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article imageTexas math books contain 109,263 errors

By Chris V. Thangham     Nov 16, 2007 in World
Reviewers have found 109,263 errors in sample copies of math textbooks to be used in classrooms in the 2008 fall semester in Texas. If the printed books show any errors, the board of education fines at $5,000 per error.
The San Antonia Express News reported that text book reviewers from the State Board of Education found 109,263 errors. These books will be available next fall in Texas schools.
The errors are spread out over 164 textbooks and online materials are blamed on faulty translation from English to Spanish. But any translation machine would have no problems translating the numbers, so that excuse is weak (maybe they should attribute the errors to carelessness).
For example, one of the second grade math books contains simple errors such as 4+7=10. Other errors are found in answers to end of chapter quizzes.
The books' publishers are lucky to have been caught with errors this early; if the books had been printed and distributed to the Texas State Board of Education, the publishers would have been fined $5,000 per error. That would have been $500 million in penalties if all the 109,263 errors were printed in the books. Instead, the publishers will have enough time to correct these mistakes before they print and distribute.
Houghton Mifflin Co. is one publisher involved in this comedy of errors. Reports indicate the company is responsible for 79 per cent of the errors.
Anita Givens, senior director of educational technology at the Texas Education Agency, said in the years past they had no problems like this. In 2005, they found just one error after the books was released to the school.
In my opinion, the publishers should add a math checker feature in addition to the spell check for the future.
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