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Va superintendent: 3rd-grade history exam is safe

Ohanian Comment:
What a relief to know that The third-grade history and social-science accountability test is "safe." Would that somebody keep Virginia third graders safe.

You couldn't make this up.

The history Standards of Learning are posted below the short AP piece. It gives us an inkling of what's to come with the Obama/Duncan push for National Standards, followed shortly by a National Exam.

Why aren't we all out on the streets protesting this?

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) â The head of the Virginia Department of Education has told state legislators she's confident the Board of Education will agree with her recommendation to keep the third-grade history and social-science accountability test.

State Superintendent Patricia Wright told the House Education Committee on Monday she thinks the board won't oppose her withdrawal of a controversial proposal to drop the third-grade history Standards of Learning exam.

The board was to vote this week on the measure, which drew heated criticism from history education advocates and lawmakers. Wright notified the board and school superintendents Friday that she was withdrawing the proposal.

Committee members voiced their support of Wright's decision, and heard from several speakers who urged the state to keep the test.

Standards of Learning Currently in Effect for Virginia Public Schools

Grade Three
Introduction to History and Social Science

The standards for third grade students include an introduction to the heritage and contributions of the people of ancient Greece and Rome and the West African empire of Mali. Students should continue developing map skills and demonstrate an understanding of basic economic concepts. Students will explain the importance of the basic principles of democracy and identify the contributions of selected individuals. Students will recognize that Americans are a people who have diverse ethnic origins, customs, and traditions, who all contribute to American life, and who are united as Americans by common principles.

3.1 The student will explain how the contributions of ancient Greece and Rome have influenced the
present world in terms of architecture, government (direct and representative democracy), and

3.2 The student will study the early West African empire of Mali by describing its oral tradition
(storytelling), government (kings), and economic development (trade).

3.3 The student will study the exploration of the Americas by
a) describing the accomplishments of Christopher Columbus, Juan Ponce de LÂon, Jacques
Cartier, and Christopher Newport;

b) identifying reasons for exploring, the information gained, and the results from the travels.

3.4 The student will develop map skills by
a) locating Greece, Rome, and West Africa;

b) describing the physical and human characteristics of Greece, Rome, and West Africa;

c) explaining how the people of Greece, Rome, and West Africa adapted to and/or changed
their environment to meet their needs.

3.5 The student will develop map skills by
a) positioning and labeling the seven continents and four oceans to create a world map;

b) using the equator and prime meridian to identify the four hemispheres;

c) locating the countries of Spain, England, and France;

d) locating the regions in the Americas explored by Christopher Columbus (San Salvador in
the Bahamas), Juan Ponce de LÂon (near St. Augustine, Florida), Jacques Cartier (near
Quebec, Canada), and Christopher Newport (Jamestown, Virginia);

e) locating specific places on a simple letter-number grid system.

3.6 The student will interpret geographic information from maps, tables, graphs, and charts.

History and Social Science Standards of Learning
3.7 The student will explain how producers use natural resources (water, soil, wood, and coal),
human resources (people at work), and capital resources (machines, tools, and buildings) to
produce goods and services for consumers.

3.8 The student will recognize the concepts of specialization (being an expert in one job, product, or
service) and interdependence (depending on others) in the production of goods and services (in
ancient Greece, Rome, the West African empire of Mali, and in the present).

3.9 The student will identify examples of making an economic choice and will explain the idea of
opportunity cost (what is given up when making a choice).


3.10 The student will recognize why government is necessary in the classroom, school, and community
a) explaining the purpose of rules and laws;

b) explaining that the basic purposes of government are to make laws, carry out laws, and
decide if laws have been broken;

c) explaining that government protects the rights and property of individuals.

3.11 The student will explain the importance of the basic principles that form the foundation of a
republican form of government by
a) describing the individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and equality
under the law;

b) identifying the contributions of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln,
Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, and Martin Luther King, Jr.;

c) recognizing that Veterans Day and Memorial Day honor people who have served to protect
the countryâs freedoms.

3.12 The student will recognize that Americans are a people of diverse ethnic origins, customs, and
traditions, who are united by the basic principles of a republican form of government and respect
for individual rights and freedoms.

— Associated Press





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