Step 1

In Milwaukee every few years an advisory committee made up of Milwaukee Public School administrators as well as teachers recommends to the Milwaukee Board of Education which textbook series it prefers. In 2008 that group recommended a book by Houghton Mifflin. 

ReflectionAs that committee was deliberating Bob Peterson, a 5th-grade teacher and an editor at Rethinking Schools, put together an analysis of the various textbooks being reviewed.

He turned his analysis into a table that compared the frequency with which words such as racism, anti-Semitism, stereotype and discrimination were mentioned. Bob argued that none of the books were adequate. He said the problem with the books was that they didn’t discuss the role of racism and sexism in American history, they reinforced stereotypes and they sanitized important issues like slavery.



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