FAIRFIELD — Eleven books. Eleven pages for public comment. Not a single word.
Textbooks, including English language arts books that meet Common Core State Standards and costing $229,889 for three high school grades, have been on display since May 22 for public review at the school district office but brought no visitors, according to the Fairfield-Suisun School District.
Trustees take up adoption of the $253,473 worth of textbooks at their meeting Thursday.
Dave Gaut, who serves on the seven-member board of trustees, said it’s hard to know why people don’t take an interest in the opportunity at the Instructional Media Center.
“We never get a lot,” he said of people reviewing textbooks.
But some controversial literature has spurred interest, Gaut said.
Parents with children in the school district may be working all day and lack the time to review textbooks, he said.
The district uses Facebook and the school district website as ways to publicize events, Gaut said.
“I’m not sure what else you do,” the trustee said. “We really want to improve our communication in the district.”
Lydia Gutierrez, a teacher in Long Beach who received 850,218 votes June 3 for state superintendent of public instruction and is running in November as a write-in candidate, said parents should know the curriculum taught their children.
The lack of public interest in the textbooks suggests parents aren’t attending local school board meetings to learn about such matters as textbook review, Gutierrez said.
The Spring Board textbook for English in 11th grade includes in its “American Dream” section, a picture of people protesting government spending cuts. How does this image juxtapose the promise and reality of the American Dream, the textbook asks.
Editorials in the textbook include “Abolish High School Football” and one of the satire pieces is “Let’s Hear It for the Cheerleaders” – which states that cheerleading is almost unknown outside the U.S.
Gutierrez, whose write-in candidacy is a protest against Common Core, called the new instructional methods “a theory, licensed as a product, marketed as a standard.”
Previous curricula were proven academically, she said, and the school district “should not get rid of a single book.”
“Our tax dollars have paid for every textbook,” Gutierrez said.
Funding comes from the state lottery and money for instructional materials. The Common Core language arts books are for ninth, 10th and 11th grades.
New instructional materials are submitted to the trustees for adoption after initial review by staff and the public, a report to the school board states.
Trustees meet at 6 p.m. in the central office board room at 2490 Hilborn Road in Fairfield.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.