Public schools; electives on the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament and the New Testament. (HB1122)

Introduced By

Del. Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law

Description

Public schools; electives on the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament and the New Testament. Requires local school boards to offer as an elective in grades nine through 12 with appropriate credits toward graduation a course, either in a traditional classroom setting or in a virtual classroom setting, on the Hebrew Scriptures/Old Testament of the Bible or the New Testament of the Bible or a combined course on both. The bill requires the Board of Education to develop Standards of Learning and curriculum guidelines for such courses. The bill provides that the purpose of such courses is to introduce students to biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture, including literature, art, music, mores, oratory, and public policy. The bill prohibits students from being required to use a specific translation of a religious text when taking the courses and provides that such courses shall maintain religious neutrality and shall not endorse, favor, promote, disfavor, or show hostility toward any particular religion or nonreligious perspective. Read the Bill »

Outcome

Bill Has Failed

History

DateAction
01/07/2020Committee
01/07/2020Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/08/20 20102188D
01/07/2020Referred to Committee on Education
01/13/2020Assigned Education sub: SOL and SOQ
01/23/2020Impact statement from DPB (HB1122)
02/03/2020Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (5-Y 3-N)
02/11/2020Left in Education

Comments

Wilma J. Brown-Foreman, Ed. S writes:

English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote: "For more than a thousand years, the Bible, collectively taken, has gone hand in hand with civilization, science, law--, in short, with the moral and intellectual cultivation of the species, always supporting and often leading the way.”

Today’s youth deserve as many opportunities as possible in the public classroom to become fully educated and functionally literate citizens.
In helping to shape the minds of our future leaders of this great land we call America, we also need to remember these words from William McKinley: “The more profoundly we study this Book and the more closely we observe its divine precepts, the better citizens we will become and the higher will be our destiny as a nation.”

"Any American who does not possess the knowledge assumed in a piece he or she reads will in fact be illiterate." -Hirsch, E. D. (1987, Cultural Literacy: What Every American Should Know)

I strongly support the proposal to include academic initiatives for biblical literacy in the secondary curricula in public schools. With 43+ years of experience as a high school English teacher, I have spent many hours preparing to serve in this area of academic studies. In addition to earning a bachelor's degree from Winston-Salem State University (NC) (1978) in English Literature, a master's degree from Averett University (VA) (2008) in Curriculum and Instruction), a master's degree from Virginia State University (VA) (2011) in Administration and Supervision, and an Education Specialist Degree (Teaching and Learning) from Liberty University (VA) (2012), I have served as a workshop/seminar presenter and facilitator across the country, including California for the Christian Educators International (CEAI) twice and for the Virginia Association for English Teachers (VATE) five times. I have written published articles related to this area of studies, including "Answering a Call to Graduate Fully Literate Students" (2014) published by Teachers of Vision Magazine.

In 2002, I wrote and published a 344 page elective course curriculum that aligns with the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLS) to be used in secondary public English literature classes. In addition, I plan to continue writing and publishing Constitutionally safe online lessons plans with tests and quizzes along with answers keys that will be available as educational resources public classroom teachers. I also intend to continue serving as a state-wide workshop and seminar facilitator as needed to empower public educators (especially English teachers) to include biblical literacy initiatives Constitutionally in their lessons.

I remain a committed secondary English teacher (retired twice) who is most interested in graduating fully literate students in the state of Virginia. For further information, documentation, or examples of my contributions to academic initiatives for Biblical literacy, please call me at (804) 300-6200 or e-mail me at wilmaforeman@yahoo.com.

Sincerely submitted,
Wilma J. Brown-Foreman, Ed.S

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