The Paper Trail

The Paper Trail

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Texas state Textbook commission social studies changes

The Washington Post has an article about the Texas state social studies textbook changes. In the Texas textbook Commision mandates debate, there's an interesting comment from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt:
One publisher said Tuesday that changes in technology, including the introduction of online components, make it easier and cheaper to tailor textbooks to specific states and requirements, and downplayed the impact that Texas's decisions would have on the rest of the country.

"We now have the ability to deliver completely customized content" to different states, said Joseph Blumenfeld, spokesman for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, one of three major publishers that supply Texas with most of its social studies textbooks.

I think this is a bit of an exaggeration by the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt spokesman--he's not saying whether HMH has already coded passages of their books for Texas or other states. (Most of these books started as SGML-encoded electronic texts and are undoubtedly now XML texts, but this kind of writing demands that the sections be hand-coded.)

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