Previous state-approved editions of “Our Virginia: Past and Present” and “Our America to 1865,” both Five Ponds Press textbooks, were removed from Virginia elementary schools early this year after errors were found in its texts. The most egregious statement was one that says thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War, which most historians reject, The Washington Post reported last fall.
Dozens more errors were found after historians took a closer look at the texts, including “inaccuracies, inconsistencies, omissions, questionable interpretations, and spelling and grammatical errors,”The Post reported in January.
“The findings of these historians have certainly underscored and added urgency to the need to address the weaknesses in our system so we don’t have glaring historical errors in our books,”Charles Pyle, a spokesman for Virginia’s Department of Education, told The Post.
The books were first approved by a panel of three fourth-grade teachers, not professional historians,NPR reports.
The revised editions of the two books were recently submitted to the Virginia Board of Education for approval, the Daily Press reports. Five Ponds Press had previously agreed to correct and distribute the new editions, once approved, to the district for free, according to Education Week.
The Board will continue to accept written comments from the public until the end of August and is scheduled to a final review and approval recommendation for the books September 22.
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