State Board Urges School Districts To Consider Public Comments In Adopting Textbooks

Friday, January 10, 2014

The State Textbook Commission is legally charged with the responsibility of preparing “a list of standard editions of textbooks for approval by the State Board of Education for the use in the public schools of the state. (TCA 49-6-2202 (a)).  The law also provides that the commission “may appoint an advisory panel of expert teachers in each subject or grade level to advise the Commission on book selections.” (TCA 49-6-2202 (j)).  

At the May 13, 2013 meeting the Commission approved the utilization of such a panel.  A cadre of 27 teachers was assembled and trained on the review process, state standards, and current research on teaching techniques in social studies.  The teachers conducted independent reviews during the month of July and came together the week of July 22, 2013 to compile committee reports for the books submitted. 

The submitted books were also made available for public review and comment.  The public comment listed numerous concerns with a significant number of the books.  Approximately 500 pages of public comments were compiled.  These comments are available on the State Department of Education’s website.

The Commission met on October 7 to formulate the recommended list, but did not take action.  The Commission finalized the list at the October 23, 2013 meeting and sent the recommended list of books to the State Board of Education.  At its October 25 meeting, the State Board of Education approved the recommended list of Social Studies textbooks that LEAs may consider for adoption. 

 For more information, contact Gary Nixon at 615/741-2966 or


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