16 Stories

Saudi Textbook Shows Yoda at UN Charter Signing

Several officials fired over photo error

(Newser) - Royally messed up, they did. A senior education official and others in Saudi Arabia have been fired after a government textbook included a photo of King Faisal seated next to Yoda, everyone's favorite Jedi Master from Star Wars. The doctored black-and-white photo showing Yoda on King Faisal's right... More »

Kitten Experiment in 4th-Grade Textbook Outrages Parents

India science primer tells kids to suffocate cats to illustrate how living beings need air

(Newser) - A textbook has sparked outrage in India for instructing fourth-graders to suffocate a kitten to show how living beings need air. The experiment described in the environmental science textbook for 9-year-olds tells the students to place two kittens in separate boxes, one of them without air holes, and wait to... More »

Texas Textbook Describes African Slaves as 'Workers'

McGraw-Hill will make changes after mom's post goes viral

(Newser) - Roni Dean-Burren was incensed when she got a text message from son Coby of a page in his ninth-grade geography textbook. "The Atlantic Slave Trade between the 1500s and 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations," read a... More »

Thailand Scrubs Ex-PM From Textbooks

Thaksin's name disappears from new curriculum

(Newser) - In the Thai calendar, this is the year 2557—but you could be forgiven for thinking it was 1984. The generals who have been running the country since May's military coup have not only banned elections and sought to purge the government of people loyal to former Prime Minister... More »

Apple's Big Plan: Reinvent the Textbook

A move designed to lower prices ... and fuel interest in the iPad

(Newser) - The next industry Apple is looking to revolutionize: the textbook industry. The company introduced new tools today for both students and textbook publishers: iBooks 2, which will allow students to purchase and access books on their iPad, and iBooks Author, which will help to create textbooks. Both apps are free,... More »

Textbook License Requires You to Be a Better Person

... or at least try

(Newser) - Licensing agreements can make for dry reading, but BoingBoing points out an interesting exception. Eugene Blanchard's textbook Introduction to Data Communications is free online , and Blanchard allows people to use it however they see fit. His licensing agreement, however, asks for a dozen unusual things in exchange. Some examples:
  • "
... More »

Textbook Says Thousands of Slaves Fought for South

Author Joy Masoff read about it on the Internet

(Newser) - A Virginia 4th-grade textbook has come under fire for claiming that thousands of slaves fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War—something an overwhelming majority of historians say isn’t true. The book’s author, Joy Masoff, isn’t a trained historian, and says she did most of her... More »

Texas Pols Tussle Over Obama's Name in Textbooks

Schools to take hard right with curriculum changes

(Newser) - The slave trade was actually the "Atlantic triangular trade," and capitalism is always "free enterprise" under textbook changes to be voted on as early as today in Texas. The Board of Education, putting the final touches on the new guidelines yesterday, finally agreed to add the current... More »

Texas Board of Ed Is at the Forefront of 'History Wars'

Anti-intellectualism is spreading, writes Thomas Frank

(Newser) - The Texas Board of Education's push to put a conservative spin on the state's textbook standards shows that the culture wars are becoming history wars, writes Thomas Frank. The board backs up decisions like ordering textbook writers to replace the word "capitalism" with "free enterprise" with anti-intellectual, anti-liberal... More »

US Muslim Group Slams 'Inflammatory' Textbooks

Kids' series portrays Muslims as inherent security threats, group charges

(Newser) - A Muslim-American group is planning a public awareness campaign against a series of children's textbooks it says paints an inaccurate and inflammatory picture of their faith. The civil rights director of a chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says the World of Islam series—found in at least two... More »

Texas Textbooks Getting Conservative Flavor

Board revising standards over objection of minorities

(Newser) - The Texas Board of Education has decreed that future curriculum standards will have a more conservative bent. The board's 10 right-leaning members say they're simply "adding balance" to left-leaning academia. The five minority members say they're whitewashing history. Among the changes, expected to formalized in May, as rounded up... More »

Biggest Ripoffs in US

Phone texts, movie popcorn, and textbooks are overpriced

(Newser) - Text messages may be the biggest ripoff in America. It costs 1/3 of a cent for carriers to send a message, but they can hit you with a 20-cent charge on pay-per-text plans. That's a markup of 6,500%. More bad deals from CNNMoney :
  • Movie popcorn, 900%: No surprise here,
... More »

Schwarzenegger Seeks Switch to E-Textbooks

Paper is expensive, says governor; so are computers, say critics

(Newser) - Arnold Schwarzenegger wants kids—and California’s budget—to stop lugging around paper textbooks, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The governator is advocating a switch to digital textbooks, in an effort to cut the $350 million the state spends on old-fashioned hardbound tomes each year. But critics worry that... More »

NCAA: Alabama Must Vacate 10 Football Wins From '05-07

Team can keep scholarships, bowl win

(Newser) - The NCAA will require the University of Alabama to vacate at least 10 football victories from 2005-07 over rules violations that saw players arrange free textbooks for friends, the Birmingham News reports. The school will also be placed on 3 years’ probation, but the football program won’t lose any... More »

New Kindle Upgrades Price, Not Reading Experience

(Newser) - The Kindle DX offers crisper resolution than its smaller cousin, but it’s still not big enough to display a full newspaper page, and the price may hold some buyers back, Damon Darlin writes in the New York Times. “You never see the big picture—a full page—that... More »

Amazon to Roll Out Kindle for Textbooks

(Newser) - Amazon will unveil a bigger new version of the Kindle tomorrow, designed to handle textbooks and periodicals, the Wall Street Journal reports. Amazon already has deals in place with several textbook publishers for content, and with various universities, including Princeton, Reed College, and Arizona State, to get the device into... More »

16 Stories