Education Indoctrination in Virginia: One Example

Education Indoctrination in Virginia: One Example, Part 1 of 2. The Virginia Board of Education posted the History and Social Studies Standards of Learning for comment. The 402 page document establishes what will be taught K-12 in Virginia Public Schools. The subject matter is covered well, but skewed with a focus on race, class, and gender. Significant omissions and errors indicate the SOLs need to be revised. We’ll see if the Board of Education makes fixes for education or stays with politically correctness for indoctrination.

Here is the body of the cover letter I sent to the Virginia Board of Education.

“Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Proposed Revised 2022 History and Social Science Standards of Learning, August 4, 2022. My comments are enclosed as Appendix 1.

The Standards of Learning (SOLs) are ambitious but, unfortunately, skewed. The constant division of people by race, class and gender attempts to provide perspectives. But, group perspectives are only one always arguable aspect for all that happens in one place in time as part of recorded history. Group perspectives often fail under closer examination to be uniformly held by everyone or even as a majority of individuals in a group.

History is defined as “a branch of knowledge that records and explains past events.” The emphasis on race, class, and gender takes away or distorts a multi-disciplinary, more complex view of what happened, when, where, how, and why.

Furthermore, the repetitive return to race, class, and gender perspectives is an open door to teach invidious Critical Race Theory and a larger Cultural Marxist view of history – which, like Marxist economics is provably false.

The continual use of Diversity as noun begs the question of which definition applies? Does the same definition apply every time it’s used?

As a social scientist, I understand that learned persons in the same field may disagree vehemently on certain subject matters. Specifically, the definition of “culture” is given, but is misused when it is applied to an individual. If two individuals live in the same place and time, like two students in Virginia public schools, those children live in one culture. They may have different sub-cultures and communities of common interest, but there is one over-arching culture for the society they live in. That may seem a minor pedagogical dispute, but it matters when “culture” and “community” are pounded home in the SOLs over and over. I suggest changes to use more precise language.

Decision-making models are mentioned often, but none are suggested. It matters which models are used when, where, and how. Principle 2 includes data analysis, but where is quantitative analysis applied in the SOLs?

Why isn’t there a bibliography of supporting references for the SOLs? The SOLs could be verified with extensive endnotes like any scholarly work.

A number of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors are in the document.

Economics is far more than “scarcity”. Which school of economics do you propose for students? Why not illustrate the differences in economic theories?

I hope revisions to the SOLs will be open to public comment as well.

Thank you for your consideration. History and the Social Sciences I learned in public schools in Arlington, Virginia have served me well for all of my life. Let’s serve another generation well.

James Atticus Bowden”

Here’s Part 1 of a sample of the comments:

  • “Embrace diversity to encourage honest and informed academic discussions.” Which of 3 definitions is intended for “Diversity?” Change to “diverse ideas” or whatever specific diversity is explicitly intended.
  • “Move between concrete, narrative, and chronological learning and thematic and abstract or conceptual learning.” What abstract learning is there in the Social Sciences? I taught Research and Methodology in the Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy. The Social Sciences, as science, are based on rational empiricism. What is abstract in that body of knowledge or in learning the body of knowledge?
  • “enable students to understand the basic values, principles, and operation of the American Republic as a constitutional democracy.”
  • “To the Power, Authority, and Governance list:” Add Totalitarianism, Tribalism, Kingdoms, Religion, and Civilization as foundations of political thought and systems of government. Huge, gross omission to not include these keys to history and our present.
  • “Production, Distribution, and Consumption – the study of how wants often exceed the limited resources available.” Why the focus on “scarcity”? That is only one aspect of economics. Economics is about how economies work in toto.
  • What is the most effective allocation functioning of the factors of production (land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship)?
  • Civic Ideals and Practices. Add “The Rule of Law.” How the written words of the Declaration of Independence, U.S. and Virginia Constitutions and codes of law govern, not people.
  • Holidays “such as but not limited to Indigenous People’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Martin Luther King Jr., Day, George Washington Day (commonly known as Presidents’ Day), Juneteenth, and Independence Day (Fourth of July),” add Christmas, Lee-Jackson Day. Include official Virginia holidays. Omit others.
  • “What does Juneteenth celebrate?” Add What does Lee-Jackson Day celebrate?
  • “The student will apply history and social science skills to describe the stories of people in the history of Virginia and their contributions to various communities and the Commonwealth such as, but not limited to Powhatan, Pocahontas, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Mercer Langston, Maggie L. Walker, Arthur R. Ashe Jr., Lawrence Douglas Wilder, Barbara Johns,” Add John Smith, Sir William Berkeley, Thomas Paine, James Madison, George Mason, George Wythe, Lewis and Clark, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Jackson, Booker T. Washington, Woodrow Wilson, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, Winsome Sears.
  • “The People in the United States are united by common principles of democracy”, limited government, a written constitution, free enterprise and property, and as a federal republic.
  • “Use various information sources and previous knowledge to discuss ways citizens can contribute to the success of their community to make a difference as a global citizen.” There is no legal or political entity that grants global citizenship. The children in Virginia are citizens of the Virginia and the US or they are resident aliens of assorted legal status.

More to follow in Part 2

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2 thoughts on “Education Indoctrination in Virginia: One Example”

  1. “The subject matter is covered well, but skewed with a focus on race, class, and gender.”
    Three of which have no place in the anyone’s education criteria, past the point of saying Frederick Douglass was a black man, but only to the point that he made great achievements, until he was forgotten by the left’s transition away from teaching anything positive. Class is something that we, as a society do not use. Gender is a word that I never heard in the classroom, when I was a kid.

    Bottom line is that those three criteria are of no utility in the classroom, except maybe in some ivy league joke of a university, that caters to communists and other fools. All they serve is for divisiveness between races, classes and genders, and that is not what schools are for.

    Reply
    • Thanks. I concur. Race, class, and gender are the lenses the Human Secularist Totalitarians want all Americans to see through to understand their Marxist worldview.

      Reply

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