Education Report Roundup

Textbook Adoption

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — October 19, 2004 1 min read

“The Mad, Mad World of Textbook Adoption” is available from the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. (Requires Adobe’s Acrobat Reader.)

The process that guides the selection of instructional materials in nearly half the states is “fundamentally flawed” and leads to the creation of mediocre, dumbed-down, and politically correct content, a report contends.

Released this month by the Washington-based Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, the report says that the policies guiding textbook adoption in states that require districts to choose from lists of approved books place considerable restrictions on textbook content. In turn, those restrictions force publishers to censor words and pictures that are perceived to reflect racial, ethnic, gender, or regional bias. The practice, which requires that states solicit the views of various constituencies, also allows interest groups to exert their influence over content, the report says.