Textbook cynicism

A textbook editor takes a dim view of the textbook business. He points out how political correctness, and both conservative and liberal zealots, force companies to churn out blander books for kids.

"No textbook can show African Americans playing sports, Asians using computers, or women taking care of children. Anyone who stays in textbook publishing long enough develops radar for what will and won't get past the blanding process of both the conservative and liberal watchdogs," he writes.

A few states apparently have disproportionate power in the textbook approval process, due to the amount of money that they spend, and the "all or nothing" rules that they apply to textbook purchase. Texas, California, and Florida are apparently the big ones.

It's sad that textbooks have to be so bland. But, I guess I'm not that surprised. It's hard to satisfy everyone. I feel bad for people who have never had the experience of reading a real college level history textbook or historical overview. It's much better to get your history and English from a text like that, than from a bland propagandized elementary school text.


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