"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Texas and Textbooks: What Could Go Wrong?

From the Dallas Morning News:

A school board vote looms this week on which companies to use, and irregularities have surfaced, raising concerns among Dallas ISD educators, trustees and one major textbook company.

Documents obtained by The Dallas Morning News show:

•The school district's textbook committee is recommending getting books from a publisher that could have been disqualified for breaking selection-process rules – a decision one publisher called "a blatant rewarding to dishonesty."

•Electronic voting by educators was skewed because two publishers were inexplicably missing from the list of companies from which teachers could vote.

•Teachers voted overwhelmingly for one company's elementary books, but the district's textbook selection committee picked another publisher.

The findings are in a district internal investigation, e-mail exchanges and other records that open a revealing window into the lucrative and competitive world of textbook sales. Across the country last year, textbook publishers reported sales of $3.5 billion, and in Texas, almost $500 million in taxpayer money is budgeted to buy books for K-12 students next school year.

You can read the entire article here.

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