The Virginia Department of Education is announcing six public engagement sessions in May and June as it restarts its review of the Mathematics Standards of Learning.
Virginia is required to update the standards every seven years, with the next review due to be completed in 2023. But Governor Glenn Youngkin aborted the effort begun in 2020 after the Mathematic Pathways proposal was widely criticized by Republicans, who said it would gut advanced math programs.
Virginia’s new education administration has removed many of the equity training materials that used to be on the Virginia Department of Education website, according to a report from Superintendent of Public Education Jillian Balow. The removals and the report were ordered by Governor Glenn Youngkin in his first executive order, aimed at removing “inherently divisive concepts” from public education. That was a measure to fulfill a campaign promise to ban Critical Race Theory (CRT), but the order and subsequent actions go beyond material that explicitly references CRT.
“This interim report rescinds certain policies, programs, and resources that promote discriminatory and divisive concepts as directed by Executive Order One. It also contains a sampling of critical race theory-based materials,” Balow wrote in a letter accompanying the report.
The House of Delegates passed HB 787, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-Loudoun) bill focused on controversial teaching in schools. On Tuesday, the bill passed 50-49, with Delegate Carrie Coyner (R-Chesterfield) joining Democrats in opposition and Delegate Kim Taylor (R-Dinwiddie) not voting.
Before hearing the Democratic amendments, House Education Chair Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach) explained a Republican amendment, “which makes it very clear that you can teach literature, history, whatever you’d like that takes into account the past or present beliefs that are set in subsection A above, Mr. Speaker.”
RICHMOND, Virginia — The Senate Education and Health Public Education Subcommittee recommended killing two bills from Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach): SB 766 which would ban transgender girls from playing girls’ sports, and SB 570, which would codify Governor Glenn Youngkin’s “inherently divisive concept” ban. In its Thursday afternoon meeting the subcommittee also recommended killing Senator Travis Hackworth’s (R-Tazewell) SB 20 to eliminate a requirement that school boards adopt policies for the treatment of transgender students.
Kiggans, who is running for Congress, told the subcommittee that she was carrying SB 570 on behalf of the Youngkin administration.
“I said yes to carry this bill because I heard the voices of parents that spoke in November. You know, I was one of those parents as well,” Kiggans said, noting that Youngkin frequently talked about teaching kids how to think, not what to think.
RICHMOND, Virginia – The General Assembly continues to debate Governor Glenn Youngkin’s Executive Order One banning Critical Race Theory and “inherently divisive concepts.” On Wednesday, legislators debated the policy in the House Education Committee, on the House floor, and on the Senate floor. The newly-Republican-controlled House of Delegates has been slow to hear bills in committee, which generated another House floor back-and-forth, but although key anti-CRT bills haven’t been heard in the Education Committee yet, delegates got a jump-start on debating the topic when interviewing Youngkin nominee for Superintendent of Public Instruction Jillian Balow.
Balow previously served as Wyoming’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, where she supported anti-CRT legislation.
“I share Governor Youngkin’s priorities for education,” Balow said.