CA Banning Long Books?
CA Assembly Bill 756 passed the Assembly this week. It would "prohibit the State Board of Education and school districts from adopting instructional materials that exceed 200 pages in length" and "encourages the use of technology and multimedia materials in order to comply subdvision (a) and reduce the cost and weight of textbooks." The SacBee reports:
Lawmakers voted Thursday to ban school districts from purchasing textbooksBut "instructional materials" sounds broader than "textbooks" - I'm am not sure how they came up this interpretation. I mean, if it is for textbooks why not use the specific term "textbooks" in the bill.
longer than 200 pages.
This bill is great. It is great because it is a perfect example of the idiocy of many of CA's elected officials. Granted, I tend to agree with the bill's author that it is necessary to push students towards new types of research and the use of technology. BUT, there are a couple of problems here.
- Though Assemblywoman Goldberg was teacher, that in no way means that she and her colleagues in Sacramento know better than the thousands of educations Ph.Ds and professionals who are closer to the students and spend their lives following the latest studies in education.
- More importantly, the bill is absolutely ridiculous. If it is only meant to apply to textbooks, it is still a bad idea that handcuffs schools in their options - and it was authored extremely poorly. If it actually applies to all "instructional materials" like it says in the actual text, then you are basically banning just about any significant work of literature.
There is a more targeted way to bring about some of this bills goals without banning the Federalist Papers and the Grapes of Wrath. However, failing to seek these answers out in favor of passing sweeping measures that will probably make things worse seems to be par for the course with CAs elected officials.