The Virginia education department began alerting superintendents and history teachers last week about a passage in a state-approved textbook that falsely claims that thousands of black troops fought for the Confederacy.
The department issued the memo after a College of William and Mary history professor, and parent of a 4th grader, found the passage in the Civil War chapter of Our Virginia: Past and Present. The book claims that black troops fought under Stonewall Jackson, an assertion historians overwhelmingly say is unproved.
The book is one of three approved Virginia history textbooks. The department doesn’t track how many schools are using it.
A version of this article appeared in the October 27, 2010 edition of Education Week as Va. Alerts Schools, Teachers to History-Textbook Error