Public input is being solicited by the state for textbooks being considered for social studies.
In this area, parents and other community members can review the textbooks at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s Lupton Library.
Valarie Adams of UTC said anyone interested in reviewing the material could come to the library’s front desk and ask to see the K-12 social studies textbooks up for public review.
The materials are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“Basically it’s if you don’t like a book that’s being recommended that’s what they want input on,” Adams said.
She said the number of books being reviewed this year is smaller than in previous years when input was solicited for math and reading textbooks.
The university provides a place for individuals who want to review the books to sit, read and formulate opinions about the proposed curriculum.
Forms titled “Request for Reconsideration of Challenged Materials” are available for those who want to make suggestions. Adams said the forms ask what the person didn’t like about the book, what was the main topic, any positive elements and suggestions about replacements.
Student editions and teacher editions being considered will be available. The curriculum is being considered for inclusion in the 2014-15 approved list.
Individuals filling out a form are asked to submit it to director of textbook services, Morgan Branch. A mailing address for the director is listed on the form.
“It is very important for the public to have access to the textbook under consideration,” Branch said in a Tennessee Department of Education press release. “Our goal is to provide a wide variety of materials that enrich and support the curriculum and address students’ varied interests, abilities, and learning styles.”
Similar display and review areas have been set up across the state to gather public input. Public input is being accepted until Sept. 1. However, textbooks can be reviewed by the public at any time.
Textbook review and adoption is done on a six-year rotation in Tennessee.
Request for reconsideration of the material will be reviewed by the Tennessee Textbook Commission. The Commission will then talk with publishers about the concerns, according to a press release. The Commission is made up of a county school superintendent, a city school superintendent, a principal, a teacher or supervisor for grades 1-3, a teacher or supervisor for grades 4-8, a teacher or supervisor for grades 9-12, and three people not employed in education (one form each region of Tennessee), according to the Tennessee Department of Education website. Jason Robinson, a former Ocoee Middle School teacher and now an employee of Lee University, is a member of the Commission.
Acceptance of the textbooks at the state level will place them on the list for school board to choose from.
Local boards of education will adopt the specific textbooks for their district. In Bradley County, further review of curricula is done by administrators and teachers before a recommendation is made to the local board.
University of Tennessee Chattanooga: www.utc.edu/Administration/ParkingServices/parkingMapColor.pdf