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Textbook Cases

To the Editor:

Thanks to Tom Hilliard for his important article [ďThe Education Censors,Ē March 24].

The mission of a textbook company is to make a profit (a big profit). The mission of a school library is to provide a wide variety of curriculum-related resources for teachers and students.

Good New York state teachers (with the help and encouragement of their school library media specialists) fight the influence of the Texas textbook police every day in their classrooms. They use textbooks seldom, if at all. Instead these teachers use carefully selected documents, articles, ďrealĒ books, maps, videos and a variety of other teaching materials. This variety serves two purposes. It helps teachers avoid the political slant and the misinformation that is often in textbooks and it helps them to address the needs of the different types of learners in their classrooms.

Good teachers encourage their students to read widely about a variety of topics. The best antidote to the problems with todayís textbooks is a well-stocked, up-to-date school library. Unfortunately, school libraries are not doing well in New York state. Most are underfunded and understaffed. Sometimes our kids are stuck with these politicized textbooks because their library is woefully inadequate or outdated. Isnít it expensive to provide a quality library program with a certified librarian and a generous book budget? You bet it is! Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Linda Fox

Director, Capital Region BOCES School Library System

Ballston Lake


To the Editor:

I couldnít take it anymore . . .

How could I not speak up and say something . . .

Itís one thing to sit back and read it, while bobbing your head in agreeance . . .

But in all reality, we live in a day and age when you canít just bob your head,

Whatís scarier . . . itís dangerous to disagree . . .

Thatís what scares me . . .

It gets even crazier . . .

check this . . .

I was born and raised a Republican . . .

All I know was Reagan was the Chosen One . . .

I realized I could not sit back and bob my head anymore while sitting in the Lark Street Tavern. I was there with my father, enjoying lunch, celebrating a successful year back at college. It was great. We were waiting for my food and I picked up Metroland for several reasons: The people you see inside you actually know, and it acknowledges the accomplishments of locals . . . but also because sometimes you read things that you canít believe are going on in the world!

People I urge you, we have become so spoiled, we forget to keep track of whatís really going on. We have actually forgotten what our country was based on. Do you truly remember? Think back to the feeling you had when you first heard about freedom [and] equal opportunity. . . . I know, the context is broad, but that initial feeling of when you realized how blessed we were to be Americans.

What prompted this letter was the article about sex education. Now realize I have read articles on gay rights and weddings, but could never speak up, for fear people would say ďjust another queer wanting to get married,Ē but when I read that article, I realized we really are running completely amok. Itís more than just the issues when the government regulates our childrenís understanding of the options out there other than abstinence. Donít get me wrong, the absolute 100-percent way to stay clean and not get pregnant is abstinence. Itís guaranteed, but in all reality. . . . People we have all been there.

Jason Falkner


Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts OK), addressed to the editor. Or you may e-mail them to: Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

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