In June 1995, the Virginia Board of Education approved Standards of Learning (SOL) in four core content areas – mathematics, science, English, and history and the social sciences – and in computer technology. In September 1997, the Board of Education established new Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia (SOA) that link statewide accountability tests to the SOL and hold students, schools, and school divisions accountable for results.
The SOL’s set the minimum standards to ensure schools adequately prepare students for the future, a worthy endeavor indeed and deemed necessary due to the inconsistency of High School Graduates across the state. While many children received first class educations that left them well prepared for college or work, other schools turned out students who were functionally illiterate and unable to compete in either academia or the job market. Virginia’s SOL’s were designed to alleviate this problem.
Unfortunately, Standards of Learning can also be used as a tool by those with a political agenda to push their particular viewpoint, and the state mandates conformity with this way of thinking. The subject area with the greatest danger of falling prey to an ideological agenda is World History. And that is exactly where the Virginia Board of Education has begun a left wing indoctrination of Virginia’s children.