News Topic

Advocacy, History Education


State & Local (US)

AHA Topics

K–12 Education, Social Studies Standards, Teaching & Learning


United States

The American Historical Association, the Virginia Social Studies Leaders Consortium, and the Virginia Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development “have collaborated to share their collective knowledge, experience, and expertise” to draft proposed history and social science standards for K–12 schools. Our work responds to the Virginia Board of Education’s (VBOE) determination at its recent meeting that neither of the two documents on the table were satisfactory; a new draft was needed that would combine the two proposals with reference to the existing (2015) standards. We are grateful to our partners for inviting the AHA to participate in the standards revision process.

Brief Background

In October, the AHA sent a letter to the Virginia Department of Education urging adoption of draft standards of learning for history and social science submitted in August, and reiterating the AHA’s offer to assist if revisions were necessary. In November, the AHA encouraged historians to testify at a VBOE hearing that would consider the August proposal and a new document that was deeply flawed, rooted partly in the ill-fated federal “1776 Commission“ report (2021). The AHA’s letter warned that “a new version of revised standards, dated November 11, would create substantial gaps in the knowledge, historical thinking skills, and habits of mind taught to Virginia students.”