Tuesday, November 16, 2004


Garbage in, garbage out. That goes for school curriculum as with everything else. If our kids are learning distorted history because of a crummy textbook, whose fault is that? Ours! It’s the responsibility of the community to make sure educational materials are high-quality.

So it’s a no-brainer that if we want our public-school graduates to be better educated, we should focus on the quality of the curriculum with which they’re being instructed.

One of the best ways to do that is to get involved with the purchasing of that curriculum.

Parents and taxpayers who would like to influence textbook selection in a public school district can do three things:

1. Contact your principal or district official and ask to be put on a book selection committee.

2. Call around to the private schools in your area, or public schools perceived to do a better job than your own school, and find out what textbooks they are using. Call friends in other cities as well. Ask to borrow these books for a weekend and check them out.

3. Research the educational market, starting with these three sources of reviews and analysis about popular textbooks:

Educational Research Analysts:

American Textbook Council:

Textbook League:

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