Third-grade textbook not neutral, parents say

Some Frederick County parents claim the third-grade social studies book used in county schools isn't objective. At a school board hearing, they said the book leans too much to the left in the descriptions of current events.

The social studies textbook covers the basics, such as history, geography and economics. Parents at the school board meeting said the book appears to promote socialism and has a liberal slant.

"The more I read it the angrier I got,” said parent Cindy Rose, who added the book had an “activist-type agenda."

Rose is one of a number of parents who attended the Board of Education hearing Wednesday. She want to see the book taken out of schools.

The text book, called Social Studies Alive, has been used in classrooms throughout the country since 2004. Parents at the hearing argued it contains errors and omissions, such as leaving out Washington, D.C. on a U.S. map.

Parent Pam Ward called the book “misleading” and “factually wrong.”

On page 96, the book, which is made by the Teachers Curriculum Institute, describes how health care is free around the world but not in the United States. It then asks students if health care should be free for everyone.

Educators at the hearing defended the book. Board member April Miller took issue with the books claim that education is free.

While the board didn’t take action immediately, it’s expected to bring up the issue again during a second meeting that started at 6 p.m.

The company offers sample chapter of its textbooks online. You can browse the chapter of the book in question below. After introductory notes, the excerpt from the actual textbook begins at page 10 of the document.

What do you think – is the textbook written in a neutral way or not?

Social Studies Alive: Our Community And Beyond_2010_SampleChapter