To the Editor:
I just read the Education Week story “Watchdog Group Gives Passing Grade to 3 Literature Series” (Sept. 13, 2017). It touches on a subject that has a mighty impact on our schools: textbooks. The very word is a synonym for dull and dreary. How has that happened?
When I was a teacher in an inner-city school, I had to deal with students who were bored with most of the assigned books. One day I wandered into the school basement, pushed open a door into a dusty book-storage room, and picked up a stack of reading books from the 1930s. They were full of classic tales but few pictures. My students loved them—despite the big words and lack of modern references. Why have we allowed our schools to be hijacked by a few megapublishers who insist that the latest is always the best? Great literature is available in inexpensive, wonderful books that all of us find captivating.
A version of this article appeared in the October 04, 2017 edition of Education Week as Textbooks Are Too Dull