Texas textbooks are unlikely to spread, but Publishers do print special editions by states discrection
SAN ANTONIO — Pop quiz: Does the school curriculum adopted in Texas really wind up in textbooks nationwide? If you answered yes, you might get a failing grade.
As the second-largest purchaser of textbooks behind California, the Lone Star State has historically wielded enormous clout in deciding what material appears in classrooms across the country. That’s why the state school board’s recent decision to adopt new social studies standards was closely watched far beyond Texas.
Critics feared the new, more conservative curriculum in Texas would spread elsewhere. But publishing experts say those concerns are overblown.
“It’s easier nowadays to create one edition for one situation and a different edition for another situation,” said Bob Resnick, founder of Education Market Research, based in New York. “I don’t believe the Texas curriculum will spread anyplace else.”
After months of discussion, the Texas Board of Education last week approved placing greater emphasis on the Judeo-Christian influences of the nation’s Founding Fathers and teaching schoolchildren that the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the Constitution.
In Washington, Education Secretary Arne Duncan called the process a case of politicians deciding curriculum. California lawmakers went a step further, proposing that education officials there comb through textbooks to ensure that Texas material isn’t twisting the history curriculum.
by Diane Ravitch
A Consumer’s Guide to High School History Textbooks is a summary review of 12 widely used U.S. and world history textbooks. To access the underlying reviews (each U.S. history reviewer’s individual evaluation of each textbook) click here. For each world history reviewer’s individual evaluation,click here.
The influence of Texas on the $7 billion U.S. textbook market has steadily weakened. Technology has made it easier and more affordable for publishers to tailor textbooks to different standards. That’s especially true in the 20 other states like Texas where education boards approve textbooks for statewide use.
Substitutions are an easy fix. And publishers won’t gamble on incorporating one state’s controversial curriculum into a one-size-fits-all productMore from ap