Virginia Delegate David Englin Proposes Legislation To Fix School Textbooks
After one textbook's inaccuracies garnered significant media attention in October, Virginia Delegate David Englin (D-Alexandria) is proposing legislation to get school primers properly proofed.
The Washington Post reported that Englin's bill would hold publishers accountable and require them to prove review of textbooks by subject-area specialists. He said the state of public education is at stake.
"As a legislator and a parent, I was shocked and appalled to learn that Virginia social studies textbooks had such egregious factual inaccuracies. As parents, the bare minimum we expect from textbooks is that the facts are correct."
"Our Virginia: Past and Present," published by Five Ponds Press, was released during the fall to thousands of Virginian students. Although vetted by textbook review committees, it included a variety of errors, from wrong dates to misspellings.
One section of the textbook tells students that thousands of African Americans fought as confederate soldiers during the Civil War, a statistic that is not validated by mainstream historians.
Carol Sheriff, a professor at William & Mary, told CNN that the mistakes weren't just inaccurate, but irresponsible.
"It is the equivalent of holocaust denial being taught in public schools but worse. It's also equivalent to saying the Jews helped the Holocaust."