The Washington Post

Va. board pulls its approval of 2 textbooks

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."

Kevin Sieff has been The Post’s bureau chief in Nairobi since 2014. He served previously as the bureau chief in Kabul and had covered the U.S. -Mexico border.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
This isn't your daddy's gun club
A look inside the world of Candomblé
It's in the details: Five ways to enhance your kitchen makeover
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
The rise and fall of baseball cards
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Play Videos
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
How to prevent 'e-barrassment'
The art of tortilla-making
Play Videos
Circus nuns: These sisters are no act
How hackers can control your car from miles away
How the new credit card chip makes purchases more secure

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.