Thursday, December 01, 2005

Textbooks still MIA

Although DCPS promised last year to fix the longstanding problem of not having adequate textbook supplies on hand at the beginning of each semester, its three months into the 2005-2006 school year and according to WTU officials some teachers and students are still without the proper teaching materials.
Because of the school system's poor record on textbooks, the council in 2001 passed a law that requires the superintendent to certify to the Board of Education within 30 days of the beginning of each semester that "each student has been issued textbooks, workbooks and adequate instructional materials" for all core subjects.

Hilda L. Ortiz, the system's chief academic officer, acknowledged yesterday that officials have yet to file the certification because they are still trying to verify that deliveries were completed. But Ortiz said she thinks the vast majority of students have textbooks.


The union, which represents about 4,500 teachers, in October documented more than 100 complaints from teachers asserting that they had not received books and other materials. The complaints came from both general and special education teachers from schools across the city, and materials were said to be missing not only for English and math classes but also for subjects such as geography, world history and Spanish.

Union officials said it was unclear how many of those teachers had since received books. At a meeting Monday, the union surveyed about 70 teachers, each representing a different school, and 27 said they still were without some books.

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