Pasco schools delay another round of textbook adoptions over Common Core concerns
Pasco County high school leaders have decided not to select new math textbooks for their students this year, hoping that given extra time more and better materials will emerge.
"It is (the selection committee's) recommendation that it is in our students’ best interest to put the textbook adoption on hold for a year," Office of Teaching and Learning director Vanessa Hilton wrote to principals. "With the newly revised standards and assessment, publishers have emerging products that are not available at this time. Delaying the adoption gives us the opportunity to review those materials in addition to materials currently available in order to choose the best resource to meet our students’ needs."
The decision follows a recent University of Southern California report that challenges publishers' contentions that their latest edition Florida math textbooks are aligned to the Common Core standards, which Florida largely has adopted. "One of my inclinations is they don't want to make big revisions," researcher Morgan Polikoff told the Tampa Bay Times. "This is what a typical textbook has looked like for a long time."
Pasco officials took a similar step in 2013, delaying adoption of new elementary school language arts textbooks. The district has not yet moved ahead with that selection process.
Despite these concerns, Pasco middle school representatives have chosen to move ahead with their new math book adoption. Schools were closely divided between two titles, Go Math and Florida Math. So the Teaching and Learning department will recommend that each middle school be allowed to use the book it preferred.
The School Board will have the final say on the adoption. In the past, it has tended to approve committee recommendations.