Friday, July 16, 2010

Just throw out the books

When a reading program was canceled at a school in Utah, the school threw out all the books they had purchased for the program. All the books were relatively new and in good condition. Somebody noticed and called a local news station.

Here's the story:

Hundreds of near-new textbooks found in school dumpster

...In a time of very tight budgets, a KSL viewer was surprised to find the books in the dumpsters at Twin Peaks Elementary School at 5325 South 1045 East, piled on top of one another....

Full of stories, illustrations and cultural lessons, some were published as recently as 2008. None were published before 2001...

A re-sale contractor has first dibs on the books to buy them back and sell them to another school. Horsley says in this case the contractor wasn't interested.

"Once the contractor deemed them non-marketable, someone took it upon themselves to dispose of the materials and did so against and in violation of district policy," he said.

So, why did the contractor deem the books "non-marketable?"

This reader has a reasonable explanation:

Ian S.
6:53pm - Thu Jul 15th, 2010
@Mr_neo - Part of the problem could also be that the State School Board of Education keeps changing the English core curriculum causing the textbooks to become outdated and non-compliant. This is what happens when the government gets too involved with education whether it is state government or federal government and they keep adopting new programs in hopes of finding that silver bullet that will bring about better test scores. Don't be too harsh on the individual schools when it is the politicians that are to blame. I agree that it is a waste, and waste usually starts up at capitol hill.

Is book dumping really against district policy or just an excuse? Call me cynical. This particular incident wasn't against district policy until someone reported it to the media.

Whether the school bought useless books, gave good books away, or threw the books in the recycle bin doesn't really matter that much to me. Neither option benefited the students at that school.

This reminds me of the decline of the McGuffey Readers. That was a good reading program.

6 comments: said...

I work at a public school. I once threw out two pallets of old computers and printers. In some school districts they are wasteful like that because of certain restrictions on the sale or giving away of things. I know crazy.

Janine Cate said...

The article had quite a few comments from teachers and former teachers about the stuff they throw away.

Sebastian said...

Disposing of books via the trash seems to negate the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra. In the military there is an entire system devoted to reclaiming and reusing materials that are no longer suited for first purposes. Seems that the least they could have done is made them available for any families, libraries, etc. who wanted them.
Modern of language arts programs are typically integrated across reading and writing and use basal texts means that there will be much waste when a program is changed and nothing matches up anymore. How many classroom sets of quality books could you have bought for what is wasted.

bed frames said...

I don't like throwing books in garbage. Books are very important thing to everyone especially for the kids. I think there is a good way on disposing your old books. You can give it to some foundations.

Marbel said...

And school districts wonder why people get tired of hearing about their budget problems.

Mrs. C said...

I remember having textbooks that were 15 years old in high school... and I was in a wealthy district. I suppose a "current events" class would need a new text every year but stuff like World History or Maths? Nope.

They could have had a school garage sale if they couldn't give the stuff away. Think of all the parents who would want to buy older versions of their child's textbooks at a great reduction! Everyone could have won, and volunteers could have run the sale for the PTA or whatever.

What a waste!!