Huffpost Education

Virginia Delegate David Englin Proposes Legislation To Fix School Textbooks

Posted: Updated:

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."


Around the Web

Englin's bill would force textbook publishers to get story straight

Chicago Area Colleges to Rent Textbooks to Students

Lawmaker Wants Publishers Held Accountable For Bad Textbooks

Textbook rental benefits students

School board eyes digital textbooks

Community colleges try renting textbooks to students

Va. Officials Mulling Changes After Discovering Textbook Errors

Textbook troubles in Virginia

State historians find more errors in textbooks

No Wonder Henry Ford Said 'History Is Bunk'

Va to tighten its textbook-review process

Va. schools should insist on refund for textbooks