Company markets textbook without State Board approval

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Another controversy over textbooks in Virginia.

A company that sold text books with grossly inaccurate information to Virginia schools is marketing another book — one that has not been approved by the State Board of Education.

It is unclear how many of the science books, produced by Five Ponds Press, have been sold in the Commonwealth. The State Board of Education told the Washington Post that the book was not even offered for review.

Five Ponds Press, which came under fire last year for a history book filled with inaccuracies, has been shopping the science books around to individual school districts claiming they meet the needs of students based on the Virginia 2010 standards.

The problem is, the book hasn't even been read by the board that reviews these texts and deems them acceptable for Virginia schools.

Five Ponds Press is the whole reason the board tightened its review process.

The Board of Education's review is only a recommendation. School districts are free to buy whatever book they like.

Our education analyst, Dr. Bill Bosher, explains that the state sets goals — but its up to each district to decide how to get there.

"There are thousands of ways to get to a goal. The seductive issue is that, once you tell people where they need to be, there is an inclination to say, 'this is how you get there.' Virginia does not tell people how to get there," said Dr. Bill Bosher.

The book is called "All Around Us" and Five Pound promises to have the books ready to ship by August.

The Post reports that 12 other textbook publishers have submitted their books for review by the Board, which will reveal their findings in the next several months.

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