NORTHFIELD BOARD OF EDUCATION FILE CODE: 6161.1
Northfield, New Jersey
GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATION AND SELECTION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS
A “textbook” is the principal source of instructional material for any given course of study, in whatever form the material may be presented, which is available to or distributed to every pupil enrolled in the course of study.
B. Textbook Selection Committee
1. A textbook selection committee(s) will be named annually by the Principal of each school.
2. The Principal of a non-departmentalized school will appoint to the committee no fewer than three teaching staff members, who represent a range of interests and backgrounds.
3. The Principal of a departmentalized school will appoint to the committee no fewer than three teaching staff members, who represent different subject areas or departments in the school.
4. The Principal will chair the committee.
C. Recommendation Procedures
1. Any teaching staff member may request the textbook selection committee’s consideration of a possible textbook.
2. The textbook selection committee will investigate current textbooks on the market.
3. A textbook recommended for screening should be read and examined by each of the textbook selection committee members or, in a departmentalized school, by the appropriate subject area representatives. The committee members should have examined, wherever possible, at least three other books similar in nature to the textbook recommended for adoption.
4. Each textbook selection committee member should submit to the chairperson a written evaluation of the textbook.
5. The committee chairperson will also read and examine each recommended textbook.
6. The committee chairperson or the person initiating the request for consideration will prepare an evaluation report for submission to the Superintendent of Schools.
7. The Superintendent of Schools will forward the recommendation to the board. He/she may first convene the textbook selection committee or confer with the chairman of the committee to discuss the evaluation report and the merits of the recommended textbook.
D. Review of Textbooks Currently In Use
1. Each textbook that has been in use in the district for five years or more will be evaluated annually by the textbook selection committee for its continuing usefulness. In addition, any teaching staff member may recommend the review of a textbook currently in use and used for less than five years.
2. The textbook selection committee will consider:
a. The length of service of the current textbook,
b. The copyright date,
c. The average condition of the textbooks currently in use,
d. The cost of replacements,
e. The merits of the textbook in the light of the standards by which new textbooks are measured, and
f. If review has been especially requested, the reason for the request.
3. A recommendation to retire a textbook will be forwarded to the Superintendent of Schools with a full report of the committee’s findings. Any such recommendation should be accompanied by the committee’s suggestion for a replacement textbook.
E. Standards of Review
In the review of any suggested textbook, the textbook selection committee shall consider:
1. The reliability and reputation for scholarship of its author and publisher;
2. Whether the content of the textbook:
a. Relates to the course of study in which it will be used,
b. Can be read and understood by the pupils for which its use is intended,
c. Is accurate and up to date,
d. Clearly distinguishes fact from opinion,
e. Is well organized and presented,
f. Includes helpful and thoughtfully prepared indexes, graphic materials, references, bibliographies, glossaries, and appendices, and
g. Is biased.
3. The ways in which a proposed textbook improves on the book it replaces;
4. Whether the proposed textbook’s binding, paper, and typeface are appropriate and durable;
5. The cost and probable life of the proposed textbook;
6. Whether the presentation of any controversial subject is objective and suitable to the maturity of the pupils for whose use the book is intended;
7. The experience other schools and/or districts may have had with the use of the proposed textbook; and
8. The textbook’s compliance with the district’s affirmative action plan for school and classroom practices, as set forth in Policy No. 6121.
Adopted: October 2009