My school district spares no expense for the alternative high school.
How sad. I think I would let the school board know. Maybe nothing would come of it, but possibly some board member would be interested enough to look into the textbook situation. And hopefully there is a Business Practices class that teaches spreadsheets and the basics of other computer programs common in today's offices. Kudos for your niece that she is working so hard to get through HS despite the outdated teaching materials.
I agree that this is outdated, but not that it is a problem. Math is the same from generation to generation, at least at the lower levels. And in this economy, I'd far rather my tax dollars go to pay for things that really need changing than to the rip-off textbook industry to buy the 2012 version of whatever textbook they're using. I am absolutely stunned by the high prices I had to pay to rent some of my kids' textbooks this year, and they are in a private school that is very cost-conscious.
I imagine your niece and her friends get a good laugh at some of the scenarios in her textbook. My daughter is using a French textbook from the early 90s, and it is a great source of entertainment to her and her classmates...lots of silly Facebook posts about the characters in it. It's sort of history lesson for a time when history moves very quickly, as well as a language textbook.
This is a basic math class, slapped with a "business" label, to try to entice students to learn.
I understand why they're using it...
One of my frustration is that our local schools change curriculum too often. Seems they get new books every couple years as well as a new system. Find something that works and stick with it! Seems a waste of money to buy new math books all the time when really, little of the fundementals change. Why do they get new literature books all the time? Science, maybe social studies... I can see.
I don't think I implied 20yo texts were "good enough" for the alternative hs, only that the alternative hs was at the bottom of the funding barrel.