TEXTBOOK ADOPTION PROCESS IN NORTH CAROLINA
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Textbook Evaluation Process Updates
2015 Science Textbook Evaluations and Recommendations
Definition of Textbook
As outlined in General Statute 115C-85, textbook is defined as, “systematically organized material comprehensive enough to cover the primary objectives outlined in the standard course of study for a grade or course. Formats for textbooks may be print or nonprint, including hardbound books, softbound books, activity-oriented programs, classroom kits, and technology-based programs that require the use of electronic equipment in order to be used in the learning process.”
The statewide adoption process offers one way for schools to have access to quality instructional materials at the lowest prices available. Evaluative criteria are carefully established and materials are conscientiously examined so that the best materials are made available to serve as tools to support the goals and objectives of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study.
The statewide selection of textbooks/instructional materials is administered by the North Carolina Textbook Commission. Adoption of materials is codified in General Statutes 115C 87-102 and the process is described in the Administrative Code, GCS-H-000 through GCS-H-008. Every four years the State Superintendent recommends persons to the Governor to be considered for appointment to the Textbook Commission. The Governor appoints twenty-three members to serve four-year terms. The Commission is made up of teachers, principals, parents, and a local school superintendent.
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction develops the criteria used to evaluate textbooks presented for adoption for their conformity to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. The criteria are included in the Invitation to Submit Textbooks for Evaluation and Adoption in North Carolina. The invitation, also developed by the department, provides the required procedures for the submission, evaluation, and adoption of textbooks and a schedule for the process. The State Board of Education must approve and adopt the Invitation to Submit Textbooks for Evaluation and Adoption in North Carolina before it is sent to the publishers on the NC Publishers Registry who have requested the submission of textbooks for evaluation and adoption. Only publishers on the NC Publishers Registry will be sent the invitation and can submit textbooks for evaluation and adoption.
Evaluation of Textbooks
The Textbook Commission appoints regional advisors to review and evaluate materials that are submitted by publishers. Advisors are carefully selected based upon their training and experience in the discipline, and are paid $150.00 per day for not more than ten days. Advisors attend special training about the curriculum and the evaluation instruments that are developed by the Department of Public Instruction. Evaluation of materials follows training for a number of days specified by the Textbook Commission. Upon completion of their work, advisors file written and verbal reports of their findings with the Commission.
State Board Adopts
The Commission convenes to discuss the advisors' and their own findings and to draft a list of recommendations to present to the State Board of Education. After the list of recommendations has been formulated, sealed bids are opened and bid prices are added to the list of recommendations. Price is not a factor the Commission considers when drafting its list of recommendations. For each textbook or program, the Textbook Commission is required to submit a written evaluation signed by the submitting Commission member. At a State Board meeting, the Board formally adopts the list of materials, considering the recommendations of the Textbook Commission, conformity with requirements in the Invitation to Submit Textbooks for Evaluation and Adoption in North Carolina, conformity with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, price, and the needs of the public schools.
Upon adoption of materials, contracts are sent to the submitting publishers and are in effect for five years with no escalation of prices. Materials adopted will go on contract and will be introduced into the schools in following year. After the state adoption, local textbook selection committees begin another round of review and evaluations to determine which materials best suit the needs of their students.