School Districts Team Up to Demand Better Textbooks

Marion Herbert's picture
Friday, June 29, 2012

New York City schools chancellor, Dennis M. Walcott, and his team have been beating the drum about the rollout of tougher Common Core standards and the need to get students better prepared for college and careers.

Now the city’s Department of Education is teaming up with other school districts to pressure the publishing industry to provide them with materials to meet those standards.

Mr. Walcott joined school superintendents from Chicago, Newark and Washington on Thursday for a panel discussion in Midtown Manhattan on what they’re calling the Publishers’ Criteria.

Simply put, they said they would reject any textbooks or other instructional materials that aren’t aligned with the Common Core’s more demanding math and literacy standards, which have been embraced by 45 states and the District of Columbia and will lead to new standardized tests by the 2014-15 school year.

“We, alone, represent $100 million worth of business,” Mr. Walcott said of New York City. “I think through our collective efforts we want to make sure that the publishing industry understands the power of all of us working together.”

Thirty-one districts have signed a pledge to make purchasing decisions based on criteria developed by some of the authors of the Common Core State Standards. New York City worked with the Council of Great City Schools, which represents the nation’s large urban districts, to organize the collective effort.

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