In Tennessee, a 10-member textbook selection panel is charged with reviewing text books and recommending a list of selections to
the State Board of Education. The State Board of Education then approves the list and local school systems then choose which
textbooks to adopt from the official state textbook list.
In the past, this has been a process that received scant attention and by most accounts was pretty superficial. For one thing, due to time restraints there was no way the members of the textbook selection panel could actually read all the textbooks they considered. Earlier this year, some parents and citizen activist started paying attention to what textbooks are being used in our schools and found some to which they objected and started reading the text books and letting there opposition be know. To learn more about this topic and read previous post on this issue follow this link.
In response to public pressure, on October 7th when the textbook Commission met they refused to even make a motion to accept a list of Social Studies textbooks. When they met on October 23rd only five members were present and the list of social studies text books were approved by a vote of three to two after one book was removed from the list.
While some of the activist were disappointed that the list was approved, I would think this is a tremendous victory. For the first time people are paying attention to the selection of textbooks, one book was removed, the 3-2 vote is a close vote, and instead of just routinely approving a list of books, the text book panel actually carefully considering their actions. This is a great start!
To read a detailed report of what happened at the Textbook Selection meeting on October 23, follow this link to the Eagle Forum website: State Textbook Commission meeting, October 23.