Textbook Adoption in California, 1879-2014

3282 WordsFeb 17, 201813 Pages
Textbook Adoption in California, 1879-2014 Suppose you are a textbook publisher with a mandate to reduce the weight of the books you put out. Research has shown that your books break backs, and the legislature has spoken: your books will not be adopted (and you will, therefore, lose much of your business) unless you clear strict weight limits. The weight of a book is proportional to its length, so your first thought is to cut some of the content. Will students really read or even reference 1,000 pages of World History, anyway? But as you start scanning for superfluous sections, you come to a startling realization: every paragraph of the monstrous text serves a role. Not an educational or curricular role, necessarily, but certainly a practical one. Each section is "aligned" with some state standard, meaning that it purports to teach some element of state-mandated curriculum. Perhaps it is the only passage that mentions unsustainable mineral resource consumption to comply with California's Standard MS-ESS3-4 for eighth grade science, or maybe it provides a particularly clear example of "making an argument from evidence" that will be helpful in convincing state officials that the book adheres to their curriculum. Cutting these standards-aligned passages, even if they are not actually contributing to the cohesion of the text, could easily get you knocked off the list of instructional materials approved for state purchase. Maybe you could remove some pictures? Nope: pictures,

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