Governor Glenn Youngkin said the administration will not be rushed in its review of new history and social science standards, criticizing the previous Democratic administration for lowering the bar in the draft Youngkin’s administration is now changing.

In a press gaggle after a Monday release of National Assessment of Educational Progress scores that show declining performance on reading and math in fourth and eighth grades, Youngkin said, “In the context of what we’ve seen today, I’m glad we’re taking more time, because the standards that have been set by the previous administration who wrote those history standards has shown itself in the results that our kids have demonstrated over testing that has reflected bad decisions over a long period of time.”

“So I have been very clear from the very beginning: I want our history standards to be the best in the nation. I want to teach all of our history, the good and the bad. It needs to be presented in a way that is, in fact, applicable and teachable. And we’re going to make sure that we get them right, and I will not be rushed here,” he said.

“And I think that one of the challenges that has been posed is, ‘Well, they have to get out, they have to be this …’ They have to be right. And I think this is one of the just absolutely undeniable truths, which is the decisions that have been made over the last many years to lower standards, to rush, to change things quickly, has resulted in bad outcomes. We’re going to take our time, we’re going to get them right. We’re going to make sure that they, in fact, meet my standard of being the best in the nation and teaching all of our history, the good, and the bad, and we will, in fact, get them done in time for our children to have them when they were originally supposed to be delivered. We’re going to get this done correctly,” he said.

During the summer, Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow first asked for delays in the standards review process, citing technical problems including the exclusion of wording calling George Washington “the father of our country.” In the recent VBOE meeting, Balow said the administration was reaching out to more organizations for comment on the new standards. In a Board of Education meeting last week, some board members hinted at concerns that Youngkin’s administration was working on more substantial changes to the content of the standards, and not just making technical edits.

After the Monday press conference, Balow told The Star, “The governor made it really clear today. We want the best social studies and history standards in the nation. We want to make sure that we take the time to get that right, so that they are the best in the nation, and that means that they need to meet a certain standard. The governor has been clear from the very beginning. He wants to teach all of Virginia and U.S. history, the good and the bad, and we will stick by that all the way through this process.”


Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. This article originally appeared in The Virginia Star. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. Republished with permission.