Letters to the Editor

School district: Why no textbooks?

The pages of this paper are frequently filled with comment and debate regarding the local school system. I have read impassioned arguments about (1) the desirability of standardized tests, (2) the school hot lunch program, (3) the need for a football stadium, (4) the need for more teachers in PE and art, (5) the need to rebuild the high school, (6) the proper number of vice principals, (7) the desirability of hiring assistant superintendents, (8) the distribution of students between middle and high school, (9) the projected enrollment, (10) the desirability of fixing leaking roofs, (11) the impact of school policies on the viability of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, (12) the need to hire a district communication specialist, etc. etc. etc.

The other night while helping with math homework my memory failed me on a geometry fact. While thumbing though some Cliff Notes my wife bought at Wal-Mart and a text she bought at a surplus sale, a thought struck me. I have never heard the argument against the district issuing text books. It would seem, on the surface, to be a good idea. Without a text it is very difficult to review previous assignments or to read ahead in preparation for a class. There must be a great argument against it or else high school students would have them for classes like math.

I would like to hear the argument. Perhaps the school district, the school board, the teachers union, the PTA, or a concerned parent could tell me why it is a good idea for students not to have text books. I look forward to a response.

Gary T. Pursel

Oak Harbor

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