Monday, July 11, 2005

No textbooks?

Let me preface this by saying that I don't teach K-12, so I may not know what I am talking about. If that is the case, please let me know -- as gently as possible, if you would be so kind! Anyway...

Yahoo! News has an article about an Arizona high school that is getting rid of textbooks and going to online sources of information, instead. It is an exciting article for me because I have found that text books are seldom appropriate for my students.

The article says
Calvin Baker, superintendent of Vail Unified School District, said the move to electronic materials gets teachers away from the habit of simply marching through a textbook each year.
That is obviously a good thing. What worries me a little, though, is the very next paragraph:
He noted that the AIMS test now makes the state standards the curriculum, not textbooks. Arizona students will soon need to pass Arizona's Instrument to Measure Standards to graduate from high school.

So I guess Arizona teachers really are supposed to teach to the test. Lets hope Arizona's standards are broad enough to ensure a well-rounded education for its students. I wonder, though, if it isn't going to end up being a case of teachers marching through the standards as if they were a textbook. I don't see that it would be an improvemment.

1 comment:

joanna said...

I haven't read the article, but what it doesn't seem to be saying, based on your post, is that all books will be eradicated--that is, literature texts and so forth. I think I'll go read the article!