Inaccurate textbooks banned from Va. schools

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RICHMOND | Two social studies textbooks that were found to contain factual errors were blacklisted on Thursday by the Virginia Board of Education.

Used in elementary and middle schools around the state, the books “Our Virginia: Past and Present” and “Our America to 1865” make claims rejected by most historians — like the assertion that thousands of blacks fought for the South during the Civil War.

The board also announced it had revamped the way textbooks are approved. Now, publishers must provide documentation that their textbooks are accurate by submitting a list of authors and their qualifications and providing proof that at least three experts in the subject matter vouch for the book’s reliability.

Connecticut company Five Ponds Press published the two erroneous textbooks, along with other elementary level textbooks found to also contain errors after a review conducted in January. If Five Ponds submits corrected editions to the board, the textbooks will be considered under the new approval process.

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