The U.S. Department of Education has published an extensive list of all the textbooks it is offering to students in high school in order to determine which ones are “lowly, ineffective, or outdated.”
As a result, students across the country are being asked to submit their personal assessments to determine if they actually want to use a textbook or not.
The list, published Wednesday by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), also has a list of the materials that are “high quality,” which includes “highly innovative, highly developed and high quality teaching materials” but also “low quality.”
The report says that although some textbooks have high quality content, “there is no uniformity among high school and college students across many subjects.
In some cases, students may not have access to the most up-to-date or accurate material.”
The “highest quality” books are those that are written by experts, with “exemplary authors” who are also “well known to the student” and are “accurate, concise and easy to understand,” the report says.
According to the report, there are also many high-quality textbooks that are published by the American Library Association (ALA), but they also include “low-quality” textbooks that lack high-impact content and are more expensive.
“While there is no standardized standard of quality for textbooks, there is an increasing recognition that low-quality materials, such as textbooks, are no substitute for high-level instruction,” the ALA said in a statement.
“The quality of high-performing textbooks should be the sole criterion in selecting which textbooks are appropriate for students to use.”
The list is part of the effort to encourage schools to develop better instructional materials, with some universities offering free high-school textbooks.