When it comes to textbook publishing, are we in a powerless position?May 23, 2010 at 9:46 am | Posted in uncategorized | 3 Comments
Posted by Derick Wigle
Last week in class, we discussed the benefits and drawbacks of textbooks and their use in content area classrooms. Just yesterday, the Texas State Board of Education approved a highly debated proposal that would change the state’s learning standards. While the primary driving forces behind this debate are political in nature, it is more important to understand the broader national implications. According to the The Washington Post, many of the nation’s textbook publishers are based out of Texas and ultimately adapt the standards established by The Texas Board of Education. In response to the decision made by the Texas Board of Education, members of the California State Legislature have already presented legislation that would protect California from the Texas legislation (i.e. influence through textbook publishing).
The purpose of this post is not to insight a political debate; I would like to spread light on the overwhelming influence Texas and California have on the US textbook industry. While I take personal issue with the decision made by the Texas Board of Education, I am more disturbed by the potential impact this has on the whole country. While many of the articles available online portray California as victim defending themselves, the state is currently in the process if using its influence over the national education system (i.e. textbook publishing) for their own benefit.
It is quite clear that both Texas and California have a significant influence over the American educational system, and they know it. I guess the question is, where does that leave us? If the State of New York does not have a significant impact over textbook publishing in the US, what options do we have, and how should this problem be remediated?