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The textbooks are wrong

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Steve, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?


    The information in the article probably isn't a surprise, or even news, to many of you. I'd like to note, though, that's it's been happening for a very long time.

    In my senior year of high school, I was selected to represent the students in our county on the textbook selection committee. There were five or six meetings, during which we (briefly) pored over and reviewed the textbooks offered by publishers. This was 20 years ago.

    I was appalled at the poor quality of most of the textbooks. The factual errors and omissions were bad enough; coupled with the grammatical and spelling mistakes, there were enough problems to make almost every textbook worthless. Remember, we only had time to skim these, and we were finding such errors. It became evident to me that a quality textbook, at least at the high school level, is very much the exception.

    I suppose I'm saddened that the situation still exists.

    In fact, I believe it is spreading to other areas. I have noticed a remarkable decrease in the accuracy of newspaper reporting, not just the factual things which, as "breaking news", often are subject to revision. I'm referring to the grammar and spelling, the poor copywriting, and the general decline in quality. To some extent, I'm seeing it in printed books, as well.

    As an avid read, it's really become noticeable; every error literally stops me cold, as I'm reading. I find myself being stopped far more frequently, these days.

    I'm willing to admit a certain amount of laxity in my personal writing; in newspapers, magazines, and books, especially textbooks, I demand no less than 100% accuracy.
  2. drslash

    drslash It's all about the beer

    Yes, it is not unreasonable to expect accuracy in textbooks however; the general print media's primary objective is to make a profit. Proofreading costs time and money. The Internet print media is developing an atrocious track record in this regard. I would estimate that 1 in 3 news stories that I read on line has spelling errors, grammatical errors, etc.

    Do you know the pressure you are putting on us in our response to this? :)
  3. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    lol, I didn't think of the pressure aspect! Frankly, I adapt my on-line writing style to the topic, audience, and my mood. Sometimes I'm downright pedantic; others I'm quite, um, profane. :)

    I think I've seen others do the same thing, and that's OK. I completely forgot about the Internet print media; you're right, that's the worst!
  4. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    Casual writing such as ours on these forum's is one thing, but newspaper's and book's is an other. Even worse is the online news source's. I find gramatical error's almost daily at foxnews.com and cnn.com. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg. Its only going to get worse.

    (You have no idea how difficult it was for me to write that.)
  5. wapu

    wapu Veteran Member

    i sbell badly. i kant talk uppity. Irregardless yuo guys let me rite my thoughs here jest teh same. Their is other sites that aren't nicer than you. I have been havening work lately. I cannot post so much as i wood like too. The fonny thing about this topic are that I have been meking my son hi-lite the errors in his history book. He is in 8st grade. He must show them too me, 1nd, butt then I learn him the rite way too how things reely were.


  6. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

  7. mikeky

    mikeky Member

    I wonder in a lot of cases if teachers realize the mistakes or have enough confidence to question what's presented. I'm not slamming teachers, I have respect for most, it's just many times we are taught not to question the "experts" since, after all, they knew enough to write "the book".

    [As an aside, when my son's first grade teacher asked the class what was the liquid inside thermometers, he was the only one to raise his hand and answer "alcohol", since he had asked me once what was the red liquid inside thermometers. He was disappointed when his teacher said his answer was wrong, the book said it was mercury. Oh well, sometimes you can't win.]
  8. wapu

    wapu Veteran Member

    That is a great thing about my sons History teacher. He points out the mistakes, and is trying to get the district to change the book. Of course, this is only his 3rd year as a full time teacher. They will suck the life out of him before long. He will eventually give up and give in just like all the rest. They have too much experience in breaking young teachers let this one slip by.

  9. pupowski

    pupowski Banned

    I have a friend who is a textbook distributor for in the NE. He says textbook selection is very political, and the quality suffers as a result. He has shown me popular grammar and high school English, history, and social studies texts with major errors or inaccuracies. I wondered if some chapters were proof read at all.

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