A bill is working its way through our state legislature that will turn over review, approval and selection of instructional materials to local school districts. Currently, instructional materials are reviewed and approved by the state and then districts must spend at least half of their instructional materials budgets on state approved materials. Districts can, of course, spend more on things from the state list but they can also spend money on other materials too.
If I understand correctly, this bill, if signed into law, would turn all of the responsibility for research into quality textbook and other materials over to all of the districts.
Right now we can keep an eye on what textbooks are being used in the classroom and raise the red flag if anything hinky is going on. We’ve done it before. But if every single district now does their own thing, what’s going to stop a strongly conservative district from deciding to approve supplemental materials for the science classroom that are woefully unscientific? We can watch what goes on in a centralized process. But can we watch what’s happening in every district? There haven’t been many stories about this bill, but even those few haven’t touched upon this potential problem.
Here’s a recent story that will help give you a feel for what this bill is about. School districts may gain control over instruction materials.
I invite you folks to help me keep an eye on this bill and give me your thoughts on whether my concerns are justified.