via weev: the state legislature loses their shit again

It’s hard to say anything about this other than what the fuck. This kind of thing is why no one pays any attention to the legislature, the state is run by manipulation of plebiscites, and we have a shitty Governator. Of course the editorialist makes this into a Democratic party issue, but whatever with that. The entire legislature consists of drunk clowns.

Assembly sticks nose into textbooks

Mercury News editorial

Maybe Democrats in the state Assembly should just go ahead and write textbooks for California’s students. They’re so confident they know what constitutes a good one.

For instance, who knew that making a textbook longer than 200 pages was such a bad idea that there needs to be a law against it?

Well, 42 Assembly Democrats knew. On Thursday they approved AB 756, a bill by Jackie Goldberg, D-Los Angeles, that says: Neither the State Board of Education nor a local school district “may adopt instructional materials that exceed 200 pages in length.”

Textbooks, the bill’s supporters argued, should sum up the basics and then refer students to the Internet and to libraries for the rest. Plus, shorter is lighter and cheaper.

Maybe. Their assumption doesn’t seem that obvious to us. It seems like something that ought to be decided — just brainstorming here — by actually reading each proposed textbook, as opposed to laying down an arbitrary limit.

The bill doesn’t jibe with other instructions (some from the Legislature) that textbook publishers have been getting to avoid textbooks that are just dry columns of words. They must be full of pictures and charts. And in each subject, they have to cover the state’s comprehensive curriculum requirements. This makes them longer.

The bill now goes to the Senate.

A few weeks ago, the Democratic leader in the Senate, Don Perata of Oakland, held a news conference to say that his colleagues were committed to more funding for education and less interference in day-to-day decisions.

For more money, they need the cooperation of Republicans. Democrats will be slightly more likely to get it if they show some resolve on the second half of the promise by killing some Legislature-knows-best bills. May we suggest a place to start?

8 thoughts on “via weev: the state legislature loses their shit again

  1. the textbook i used for the US history class i just finished was over 1000 pages, and yet the money i got for selling it back didn’t cover even 1/100th of the medical bills for the back injuries i sustained carrying that rah-rah-america book around in my backpack.

    1. Length is no guarantee of quality, sure, and I had a load of bad big books too. I just don’t get this hard limit of 200 pages. What are you supposed to do when you’re taking a big subject like calculus? Just only learn half of it? Tiny print?

      1. 200 pages isn’t sufficient for discussion of anything but the bare minimum for basic comprehension of a subject, so i’m not really suprised, given current educational standards. in the case of calculus, well, only terrorists know the hard math, so.

  2. …and of course, if it’s on teh internet, it must be true, right? (Speaking about the “refer students to the Internet” thing that is)

    1. Although I would bet that you could do a pretty decent job teaching elementary math using just Wolfram’s Mathworld and a knowledgable teacher.
      Of course that would mean that schools would need computers.
      And knowledgable teachers.

  3. Personally, I think schools are too expensive to build, maintain and staff.
    I think “public school” should just be a series of on demand videos that you can watch from anywhere.
    Then, when you’ve watched them all, you graduate.

  4. Pages
    Maybe they mean 200 pages per volume, and are encouraging multiple-volume sets. Because that’s not a nightmare for bookkeeping or anything!

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