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ERIC Number: EJ864137
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep-16
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
California Faces a Curriculum Crisis
Manzo, Kathleen Kennedy
Education Week, v29 n3 p1, 16 Sep 2009
School administrators in California are getting greater flexibility in how they spend more than $300 million intended for instructional materials, along with encouragement to use some free digital textbooks for high school courses, as a result of cost-cutting measures brought on by the state's budget crisis. Extensive changes to the state's curriculum policies have raised concerns among many educators that they will not have the guidance or resources they need to choose the best textbooks and teaching strategies for their students. Beyond those concerns, the changes have also left publishers reeling as they brace for the potential of huge losses of sales in what is their biggest and most influential market. Coupled with budget cuts in other states, the economic climate could jeopardize development of new print and digital products nationally, industry experts say. Lawmakers recently approved a four-year suspension of California's textbook-adoption process, as well as its curriculum commission, which was in the middle of updating state frameworks, or content guidelines in science, social studies, and other subject areas. A new state law also allows district officials to forgo purchasing instructional materials altogether and use the money instead on staffing and other critical areas to offset funding cuts resulting from California's $26 billion budget gap. District leaders, who have long sought flexibility to purchase instructional materials outside the state-approved list, do not necessarily welcome the changes. Some school leaders, however, welcome the flexibility, which they say will allow them to maintain sufficient staffing levels and salvage essential professional development and school programs.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California