Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Opinion | Virginia’s school curriculum should embrace diversity in thought

Opinion | Virginia’s school curriculum should embrace diversity in thought


The April 22 editorial “Virginia survives its school standards fight” called for a better way to set U.S. history learning standards. However, rather than wrangling over what belongs in a textbook, the state’s board of education should base its selection process on diversity. Moreover, as the editorial concluded, the traditional approach is much too susceptible to political infighting.

Diversity is one of this country’s greatest strengths. It enriches the lives of all. It does not threaten us. Standards should embrace diversity, not avoid it.

Students will benefit from addressing tough controversies, not avoiding them. With this mind-set, the debate on standards is less likely to get caught up in the increasingly vitriolic culture wars. Instead of banning books and forbidding the teaching of certain concepts (systemic racism) and topics (the rights of transgender teenagers), these should be easily accessed from a big educational tent that includes a wide variety of political views and ideological perspectives. This approach will reduce politicization of the debate on standards. More important, it will offer better learning opportunities for students.

Edward Drachman, Glen Allen



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