Virgina Shape

Glenn Youngkin Unveils Plan to Restore Academic Standard of Excellence in Virginia Schools

July 1, 2021

FALLS CHURCH, VA - On Wednesday, political outsider, successful business leader, and Republican nominee for governor Glenn Youngkin delivered remarks outlining the first part of his comprehensive education plan.

"This campaign is about making Virginia the best state, the best place to live and work and raise a family, and there is nothing more critical to Virginia's future than education. Education has the power to lift people up, to lift people out, to provide opportunities that they can only dream about, to realize the most vivid dreams. It gives every child a chance - every child - and when I’m governor, we will all be about giving every child a chance, to learn, to grow, to succeed, to believe. That’s what Virginia is all about," said Youngkin.

Detailing the first part of his education plan, Youngkin said, "We must have the courage to set high standards. We must have the courage to invest in our students, in our teachers, in our facilities, and then we must demand results from our schools. As part of the first phase of my plan to restore excellence in Virginia schools, we’re going to raise standards. We’re going to absolutely create transparency and we’re going to demand school accountability, and we are going to raise our sights on student achievement, because student success should not merely be a talking point in Richmond. It is the pathway to unlimited success, and every Virginia child should be on that pathway."

"On day one, I will sign an executive order returning Virginia's schools to pre-McAuliffe standards. No longer will Virginia race to the bottom when it comes to expectations. We are setting high standards. Second, I will direct the Virginia Department of Education to protect advanced math classes and the use of advanced diplomas. We all know that our students need proficiency in subjects like math, to be fluent in the economy of the future. Third, we will refocus on the fundamentals of reading, writing, and math."

"I’m tired of politicians lowering standards, lowering standards and yet calling it a success, setting our sights on the lowest common denominator instead of the highest hopes of our children. So here’s a simple fact: when he was governor, Terry McAuliffe and his political appointees lowered standards, and he dragged our children’s performance down with those diminished expectations."

"I have a vision for the children of Virginia, that they would not just survive but they would thrive in Virginia’s classrooms, that they would be challenged to reach their full potential, that they would have rigorous curriculum that would prepare them for the workplace of the future, for the college opportunity of the future, and that all of our children will see their dream opportunity here in Virginia."

The first part of Youngkin’s education plan will focuses on Schools, Students, and Studies, and identifies key actions that can be taken to restore excellence in Virginia's schools, including:


  • Restore the standards by which our schools are measured to actual standards of excellence.
  • Improve school measurement metrics so we can all see how our schools are doing and where help is most needed.
  • Increase the number of Academic-Year governor’s Schools, like the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, with a variety of subject areas.
  • Ensure schools are never again closed unnecessarily for extended periods of time.


  • Ensure all children can read, write, and understand math by third grade.
  • Equip our students to be the top performing students in the country.
  • Ensure students with disabilities receive all of the services, support, and procedural protections they are entitled to – and listen to parents and students.
  • Put the power back in the hands of parents by providing them with the information they need to make the best decisions for their children.


  • Offer more advanced math opportunities instead of holding students back from achievement.
  • Direct the Department of Education to preserve advanced math classes and the use of advanced diplomas.
  • Teach kids how to think, not what to think. Encourage critical thinking instead of Critical Race Theory.
  • Remove politics from the classroom and teach all U.S. history — the good and the bad.


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