Welcome to H-World, a network for practitioners of world history. The list gives emphasis to research, to teaching, and to the connections between research and teaching.
I agree that the focus on the idea of "the West versus the Rest" is mostly a political and ideological argument. However, I believe that the differing camps have directly impacted how we teach history and, therefore, we can use the term and processes more effectively in teaching.
Andrew and all: Unfortunately,the developments you describe in Virginia do not seem unique.... Thanks to you and all the others who are participating in this and other insightful discussions. We can learn a lot from the experiences of colleagues in other states and nations.
Thank you. It is interesting that Massachusetts based their standards on the Virginia SOLs; I was never a fan of the SOL standards, even as a student. Virginia recently updated them, and I has hoped that they would change them to match more current trends in the field. Unfortunately, most of the changes were cosmetic.