Ask The Principal

Thursday, June 08, 2006

An indirect criteria for textbooks

When a publisher wants to sell a book it will send representatives to big conferences to make as many contacts with decision makers as possible. They will spend lots of money in a lot of different ways to garner favor. One of the best hors d'oeuvres banquets I attended was sponsored by Prentice Hall. All I had to do was go and have a good time. Major publishers have made attending these large conferences and sponsoring events a regular practice.

Teachers and /or administrators interested in textbooks may request a sample at a specific grade level or levels and will in no-time be sent some pretty amazing teacher sets of materials. These sets take on the appearance of a ready-made presentation catered to the school boards, curriculum committees, and civic groups and others interested in reviewing the materials. Categories such as "technology", "differentiated instruction" "supplemental materials" "English Language Development", "Audio/Visual", "Multi-disciplinary Instruction", and others are neatly presented in these presentation-ready sets. Some sets come in plastic bins, others in flashy cardboard displays, one was in it's own little wheeled caddy with telescoping handle so it could be easily carried from place to place. I can't even imagine the expense incurred by these publishers in marketing. When all is said and done the choice of publisher is made and the display components from the losing publishers are either scavenged or tossed. ( those little caddies could be handy for other things!)

The expenses laid out in marketing, gimmicks and gi '-me's is observably large. The waste afterward is really sad, but the publishers know the numbers. I would love to know though what a marketing analyst really thinks of the public education system after determining by the data what marketing strategies work best to sell the publisher's books to school districts.

Sales and profit margins. Arguably one of the chief criteria that influences. We know that the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil (I Timothy 6:10). Corporate greed is alive and flourishing. Among other criteria to be mentioned in future posts, this is one that has an influence that may not be as overt as a political agenda or revisionist point of view, but is none-the-less a factor in what our society is feeding our children spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally (you should see the flashy graphics and attention-getting pages in some a great commercial shown on Saturday morning on the Nickelodeon channel. I wonder if the publishers hire some of the same marketing firms?)

Is it wrong to make a profit in selling textbooks? No. Can we trust that the best interest in our children will be looked after at the expense of profit? No. Are loving parents in charge of their own child's education willing to sacrifice much more than a multi-layered corporation? Probably. It seems to make sense but I won't categorically state yes, unless that parent is educating his/her child(ren) in the nurture and admonition of the Lord with an eternal view of the Kingdom of God, rather than a temporal view of the kingdom of this world.

But that is what all the criteria we look at is going to boil down to isn't it? The Kingdom of God verses the kingdom of the world? And furthermore, if one does not live in the Kingdom of God that same person will not be able to fully appraise the value of that which is born of the Spirit of God, and will view such things as foolishness (I Corinthians 2:14)

Where we see the love of money and the inability to value that which is born of the Spirit of God we should turn elsewhere when it comes to the well being of our children's education.


  • $$$. That's what "education" in this country boils down to. $$$.

    By Blogger hs'ing mom of two, at Thursday, June 08, 2006 8:10:00 AM  

  • Part 1 of our interview is up. Check it out:

    By Anonymous David Boskovic, at Thursday, June 08, 2006 8:55:00 AM  

  • Looking forward to part 2 ºÜº

    By Blogger hs'ing mom of two, at Friday, June 09, 2006 7:05:00 AM  

  • Part 2 of our interview is up. Check it out:

    By Anonymous David Boskovic, at Friday, June 09, 2006 8:56:00 AM  

  • "The younger the child and/or vulnerable the child, the more potential there is for long term damage to the young one’s being.”

    By Blogger hs'ing mom of two, at Saturday, June 10, 2006 9:07:00 AM  

  • "The younger the child and/or vulnerable the child, the more potential there is for long term damage to the young one’s being.”

    I am in total agreement with you, Bill. The younger the mind, the more impressionable. The nore impressionable, the more damage that can be done.

    "Oneway Purpose also asked Bill to list three areas where he believes his children are excelling most above their public schooled counterparts ... He listed: a) Learning and understanding God’s Word. b) Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self control, commonly known as the Fruit of the Spirit. c) Discipline (the kind that 'is sorrowful for the moment but in the end is the peaceful fruit of righteousness' Hebrews 12:11"

    Without these, hs'ing would be like doing ps at home.

    I enjoyed "Part 2" of the interview. Thanks Bill. I pray that God continues to give you the strength, courage and perseverance to continue in your calling until the time comes for you to take leave of that position.

    By Blogger hs'ing mom of two, at Saturday, June 10, 2006 9:16:00 AM  

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