Books Over 200 Pages Considered Harmful To Students

from the legislation-for-dummies dept

Leave it to lawmakers to replace one problem with a totally inane and dangerously misguided one. The California Assembly just passed a bill that bans textbooks longer than 200 pages, requiring publishers to shorten their tomes and include — get this — an appendix of related websites. The bill, California AB 756, ostensibly addresses the problem of outdated textbooks while encouraging use of the internet for learning. There are so many things wrong with this bill, it’s hard to know where to begin. Well-meaning as it is, catering to the short attention spans of kids is the most counterproductive thing the state could do. Teachers are complaining all the time they can’t get students to read more books and spend less time online. If the books are long and boring, find better books. Don’t commission shorter boring books. Failing that, maybe they should just go with the best books they can find and understand that education requires a modicum of an attention span. And kids don’t need a soon-to-be-outdated list of websites to encourage web research. On the contrary, they need more guidance on how to use it more judiciously and appropriately. Also, the law defines the books in question as “instructional materials.” Does that include novels? Dictionaries? Reference guides? If this bill does become law, looks like the makers of Cliffs Notes and Reader’s Digest will be pleasantly surprised.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Books Over 200 Pages Considered Harmful To Students”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
dorpus says:

A legitimate reason

Every introductory math or science course in high school or college seems to find it necessary to give huge textbooks that weigh 10 pounds or more, and are bad for the back. It also adds to the social stigma of people who take such courses, as the geeks with bad posture who carry heavy books. I wouldn’t mind laws that regulate books to reasonable sizes.

VonSkippy says:


Public Education is completely hopeless and a total waste of taxpayers money. My kids go to private academic schools, and it’s worth every penny.
They should test 7th graders in public schools for basic reading/writing/math skills, and those that fail go straight to jail (or Mexico which ever is cheaper).
//can you tell I’m tired of dumbasses taking up space in the world???

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...