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 The bill, California AB 756, ostensibly addresses the problem of outdated textbooks while encouraging use of the internet for learning.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 And kids don't need a soon-to-be-outdated list of websites to encourage web research.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.

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  • identicon
    dorpus, 1 Jun 2005 @ 2:25pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      zoogies, 1 Jun 2005 @ 2:40pm

      Re: A legitimate reason

      Yeah, I can see why that is - books these days tend to try to cover everything imaginable. In any of your courses, have you gone through the entirety of the textbook? I know I haven't. Textbooks need to be more specific...but the 200 page limit is absolutely retarded.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    VonSkippy, 1 Jun 2005 @ 3:23pm

    Hopeless

    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???

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    hmmm, 1 Jun 2005 @ 3:54pm

    Huh

    What are these book things?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James Honey, 2 Jun 2005 @ 5:32am

    Easy:

    Simple solution - use a smaller font!
    This will fix all the kids problems' and provide more revenue for opticians!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    knight37, 2 Jun 2005 @ 8:11am

    California

    Why is it that every hair-brained, laughable law we read about always comes out of California?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Jun 2005 @ 12:00pm

    No Subject Given

    Buried in the intent for this legislation is the fact that children are toting heavy backpacks and increasingly incurring spinal injuries. Other accomodations are entirely possible, but harder to legislate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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