Opinion
Education Letter to the Editor

Textbooks Are Too Dull

October 04, 2017 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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.

Joy Hakim

Author

Englewood, Colo.

A version of this article appeared in the October 04, 2017 edition of Education Week as Textbooks Are Too Dull

Events

Jobs Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
English-Language Learners Webinar English Learners and the Science of Reading: What Works in the Classroom
ELs & emergent bilinguals deserve the best reading instruction! The Reading League & NCEL join forces on best practices. Learn more in our webinar with both organizations.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
Challenging the Stigma: Emotions and STEM
STEM isn't just equations and logic. Join this webinar and discover how emotions fuel innovation, creativity, & problem-solving in STEM!
Content provided by Project Lead The Way

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: February 7, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 31, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: January 17, 2024
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education In Their Own Words The Stories That Stuck With Us, 2023 Edition
Our newsroom selected five stories as among the highlights of our work. Here's why.
4 min read
102523 IMSE Reading BS
Adria Malcolm for Education Week