“In the peculiar world of textbook publishing, it is commonplace for states to require that their textbooks have a current date, so that parents can be assured that their children are reading up-to-the-minute information. No one, it seems, wants a history textbook that is five years old, even if the revised edition has nothing more than a tacked-on chapter about the events of the past few years and fleeting references to the most recent president. The demand for a recent publication date compels publishers to revise their history textbooks, even if only superficially, every few years. This makes textbooks very expensive to produce and minimizes competition by raising the cost of doing business.”
Ravitch, Diane. The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn. New York: Knopf, 2003. Print. 103-104.
Student Writing Sample
In a critique of the American textbook industry, Diane Ravitch explains that rules requiring a current date for all textbooks in certain states lead to superficial revisions by publishers and less competition among them because of the costs associated with constantly producing new editions (103-104).