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The Texas State Board of Education has voted unanimously to open the state's textbook-selection process to people who want to speak in favor of a particular textbook. (See Education Week, Feb. 16, 1983.)

Previously, only those who objected to the textbooks were allowed to testify at the annual meetings. People for the American Way, a national civil-liberties advocacy group founded by the television producer Norman Lear, began working to have the procedures changed last year after it was denied the opportunity to testify in favor of textbooks criticized by Mel and Norma Gabler of Education Research Analysts, a nonprofit organization that reviews textbooks.

After the Feb. 12 decision, Mrs. Gabler said the new procedures will not make much difference: "I just hope they [People for the American Way] will get off my back," she said.

Texas spends $60 million each year on textbooks.


Two Summerville, S.C., teachers have dropped their appeal of a recent court decision and have agreed to pay a total of $40,000 in punitive and actual damages to the mother of a mildly retarded student whose mouth was washed with soap by the teachers as a disciplinary measure.

The teachers had been ordered by a Dorchester County, S.C., jury to pay $25,000 in actual damages and $25,000 in punitive damages to Barbara McQueen and her 18-year-old daughter, Joyce A. McQueen. (See Education Week, Dec. 22, 1982.)

Charles S. Goldberg, lawyer for the McQueens, said the settlement was reached last month to avoid a lengthy court case.

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