Earlier this month, we posted about Virginia’s plan to drop its standardized social studies test taken by third graders. Our chief concern was that eliminating the test sends a message that social studies isn’t important enough to be tested. Consequently leading to less time spent on social studies in the classroom.
Well, we are happy to report a small victory: after much contention, the Virginia State Superintendent of Public Instruction withdrew the proposal to eliminate the test.
The scores on last year’s test, 93 percent passed, suggest that students are learning. The test measures what students know about “China, Greece and Mali, and the contributions of Americans such as Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.” For some, the high scores are an argument for eliminating the test. If students are doing so well, then it is not needed.
But Common Core sees it another way. Perhaps students are doing well because teachers are actually teaching social studies; it is not being squeezed out of the curriculum as it is in other states.
We are glad Virginia reconsidered!