Looking to the future of Virginia public education

Part V of 10 on your side of the “State of Education” series.

Richmond, Virginia (WAVY) – When Gov. Glen Yangkin signed Decree 1 on his first day in office, his administration launched a wave of educational reforms in the Commonwealth, including eliminating what he calls “split learning” and adding additional school choices.

10 On Your Side spoke with Virginia Education Minister Amy Gidera, as well as with Atif Carney, who served as education minister for former Gov. Ralph Nortem until he resigned in November 2021.

Some education experts say the governor’s order to revise the curriculum and make changes was not needed, calling it a “political gimmick.”

“You don’t need an order [to review curriculum]”Carney told us. “You can just instruct the secretary of education and the foreman appointed by the governor to do this review. I think the order was made as a political move. “

The current Minister of Education, Huider, says the instruction was part of the governor’s goal of making education his top priority.

“It’s important,” Gidera said. “It made it a priority that restoring excellence in education was a priority on the first day, and it will be a priority on Day 425, and it will be a priority on the last day of our tenure.”

One thing is for sure: there will be changes on the way to Virginia’s education system, but it will all be difficult to launch.

They agree on the need to improve the public school system, but what they disagree with is the approach.

“I think it spread a lot of misinformation about what was really going on in Virginia,” Carney said. “So this attack on teaching an honest and complete, complete story is really problematic because history is full of different concepts.”

Gooder says the changes are based on the push of her department and the governor’s office to make education fairer for all students.

“How do we build more trust? Thanks to the greater transparency of what is taught in schools, how well we do, frankly, how well we prepare all our students and all our students for success in life, ”said Huider.

Some argue that the proposed changes give parents more control over what their children learn, but others say the move is to make these major changes, including banning “separation concepts” and what the administration calls “critical racial theory.” “- emphasizes the” inexperience of the administration. “

“It’s really just a shame,” Carney said. “I think it’s a political tactic to really create a crisis that doesn’t exist.”

Gooder says the changes will continue to properly prepare every Virginia student for success.

“This administration is full of people who have spent their careers preparing for the work they do,” Huider said. “It’s important to emphasize that we are going to do this work by listening and participating.”

10 “On Your Side” John Dowding and Julie Millet sat down with Anita Blunton to discuss their weekly series and how they gathered information for their reports.

Watch this conversation below:

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