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Textbook Flubs


It’s not unusual, say educators, to find an occasional error in a text book. But, a K-6 mathematics series recently purchased by two Sacramento, California, school districts from publisher Macmillan/McGraw-Hill is not only riddled with mistakes, some of them are real whoppers, reports the Sacramento Bee. For instance: informing kids that five times three equals five. Other mistakes include tests that don’t match the textbook lessons, and student texts that don’t parallel what’s in the teachers’ books.

The two districts paid $1.9 million in total for the series, which includes textbooks, tests, CDs, DVDs and online resources. The series was selected from a state-approved list of texts, which meant the materials should have been vetted by experts and any mistakes found corrected. To be sure, the districts got a clue of what they were in for when they piloted the series before buying: they liked the material, but noted then that it was error-filled. But, the publisher promised the mistakes would be fixed. They weren’t.

In an email response to the Bee, Macmillan/McGraw-Hill said it was working with district officials to rectify the problems. But one of the districts, Folsom Cordova, is considering returning the series and getting a refund. Meanwhile, the paper says, students are having fun searching for bloopers. Well, that’s one way to learn.

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