag.
The standards review happens at least once every seven years, according to state law. The previous three times that the standards were reviewed were in 2001, 2008, and 2015.
Gov. Glenn Youngkin was heavily criticized for a surprise revision of K-12 history standards last September, which led to a maelstrom of media and activist criticism. Critics claimed there were many errors in the administration’s revision, such as the omission of President Barack Obama.