17 Stories

Under New Law, Anyone Can Challenge Textbooks

Have a problem with a book and you'll get a hearing

(Newser) - The Florida Legislature recently changed state law to allow any resident to challenge their school district's textbooks and curricula and get a hearing before an outside mediator, the AP reports. To gauge the effect, the Associated Press filed public records requests with Florida's 67 countywide school districts, seeking... 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 »

Gay Student Sues China Over Textbooks

Many medical textbooks in China classify homosexuality as a curable disease

(Newser) - A Chinese student is suing her government over medical textbooks that classify homosexuality as a mental disorder that can be cured through shock therapy. Twenty-year-old Qui Bai—whose family turned away from her when they found out she was gay—was looking for answers about her sexuality two years ago... More »

Al Franken Pushing to Make College Textbooks Free

Minnesota senator co-sponsoring bill that would give access to online resources

(Newser) - Al Franken knows how ridiculous the cost of college textbooks can be, and he want to do something about it. That's why the Minnesota senator and Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin on Thursday introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act, a bill that would give grants to higher-ed institutions so they... 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 »

One College Gets Rid of Textbooks for Good

University of Maryland University College trades heavy tomes for online resources

(Newser) - Lugging around big, heavy textbooks you'll get next to nothing back on at the end of the semester has become a thing of the past at one Maryland institution of higher learning. The University of Maryland University College says it's getting rid of textbooks for good this fall,... More »

New Texas Texts: Slavery Was 'Side Issue' of Civil War

It was mainly states' rights that was war's impetus, per state education standards

(Newser) - About 5 million Texas schoolchildren will get their hands on brand-new social studies textbooks when school starts up again, the Houston Chronicle reports—textbooks that USA Today says are "misleading, racially prejudiced, and, at times, flat-out false." The beef with the new primers: They're in keeping with... More »

Va. Governor in Deep Trouble Over ... Sea of Japan?

Textbook change sparks international incident

(Newser) - More than 100 people crammed the hallways outside a small subcommittee meeting room in Virginia's legislature yesterday, cheering as the bill under consideration moved forward, the Daily Press reports. The bill that raised such passion sounds innocuous enough—it would require textbooks to mention that the Sea of Japan... More »

Bill Gates' New Idea Would Bring Textbooks to Life

Proposed tech automatically generates video from text

(Newser) - Bill Gates—and nine others—have filed a patent for an idea that promises to make "dry" textbooks less boring. "Autogenerating Video From Text" proposes to do exactly what it says on the label: a device or program that can read and analyze text, then automatically generate video... More »

Man Accused of Swiping $2.8M in ... Textbooks

Salesman used scheme to steal 16K books, say cops

(Newser) - Quick, what's the most you've ever stolen from an employer? If your answer was less than $2.8 million, you are probably a better employee than Christopher Brock, a 44-year-old textbook salesman for John Wiley & Sons who was arrested in Tampa this week for allegedly swiping 16,... More »

In South Korea, Creationists Score a Huge Victory

Evolution references yanked from textbooks

(Newser) - A group opposed to the teaching of evolution has won a major victory in the Deep South—of the Korean peninsula. A creationist group has successfully petitioned South Korean publishers to remove several references to evolution from high school textbooks, Nature reports. The group—set up by the US Institute... 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 »

More High Schools Hand Out iPads, Cut Textbooks

More districts trim textbooks to save money, appeal to students

(Newser) - More US high school students will be encouraged not to hit the books this year—because a gleaming new iPad awaits them in the classroom. More than 600 school districts will give out iPads for each student in at least one class, Apple says, and one high school in Kentucky... More »

Tea Partiers: Textbooks Must Be Nicer to Founders

And omit criticisms based on 'minority experience,' says Tennessee group

(Newser) - Tennessee Tea Party activists met with lawmakers yesterday to demand the state make a number of changes—including “educating students the truth about America.” What does that grammatically suspect phrase mean? It means that they want textbooks to stop criticizing the founding fathers for their treatment of Native... More »

Virginia's History Texts Riddled With Errors

Historians discover loads of mistakes in Five Ponds books

(Newser) - Did you know that colonial Virginians commonly wore full suits of armor? Or that New Orleans started off the 1800s as a US harbor (rather than a Spanish one)? These are just a few of the dozens of errors historians have found in Virginia’s textbooks. Virginia ordered a review... More »

Islamic Schools Teach UK Kids to Chop Thieves' Hands

Texts back stoning, say Jews made into pigs

(Newser) - At a network of 40 Islamic weekend schools in the UK, some 5,000 students are exposed to textbooks that teach the following lessons: Some Jews were transformed into pigs and apes; thieves should have their hands cut off; and some crimes deserve stoning as punishment, the Telegraph reports. One... More »

Texas Board: Textbooks Have Pro-Islam Bias

Education officials want publishers to fix 'anti-Christian' tone

(Newser) - The Texas Board of Education issued a warning to textbook publishers today: It wants future social studies books to fix what it sees as a pro-Islam and anti-Christian bias, reports the Dallas Morning News . "What we're trying to do is prohibit and send a clear message to the publishers... More »

17 Stories