Marion schools break with state, will choose own books

By Sarah Panko, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, October 06, 2017, 6:37 PM EDT

Officials with Marion County Public Schools have chosen committees that will review and approve instructional materials for next school year.

  • Marion County will choose its own school textbooks
  • Official: We're 1st district in Florida to go through breakaway process
  • People can see materials under consideration at district teachers' library

"We are the first district in the state to go through the process to choose our own instructional materials, independent of what the state had already adopted," Superintendent Dr. Heidi Maier said Friday.

Maier said that after choosing instructional materials from the state list, third-grade reading scores have been at the bottom of the state.

"Our previous elementary reading series was chosen from that state list, and if you look at our reading scores, that answers the why of it," she said. "We had students who are not reading proficiently. We have teachers who kept saying, 'Help us — we know this curriculum does not work,'" Maier said.

The committees are approving materials for 17 courses and consist of teachers, parents and community members.

Anyone can see the books being considered for adoption at the teachers' library at the district.

The final vote on the instructional materials is set for next month. Before the final vote, the committee will accept public comment from 5-8 p.m. Nov. 8 at MTI located at 1614 SE Fort King St. in Ocala.