|July 2000 Newsletter|
Publishers are learning to heed our textbook reviews because their sales often match our rankings. This year, the two Grade 5 Science programs that we ranked "better" took 69% Texas market share, and one of those outsold the two we called "poor" by two to one. Our analyses noted that Texas does not require these series to discuss evolution … but that it does say they must explain scientific strengths and weaknesses of whatever scientific theories they include. These two "better" series may be the best public school Science textbooks ever on scientific theories.
Textbook sales repeatedly show that rank-and-file educators, who
actually adopt textbooks, are much less politically correct than
For instance: The Texas Council for the Social Studies (TCSS) poses as
the mouthpiece of Texas Social Studies teachers. According to a former
president in 1996, TCSS has about 3000 members. But the Texas Education
Agency database showed there were 16,918 Grades 7-12 Social Studies
teachers in Texas public schools. TCSS membership is thus under 18% of
this total – and much less even than that if you count elementary Social
Studies teachers. We empower the vast silent majority of educators who are
voiceless except at textbook-
Why are publishers now more open to textbook reform, the media friendlier, and foes quieter, than ever before? Because we have learned that if you define the terms of debate you are halfway to winning; that textbook editors may be unaware of our side and we must logically explain it; that standard review criteria let you talk with people instead of at them; that knowing others' mindset may make possible reasoning from their assumptions to your conclusions; and that if you force liberals to tell both sides on objectionable issues, they will often drop the subject.
Our standard review criteria on the next page showcase these insights. Another example is to omit evidence for intelligent design or a young earth when attacking the mandated teaching of evolution in textbooks. This accepts (for debate's sake) the myth that evolution is scientific and creation is religious. But citing only non-theistic, non-creation related, naturalistic weaknesses in evolution puts you on a risk-free offensive. It lets you attack evolutionists without their attacking creation. You need not mention creation to prove it; you just have to discredit evolution.
Publishers have always competed on the basis of textbook teaching aids. Now some are also competing on the basis of subject matter content. This profound shift in the industry should accelerate as defectors from the old liberal monopoly on interpreting textbook rules reap higher profits. And in contrast to the outcry against other states’ disclaimers on evolution in the front of Science books, opponents’ silence over these Texas developments means they know they are constitutional. Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we will make them irresistible.
"States’ rights" under the Constitution differed from "state sovereignty" over the Constitution.
Discuss strict and loose construction equally.
Benefits of free enterprise include:
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|more sample standard review criteria|
Story content should present:
Allocate space based on how much contemporaries esteemed authors’ works, as well as on modern editors’ and critics’ opinions (e.g., 9 pages from Olaudah Equiano but nothing from The Federalist, or 8 pages of Emily Dickinson with half a page of Longfellow, is intellectually indefensible political correctness).
Present contrasting primary-source views on major literary movements and individuals (e.g., Hawthorne on transcendentalism; Emerson and J. R. Lowell on Thoreau).
Anthologize substantive selections from these pre-Civil War figures/sources, so that the mid-point of the course is no later than 1865:
Prevent stereotypes of whites-as-oppressors and people-of-color-as-victims from slanting discussions of Western imperialism by noting that: