4511 Textbook and/or Trade Book Selection and Adoption

The Board of Education is responsible for the selection and designation of all textbooks and/or trade books to be used in the District’s schools. The Superintendent of Schools shall recommend textbooks and trade books to be used in the schools for the Board’s consideration.

The Superintendent or designee shall maintain a list of approved books.

The Superintendent shall establish procedures for the selection and recommendation of textbooks and trade books and a method for selecting staff members who shall serve in the selection and recommendation process.

The following criteria are to be considered in the selection of textbooks:

  1. a reasonable balance of viewpoints regarding controversial issues should be presented;
  2. high quality format in respect to typography, arrangement of materials or pages, cover design, size and margins;
  3. objectivity and impartiality in treatment of subject matter and freedom from bias and prejudice;
  4. qualifications of the author(s) on the subject;
  5. adaptability and alignment to existing instructional program;
  6. textbook series should meet grade-to-grade requirements. They should contain supplementary aids to learning, when desirable and necessary, such as a table of contents, introduction, study activities, exercises, questions, problems, selected references, digital resources, bibliography, index glossary and appendices;
  7. grade level appropriateness of content, vocabulary, sentence structure, and organization;
  8. texts should include appropriate illustrative materials–pictures, maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, etc., which clarify the text and enrich the content;
  9. materials should fairly represent the many ethnic and cultural groups and their contribution to American heritage;
  10. accuracy of the information presented;
  11. sufficient scope to meet the requirements of the curriculum as developed locally and approved by the State Education Department; and
  12. textbook or material should have been copyrighted within the past five years, whenever possible.

The following criteria are to be considered in the selection of literary works for classroom use in teaching, as well as the assignment of such works to particular grade levels:

  1. capacity of a work to capture student interest and promote critical thinking;
  2. thematic treatment which allows for the development of sound and healthy values for students;
  3. use of compositional style(s) which contribute to the reader’s critical and appreciative understanding of the work;
  4. sophisticated use of literary devices (i.e., metaphor, point of view, tone) to further student understanding of written concepts;
  5. levels of student maturity and experience necessary for empathetic reading of literature;
  6. intrinsic qualities that establish a work as a part of the literary heritage; and
  7. variety to avoid duplication of theme, plot, setting, etc., unless such duplication affords opportunities for comparison and contrast or serves to reinforce understanding.

Cross-ref: 1420, Complaints about Curricula or Instructional MaterialsRef: Education Law §§701 et seq.; 1711; 2508; 2566

Adopted January 26, 1999
Revised and Adopted September 10, 2013
Revised and Adopted May 28, 2019

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