Education
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Common Core textbooks arrive late, filled with errors

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Robby Soave
Reporter

New York City teachers recently received their new Common Core-approved textbooks — a month late — and they don’t like them one bit.

“They are loaded with errors,” said Rebecca Murphy a third-grade teacher in Queens, in a statement to the New York Daily News.

The mistakes are numerous. A third-grade workbook contains a set of questions accompanying a mismatched reading selection; one of the pages in another workbook is printed upside down; and some teacher’s manuals don’t line up with student versions.

Teachers also complained that textbook lessons are lengthy and poorly conceived.

On top of everything else, the textbooks arrived late: a month after school had already begun.

The textbooks were manufactured by Pearson, a company heavily involved in the production and implementation of instructional materials and standardized tests under the national Common Core education guidelines.

Pearson’s products have been heavily criticized for incomprehensibility. A first-grade math test was recently scrutinized for asking kids conceptually odd questions that would stump calculus students. (RELATED: Would your first grader pass this weird Common Core math test?)

And a lesson on possessive nouns contained Orwellian statements about the relationship between the individual and government, such as “The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all,” and “An individual’s wants are less important than the nation’s well-being.”

Joy Pullman, managing editor of School Reform News and a leading critic of Common Core, told The Daily Caller that error-ridden textbooks are the result of heavy government involvement in the education sector.

“Textbook production has actually always been this slipshod, because the government education cartel essentially dictates the market, and has for decades,” she wrote in an email to The DC. “Because states and districts have controlled what books children will read, publishers have had an incentive to influence the political process as well as create a poor product, generally, because rushing the first book to market means more sales.”

The problem is likely to get worse under Common Core’s national curriculum standards, which weaken state and district autonomy in education matters.

“The really odd thing is that Common Core has been available for three years, now, and Pearson hasn’t managed to get an error-free book together yet,” wrote Pullman. “It makes one wonder about their other products, which are in millions of schools across the country.”

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