The History Standards: A Correction, An Apology, and Some Comments

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

In an earlier post dealing with the proposed Standards of Learning in History and Social Studies, I complained that I could not find a copy of the earlier draft on the Department of Education website and suggested that it had been purged.

I was mistaken. The draft is available on the website. I apologize for my  oversight and for my erroneous suggestion that DOE was trying to hide something.

I thank Charles Pyle, Director of Communications and Constituent Services for DOE, for letting me know of my mistake. (At least, we know that he follows BR!)

For anyone wishing to compare the two versions, here is the draft prepared during the Northam administration.

And here is the link to the revised proposed Standards that will be first considered by the Board of Education at its meeting tomorrow.

The format of the revised proposal is significantly changed from the proposal presented to the Board in August  The earlier proposal was a 400-page document that showed old language that was being stricken, as well as new language. It also included suggested instructional detail. The revised proposal is much shorter (a little over 50 pages) and is arranged completely differently.

A lot of staff work was needed to revise the Standards in such a significant manner in a relatively short period of time. Occasionally, there are references on this blog to a “deep state” that will resist the Youngkin administration and try to undermine it. In other words, a bunch of progressive bureaucrats who will do what they can to stymie changes sought by the Youngkin administration. In this vein, I want to point out that the director of the Office of Humanities and the History and Social Science Coordinator are career state employees who headed up the staff work that produced both documents. Their job, which they carried out professionally, was to help implement the policies espoused by the political appointees overseeing the agency. No deep state here.

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25 responses to “The History Standards: A Correction, An Apology, and Some Comments”

  1. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    Love the art.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      My grandmother used to have a parquet floor like that. In fact, that could be her wallpaper too.

      Hey! Wait a minute!

      1. You didn’t know grandma owned a camera?

  2. LarrytheG Avatar

    I give Dick credit. And 2 things. WHY is this stuff so hard to find in the first place ? and given the very different formats…. it’s really not going to be easy to compare… not exactly and attempt by VDOE/Youngkin to actually contrast and compare the changes.

    1. how_it_works Avatar

      I think it’s because of the tendency of web developers to place a higher priority on “pretty” as opposed to “functional”.

      25 years ago you’d have to explain to them that most people are going to be loading the website through a dialup connection, not a T1 line like they have at the office.

      1. LarrytheG Avatar

        It’s VDOE IMO. “Stuff” is damn hard to find on that website on a variety of topics.

        It won’t have it’s own navigation link… it’ll be in some paragraph in the Superintendents memo and stuff like that.

  3. James McCarthy Avatar
    James McCarthy

    DH-S’s humility is a rare expression on these pages.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      He avoids inflammatory opinions, or at least, is nice about it.

    2. LarrytheG Avatar

      Well, not for him. He readily comes back with corrections. Opposite of others IMO.

  4. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

    Will schools teach about the VP’s and Senator Hirono’s bigoted attempts to impose an unconstitutional religious test on a nominee for a federal district court judge position? And that one doesn’t need penumbras and emanations to find.

    1. Nancy Naive Avatar
      Nancy Naive

      There would have been an easier way… she could have simply asked, “If you were JFK and being appointed to Supreme Court instead of running for the Presidency, would you also offer assurances that your faith will not cloud your adherence to the law?”

      1. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

        Probably still unconstitutional.

        And JFK had to do that only because of rampant bigotry in America. He learned from Al Smith’s experience.

        1. Nancy Naive Avatar
          Nancy Naive

          Rampant bigotry in America? Then, right, not now.

          1. f/k/a_tmtfairfax Avatar

            Still exists, see the actions of Harris and Hirono. And the Post, it endorsed Harris.

          2. LarrytheG Avatar

            That’s the only two you know of?

          3. LarrytheG Avatar

            TMT – there is not a politician alive who has not messed up on issues. Are these two total racists their whole lives and careers? What is their full measure? Just what you are pointing out – over and over and over?

            I’ll buy the idea that what the did on that issue was probably wrong.

            But geeze guy. If you want to go to each politician and find an issue where they messed up, you’re gonna have most of them.

            What the total condemnation?

  5. Gracious post Dick. I too have learned over the years that when I am mistaken that eating crow and moving on is by far the most productive path. Ego argues against that, but it is wrong.

  6. DJRippert Avatar

    I’ve been thinking about your column from a few days ago. In particular, the issue around, “Centralized government planning in the form of socialism or communist political systems is incompatible with democracy and individual freedoms.”

    I find that to be the most questionable of the new rules / policies.

    I agree with the sentiment but it’s too simplistic.

    No country is completely free market and almost no country is completely socialist (I don’t know about North Korea, for example). America has examples of socialism – the US Postal Service owned by the government and the ABC Stores in Virginia are examples.

    There are far more examples of quiet socialism in America. Heavy regulation of certain industries is a form of government control of the means of production even if not the outright ownership of those means.

    The point that should be taught in school is the degree to which government ownership of anything reduces personal freedom (I am not sure that democracy fits in at all).

    Virginia’s ownership of the ABC Stores means I lose the personal freedom to buy a fifth of vodka on Sunday. I also can only buy the brands that Virginia’s ABC Stores decide to sell. No doubt that the socialistic insistence of the Commonwealth of Virginia in monopolizing all retail liquor sales reduces personal freedoms.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Social Security, Medicare, Public education, public roads, to name a few…..

    2. Dick Hall-Sizemore Avatar
      Dick Hall-Sizemore

      ABC stores are now open on Sunday, but not until noon, after you get out of church.

    3. LarrytheG Avatar

      regulations protect individual rights also.

      I suppose regulations can be thought of as socialism but the real world is that the countries with the highest life expectancy, highest productivity, highest education attainment, etc, etc are all developed countries with “social” programs and policies from public roads to public schools to public health, etc.

      Have never understood why this is considered a “problem” and taking people’s “rights”. I don’t want the unfettered private sector to be unfettered whether it’s food or drugs, or cars or airplanes or GPS or cell phones, you name it.

  7. Kathleen Smith Avatar
    Kathleen Smith

    The staff at VDOE did what they were told, create a document with broad standards with NO curriculum framework. Virginia teachers should be angry. Hold me accountable after giving me a broad glimpse of what needs to be taught, then, test my kids and let me know if I understood you. If it took this much time to get a 50 page document that is way too broad, it is incredibly difficult to imagine why Youngkin thinks he leads any education reform.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      Thank you Kathleen for telling the truth about what is going on with this. Not going to happen from others apparently.

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