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Va. board pulls its approval of 2 textbooks

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The Virginia Board of Education on Thursday withdrew its approval of two elementary school history textbooks that a panel of historians found to have dozens of errors.

The Washington Post reported in October that "Our Virginia: Past and Present," a fourth-grade textbook, asserted that African American soldiers fought for the South during the Civil War.

In December, a state-appointed panel of historians found more errors in "Our Virginia" and "Our America: To 1865," used by fifth- and sixth-graders in some districts. Both books are published by Five Ponds Press.

Despite the withdrawal of approval, a school system does not have to stop using the books. The board also ordered a review by experts of any approved textbooks published by Five Ponds Press. The company has four world history books approved for use in the state's classrooms.

The board ordered the state superintendent to give a "detailed proposal to revise the Board's process for approving textbooks for purchase by school divisions to ensure that all textbooks approved are factually accurate."

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