Monday, April 5, 2010

Textbook letter to Superintendent Hinojosa

The following letter of clarification was sent to Superintendent Michael Hinojosa by the President (K-12) of textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  It confirms the textbook selection process and the April 30, 2010 Texas Education Agency deadline for corrected books.


March 29, 2010

Dr. Hinojosa
Dallas Independent School District
3700 Ross Avenue
Dallas, TX 75204

Dear Dr. Hinojosa,

We understand that members of the Dallas Independent School District Central Committee were concerned about errors in our Spanish-language reading program, Senderos, and that, despite overwhelming teacher support for the program, the committee recommended another reading program. We respect and appreciate your concern, and guarantee you that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has corrected all errors noted by the Texas Education Agency.

It is important to note that the books which the Central Committee reviewed were first-round sample copies, not classroom copies—meaning they, were printed for evaluation purposes only. We anticipated that reviewers would make some suggestions, and that, after bilingual State Board of Education members approved those suggestions, we would print a second round of updated copies for classroom use.

We are making every effort to produce the most flawless and effective curriculum as soon as possible, and must submit a second round of corrected books to the Texas Education Agency by Friday, April 30. We will provide copies of these books to Dallas ISD this week. Any publisher that does not correct errors as requested in state adopted books is subject to large fines or possibly even replacing incorrect books, according to the Texas Education Code.

We value our longtime partnership with Dallas Independent School District, and like you, we consider it unacceptable for any student to use an incorrect textbook, regardless of his or her native language. We look forward to working with you to implement Senderos in classrooms district-wide, and hope that you are as pleased with this product as the others you have implemented in the past, including our Harcourt Clenclas program that is used in Dallas ISD.

It may also provide reassurance to know that many other Texas districts have adopted our reading programs, Journeys and Senderos, including San Antonio ISD, Northside ISD, Brownsville ISD, Pasadena ISD, Ft. Bend ISD, Lewisville ISD, Irving ISO, Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD, McAllen ISD, Amarillo ISD, and many others. In fact, most of these districts also adopted our programs K-12.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any questions or concerns you may have.


President, K-12