29 March 2010

Is Texas’s textbook buying power all that and a bag of chips?

The Texas Tribune reports that the much ballyhooed Texan influence on K-12 textbooks may be exaggerated.

(S)ince the mid-1990s and the rise of the state curriculum standards and testing movement, publishers have increasingly been forced to customize their books for different states, as well as for larger school districts in the roughly 30 states without statewide adoptions. Simultaneously, advances in publishing and printing technologies allow far more customization at lower cost, much like large newspapers that issue several geographically customized editions every day.

What’s more, rapidly shifting politics and the digital revolution in instructional materials promises to dilute the power of state school boards even further — both here in Texas and nationally.

On this point, a blog in Newsweek reaches a somewhat similar conclusion, and concludes with this cynical observation:

Besides, it's not like high-schoolers pay any attention to their textbooks anyway.

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