Posted on August 23, 2022

Youngkin Slams Proposal That Deletes Benjamin Franklin From History Curriculum

Nick Minock, WJLA, August 21, 2022

Gov. Glenn Youngkin is speaking out against proposed changes to Virginia’s history curriculum.

“We have to slow down,” Youngkin told 7News on Saturday.

7News was the first to reveal that references to George Washington as “the father of our country” and James Madison as the “father of the Constitution” were struck from proposed history curriculum standards. Also, the word “succession” was used instead of “secession” – twice – in the proposal.


Currently, Virginia’s history curriculum standards advise public schools to teach students to describe how the contributions of Benjamin Franklin and Christopher Columbus changed the lives of Americans.

7News learned the proposed changes would strike Franklin and Columbus from the history curriculum standards and replace Franklin and Columbus with opportunities to “incorporate into the local curriculum using learning experiences.”

7News also learned the proposed changes would delete a section that says students will “demonstrate knowledge of Virginia history by describing important events and people in the history of the Commonwealth, including famous Virginians, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who helped form a new nation.”


On Sunday, 7News also spoke with Gov. Ralph Northam’s former Secretary of Education about Youngkin’s Board of Education voting to delay the proposal.

“The reason I’m disappointed is because of the past rhetoric,” said Atif Qarni. {snip}


“They have the Fordham Institute, which is a conservative think tank, which doesn’t have expertise in history,” said Qarni. “So it makes me nervous because I’ve seen their work in the past which, you know, there’s philosophical differences there. I’ve also seen Governor Youngkin’s rhetoric about CRT and equity and diversity and inclusion and so that’s why it really makes me nervous. That’s why I do feel from my observations that there is a resistance to really to teach a full honest history especially of black and brown voices. There are numerous examples that I can give where there’s untold stories of contributions and challenges. So the standard new revisions allow us to do that. {snip}”