Daily Archives: March 12, 2010

Conservative faction prevails in Texas K-12 textbook vote

The New York Times reports:

After three days of turbulent meetings, the Texas Board of Education on Friday voted to approve a social studies curriculum that will put a conservative stamp on history and economics textbooks, stressing the superiority of American capitalism, questioning the Founding Father’s commitment to a purely secular government and presenting Republican political philosophies in a more positive light.The vote was 11 to 4, with 10 Republicans and one Democrat voting for the curriculum, and four Democrats voting against.

The board, whose members are elected, has influence beyond Texas because the state is one of the largest purchasers of textbooks. In the digital age, however, that influence has been diminished as technological advances have made it possible for publishers to tailor books to individual states.

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Kansas City school closures re-open debate on school size

The New York Times reports:

The Kansas City Board of Education voted Wednesday night to close almost half of the city’s public schools, accepting a sweeping and contentious plan to shrink the system in the face of dwindling enrollment, budget cuts and a $50 million deficit.

In light of this news, the Times gathered a panel of education experts to offer their opinions on whether school size matters since the students who remain in Kansas City schools will now be attending more populous campuses.

The experts are:

  • Herbert J. Walberg, University of Illinois
  • Don Soifer, Lexington Institute
  • Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters
  • Valerie E. Lee, professor, University of Michigan
  • Rudy Crew, former chancellor of New York City Schools

Read their opinion pieces here.