Textbook Adoptions and Preferences

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Textbook Adoptions and Preferences
2
Mon, 07-26-2004 - 11:35pm

I've heard a lot of teachers complaining about the textbooks adopted in their districts this year. It's math time around here and many are upset that an old favorite was voted down in favor of one with all of the latest extras. They say it's short on substance and high on glitz. How is the process handled in your area? Do you have a voice? Are you pleased with what you have?


Sherry

 

Avatar for caraleas
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-1997
Sun, 08-01-2004 - 1:05pm
This is an interesting topic - although I have no first-hand experience, since the general music teachers were supposed to adopt my first year in this district - 1996. It hasn't happened yet, although math and reading have gone through THREE adoptions since I came here.... Okay, neglected, ignored, specialist feelings aside...

Our last math adoption committee for elementary required a rep from each elementary (26) as well as district math specialists, secondary reps, a school board member and community members. From what I heard, the committee was really too large, and one particular commuity member was insistent on focusing on a 'back-to-basics' curriculum that is the anithesis of the WASL test. In the end, after a year of meetings and research, the committee recommended a dual adoption of TERK Investigations (more problem solving type stuff, manipulatives, etc.) and (I think) Addison-Wesley, a more traditional book approach. Well, the school board, in it's infinite wisdom, wanted to only adopt the Addison-Wesley, and not the other, and finally compromised by allowing the TERK to be adopted as well, as long as all the units that were not directly addressed in the WASL were removed from the kits and sent to central warehouse for storage. The funny thing is, the company was giving us the Addison-Wesley for free if we purchased the TERK curriculum.

While typical of our district, it is my understanding that the school board is not really supposed to be responsible for curriculum issues... Until our current school board members were elected, the adoption committee would do the research, have the final three choices presented to the teachers in every building, take input from all staff, make a recommendation and have the purchase approved by the board.

Cara in WA

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-24-2003
Mon, 08-02-2004 - 9:21am

Thanks for your input! The system you described, committe, recommendation and board approval is how it's done around here. The board usually doesn't question the teacher recommendation.


The grumbling I've heard is from teachers who feel the committee didn't screen well or didn't adopt a text that addressed the standards very well. Many say that the committee only looked at who offered the most freebies, picked something just for a "change", or did'n't follow the input received from the teachers they represented.


Here we adopt on a six year cycle, so they are stuck with the books for quite a while. Some are looking for ways to get out of using them.


Sherry