Daire, commission present final report to Governor Northam

Recommendations will enable all Virginia students to develop an understanding of the African American voices that contribute to Virginia’s story.

Headshot of Dr. Andrew Daire, dean of the VCU School of Education.
Commission member Dean Andrew Daire, Ph.D.

Monday, August 31, 2020

The Commission on African American History Education in the Commonwealth today presented their final report to Governor Ralph Northam, the Virginia Board of Education, and other key advocates for diversity and inclusion in Virginia classrooms.

The report includes the 34-member commission’s findings and recommendations on how to improve Virginia’s history and social science standards of learning and ensure that all teachers have the professional development supports needed for culturally competent instruction.

VCU School of Education Dean Andrew Daire, Ph.D. is a member of the commission.

“This unprecedented time of crisis has given all of us an opportunity to renew our focus on breaking down structural inequities and telling a more honest Virginia story in our classrooms,” said Northam.

The commission’s final recommendations included:

  • Making recommendations and technical edits for enriched standards related to African American history;
  • Identifying how the standards can be organized and improved to ensure that African American history is a cohesive part of the teaching of all history;
  • Revising of the full history and social studies standards review process to be more inclusive of diverse perspectives; and
  • Recommending the addition of professional development and instructional supports to equip all educators to create and sustain culturally responsive pedagogy and gain appropriate foundational knowledge in African American history.

When implemented, the commission’s recommendations will enable all Virginia students and educators to develop a comprehensive understanding of the African American voices that contribute to Virginia’s story.

“The recommendations made by the Commission will result in curriculum and professional development changes that allow Virginia students to thoroughly examine and directly combat systemic racism in the Commonwealth’s history,” said Secretary of Education Atif Qarni.

Commission members also helped guide content for a new high school-level African American history elective course that Northam directed the Virginia Department of Education to develop last year. The course is available to students in 16 Virginia school divisions during the 2020-2021 academic year.

“This moment we find ourselves in requires that we move with urgency to eradicate all forms of systemic racism from our public schools,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. James Lane.

The executive summary of the Commission’s final report is available here.

Read the full press release from the Office of the Governor.

Related article:
Dean Daire named to African American Education panel