Va. withdraws approval of textbooks
The Virginia Board of Education on Thursday withdrew its approval of two elementary school history textbooks, which a panel of historians found to have dozens of errors.
The Washington Post reported in October that "Our Virginia, Past and Present" a fourth-grade textbook, included a controversial assertion that thousands of African American soldiers fought for the South during the Civil War. The assertion is often made by Confederate heritage groups but is rejected by most historians. In December, a state-appointed panel of historians found dozens of additional errors in both "Our Virginia" and "Our America to 1865," which is used by students in the fifth and sixth grades in some Virginia districts. Both books are published by Five Ponds Press.
On Thursday, the Board of Education also ordered a review by experts of any other approved textbooks published by Five Ponds Press. The company currently has four world history books which are approved for use in the state's classrooms. Those books passed the state's textbook review process, in which panels of reviewers, often elementary school teachers, verified that the books cover each of the Standards of Learning themes. Experts in particular subject matters also sometimes review books.
Earlier this month, Del. David L. Englin (D-Alexandria) introduced legislation that would require publishers to vet textbooks with independent experts before submitting them to the state.
The Board of Education also ordered the state superintendent to present in a "detailed proposal to revise the Board’s process for approving textbooks for purchase by school divisions to ensure that all textbooks approved are factually accurate, incorporating in such proposal a process for prior certification by publishers that each textbook submitted for approval has been reviewed for factual accuracy by qualified experts in the subject matter."
INTERACTIVE: Correct the errors in these Virginia texbooks
Posted by: waxtraxs | January 13, 2011 7:58 PM | Report abuse
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