Originally created 04/27/97

A textbook lesson

Today's Augusta Chronicle guest column by Richmond County School Board Trustee Jeff Annis raises significant concerns. We're not sure which language arts textbook should be adopted - although Annis has a definite opinion. Our main concerns, however, are centered on two other issues:

  • How textbook votes at schools are conducted and tallied.
  • The fairness of the process.
  • Trustee Johnnie Jackson charges that votes at some schools were miscounted, and he has "proof." Superintendent Charles Larke is taking the accusation seriously and is investigating.

    Larke also learned a "one person, one vote" system isn't followed. It's a "weird" (his word) formula whereby groups of votes are "weighted." Larke further discovered that every teacher is voting; why, he asks, should a physical education teacher be voting on, say, a math book?

    Clearly, Larke is right in recommending reform. We also think that, even though Annis and Jackson are at loggerheads over the best textbook, both should be commended for questioning the process and sparking public debate. Lastly, the Board had better think long and hard before overruling a majority vote of the system's teachers when it concerns a textbook.