Textbooks and the Common Core Standards

For the August 8, 2012 edition of Education Week, Beverlee Jobrack penned an intriguing article, entitled Solving the Textbook-Common Core Conundrum. Link is:

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/08/08/37jobrack_ep.h31.html

The piece is intriguing but does not go far enough in clarifying the work and the possibilities ahead. Here is where she missed:

1. Jobrack discusses better practices on textbook adoption. There is simply no reason to do another textbook adoption. Stop buying these enormous wastes of taxpayer money. Develop your curriculum maps and align resources and materials to the maps. Buy the materials like we buy iTunes (by the song vs. the album). Otherwise, we will continue to the textbook and not the standards.

2. Apply additional teacher time, and their extra pay (for extra time) to participation in developing new curriculum maps.

3. Teachers still build brilliant teacher-made materials. Jury these with teachers who develop curriculum maps so that all teachers can use what a colleague built, and so that those things teachers build that are marginal can be improved.

4. Use networking sites, such as Teacher Studio (see: teacher studio.com) for collaboration on material, resources, and soft (electronic) portions of textbooks.

Why do we stay stuck in the same ole paradigm holding on feverishly to textbooks? I suspect because the big publishers spend big money to pitch their wares, just like big money skews political campaigns.

We can do better!

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