Volunteer to read textbooks
It won’t come as a surprise to those of you who have read my book Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids? or have been followers of my blog, but our kids’ textbooks are in real trouble. Some concerned people have been taking steps to correct this.
In Florida they formed the Florida Citizens’ Alliance, with the stated focus to “Stop Federal Overreach and Restore Our Individual Rights, Guaranteed Under The Constitution.” They were serious. They encouraged all residents of Collier County to attend a school board meeting in June stating: “THIS IS NOT A PARTISAN ISSUE. IT IS ABOUT OUR CHILDREN’S FUTURE, following FLORIDA LAWS and adopting FACTUAL, UNBIASED TEXTBOOKS that are not used to indoctrinate our children. We need a large turnout and your collective voice to adopt ONLY the highest quality textbooks!”
Their efforts were not in vain. They played a big part in getting the Florida legislature to pass SR 989, requiring school districts to allow “a resident of a county to challenge the use or adoption of instructional materials; revising the requirements relating to the district school board process for objecting to or appealing the use or adoption of instructional materials; requiring a school district to discontinue use of materials under certain circumstances; requiring sufficient procedural protections for a public hearing relating to a challenge to the adoption of instructional materials; requiring a school district to provide access to school library materials upon written request” along with other changes in the existing law.
Similar laws are being passed in other states and The Report Card is looking for volunteers to read and review these textbooks. The Report Card has formed a partnership with Truth in Textbooks (TNT) (formerly known as Truth in Texas Textbooks TTT) founded by Lt. Col. Roy White, USAF Ret.
TNT is made up of volunteers, and has had great success conducting the necessary research and lobbying influence at local and state levels in eliminating or correcting many falsehoods found in the US History, World History, U.S. Government, and Geography textbooks. Publishers of textbooks reviewed by TNT include Pearson, Worldview, McGraw Hill, Discovery Education, Houghton Mifflin, Perfection, and Cengage. You’ll find their report on Social Studies Textbooks, Summary of Proclamation 2015 interesting reading. It is a PDF colored chart that gives the publisher, %TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills), their grade, and the criteria used for the evaluation. With only 50 volunteers in 2014, they identified more than 1500 errors in the proposed social studies textbooks. After studying the 469-page report and hearing testimony, the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) eliminated or corrected more than 60% of the errors before the books were accepted for use in the classrooms. “As a result, over 5 million children have more accurate textbooks as a result of the work of Truth in Textbooks and their volunteers.”
Learn more about this program at The Report Card article “History, Social Studies Textbook Reviewers Wanted.” You can make a difference!