NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Textbooks Get An "F"

September 29, 1999

None of the widely used middle school textbooks examined were rated satisfactory by a group called Project 2061, which is a long-term effort of the American Association for the Advancement of Science to improve science, math and technology education.

  • The study says the texts cover too many topics, fail to develop any of the topics well, and offer nearly useless classroom activities.
  • Two of the most popular textbooks -- "Glencoe Science" (Glencoe/McGraw-Hill, 1997) and "Prentice Hall Science" (Prentice Hall, 1997) received some of the lowest ratings.
  • Three study materials that are not part of any textbooks, but teach particular topics, rate much higher than the textbooks.

Over a four-year period, two independent teams of middle school teachers, curriculum specialists and professors of science education examined how well each textbook helps students learn key ideas in the earth , life and physical sciences.

Source: Tamara Henry, "Failing Grade for Science Books," USA Today, September 29, 1999.

For more on Project 2061


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