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Another Textbook Cycle Shuffle?

November 25, 2013 18 comments

A comment on one of my posts from last week got me thinking about the Oklahoma State Textbook Committee.  I’m glad it did; otherwise I might not have known that the committee was meeting tomorrow. Looking at the agenda, two items caught my attention:

9. Discussion on changing subject cycle
10. Vote on amending subject cycle

It seems we’ve altered the cycle already a couple of times in recent years. It is not clear from the agenda what it is we are changing this time, but something tells me it might be science. As it stands, the SDE still has not adopted new science standards. Until those are in place, it is impossible for the publishers to create materials that they claim are aligned to them.

Currently, most schools in Oklahoma use science books that are at least eight years old. They aren’t in good shape, and schools don’t have money to replace them. If nothing changes, districts will likely have to choose between purchasing new science or reading books in 2015. If science is pushed back another year, the textbooks will be 10 years old before they are replaced.

This creates uncertainty and sends reinforces the message that science is less important than other content areas. Given all the grandstanding about college and career readiness that we see in this state, it’s absolutely the wrong message. I don’t expect much publicity from the meeting, but hopefully, somewhere out there, somebody has more information on this.

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