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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Are textbooks passe? Pasco School Board candidates think so



5112828fd7a056cf01234110.L._SL500_AA300_.jpgPasco County students returned to school Monday to find brand new math textbooks waiting for them. Mandated by the state as part of a curriculum overhaul, the books cost the school district millions.

Millions that several School Board candidates argue would be better spent elsewhere.

In a recent debate, several of the hopefuls for all three open Pasco board seats suggested that the state should not force schools to adopt new textbooks so frequently, particularly in subjects that don't change much. (One plus one still equals two, a few commented, noting that maybe that old edition math book shown here could last a bit longer.)

 "We don't need the textbooks every six years, especially for some of the subjects," District 3 candidate Cynthia Armstrong said. "We've got to beat out the textbook lobbyists."

At the very least, District 4 candidate Alison Crumbley said, the schools could consider not buying double sets of books for home and classroom use.

Some went so far as to contend that the district need not buy books at all.

"Take advantage of technology," District 3 candidate Sallie Skipper said, urging more use of Kindles, iPads and the like.

District 5 candidate Steve Luikart took that notion a step farther, saying the district should repurpose its surplus computers to hold digital copies of classroom materials, effectively replacing textbooks and saving some cash.

What's your take on the issue? Should schools and teachers move more toward technology and away from the printed page? Does Tallahassee need to step back from its textbook revision cycle? Or is the system working? Some might argue that the most recent science textbook/curriculum upgrade was a major step forward, and that the new math books go deeper rather than skimming the surface on too much.

Let's hear your thoughts.

[Last modified: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:22am]


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