Another Virginia district tosses out inaccurate history texts

January 10, 2011

It’s a rational decision, but I wonder:  What will teachers use other than these texts?

From NEA’s morning news update:

Virginia District To Remove Erroneous History Textbooks From Classrooms.

The Washington Post (1/8, Sieff) reported, “Fairfax [VA] school officials have decided to pull a textbook in which historians have found dozens of errors. Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Jack D. Dale said that fourth-grade history will be taught using supplemental materials until errors in ‘Our Virginia, Past and Present’ are corrected in a subsequent edition.” According to the Post, “A state-appointed panel of historians in December found dozens of additional errors in ‘Our Virginia’ and ‘Our America to 1865,’ both of which were published by Connecticut-based Five Ponds Press.”

McCartney: Virginia Schools Should Insist On Full Refund For Error-Filled Textbooks. Robert McCartney wrote in a column for the Washington Post (1/9), “Among Northern Virginia school systems wrestling with how to handle a wildly erroneous fourth-grade social studies textbook, Loudoun County initially received the gold star. Loudoun yanked the book, ‘Our Virginia: Past and Present,’ when the first falsehood – describing nonexistent battalions of black Confederate soldiers – was discovered in October. … By contrast, Fairfax and Arlington were content just to cover up the offending sentence with a blank sticker.” According to McCartney, “There can be only one acceptable solution. The small publishing company responsible for this fiasco, Five Ponds Press of Weston, Conn., should agree right away to cover the entire price” to replace the books.

Once more the burden of education falls on teachers, to either make sure the inaccuracies in the books do not get taught and to substitute accurate stuff, or to find alternative texts.

Teachers:  Can’t have education without ’em.

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