William Shakespeare penned the famous line in Henry the Sixth: ?The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers,? setting off a wave of lawyer jokes that continues 400 years later.
Had Shakespeare had the opportunity to witness the infighting and special interest politics of state textbook adoption processes, he might have found a better target for his ire.
According to the Tampa Tribune, Florida lawmakers have introduced a bill that includes, among other things, a provision that would change the state's textbook adoption process.
The [provision] would replace the state's formal review committees?which include lay citizens, teachers, teacher supervisors and a school board member?with a trio of subject-matter experts appointed by the state education commissioner.
School districts would appoint teachers and content supervisors to rate the practical usability of the texts recommended by the state's experts.
Opponents of the bill??Tea Party? conservatives chief among them?are outraged.
"'We the People' should have a say on what textbooks OUR CHILDREN read," Tea Party activist Shari Krass wrote recently in a letter to Scott.
Krass and activists like her believe some texts used by Florida schools are slanted to favor Islam over Judaism and Christianity?
?"This legislation 'ties our hands'?where we will be restricted in our ability to influence our children's education," she wrote.
Of course, battles over textbook adoption seem, on some level, beside the point. If a state has set clear expectations for what students should know and be able to do,...