Collier County schools relying on publisher appeals after district approved books rejected by state

Reporter: Jennifer Morejon Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
The School Board of Collier County. (Credit: WINK News)

The Collier County school board has decided how to handle the sticky textbook situation they have ended up in. The state rejected the seven math books approved by the school district.

The school board is putting its faith in two publishers who wrote math textbooks that the state rejected. Mcgraw Hill and Savvas are appealing the Department of Education decision and, just in case, are working on revising those textbooks. During Tuesday’s special board meeting, the public questioned the decision.

RELATED: Collier County parents to get say in which textbooks their kids learn from

“What are we going to do if the publishers aren’t able to fix these math books,” said one community member during public comment.

“Your process is flawed,” said another community member during public comment.

Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton said it’s not that simple. The district’s textbook review committee comprises parents, community members, teachers and administrators who reviewed the textbooks.

The school board then voted to adopt the recommendations.

“They selected books that were full of critical race theory, social-emotional learning and many other things that are not supposed to be part of the curriculum for math. Math is supposed to be 2+2=4,” said Diane Van Parys.

Parys said she had reviewed textbooks for more than eight years. She questioned whether the publishers would make the revisions and get the state to approve them in time.

If not, the district will go with its second choices options approved by the Department of Education.

“It’s our hope moving forward there will be clarifications and clear guidance both at state and local level in terms of what those expectations are so that we don’t find ourselves in a situation similar to this one,” said Dr. Elizabeth Alves, associate superintendent of teaching and learning.

The publishers must either win their appeal or have the state approve their revisions by early July. Then, Collier County schools would have the required 30 days of public review before the first day of school on August 10.

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