When a team of math professionals was asked to rate twelve introductory algebra textbooks approved for use in Texas schools, only four of the texts received better than a C grade and one was flunked. D-rated texts, which the reviewers say should never be considered for use in schools, were selected for use in the 1998-99 school year by three San Antonio school districts.
The analysis was conducted earlier this year for the Texas Public Policy Foundation by math experts from Mathematically Correct, a nationwide organization of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and others concerned about mathematics education. Mathematically Correct considers A-rated and B-rated textbooks adequate to support student achievement at generally high levels and at moderate levels respectively. The group deems C-rated texts of questionable ability to support student achievement at even moderate levels.
Although the Texas State Board of Education is responsible for approving textbooks for adoption by local school districts, the Texas legislature limits the grounds for textbook rejection to only three: the book has faulty construction, contains errors, or does not comply with the Texas curriculum standards. The state is responsible for paying the estimated $177 million that local districts will spend on textbooks this year.
For more information…
The full text of Mathematically Correct’s Texas textbook analysis is available under “Algebra I Reviews” at the group’s Web site, www.ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/mathman.