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State Evaluating Free Digital Texts; Deadline for Submissions is June 15

May 29, 2009

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell and the State Board of Education, in support of the Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Free Digital Textbook Initiative, announced this week that content developers of digital textbooks may submit materials to the California Learning Resources Network (CLRN) for review.

“The time has come for California to be the leader in promoting this effort, especially now when school districts are struggling to survive the current budget crisis,” O’Connell said.  “To help schools reduce expenses, we must determine whether free educational materials already found on the Internet are suitable for use by schools, teachers, and students and whether these digital textbooks are aligned to rigorous state standards.”

The goal of the review is to make available on the Web, a list of standards-aligned free digital textbooks for high schools that cover the course content in mathematics and science subject areas.  The submissions to be reviewed are basic student instructional materials that are intended as the primary resource for a course of study, commonly known as textbooks.

The mathematics materials must be aligned to California standards in geometry, Algebra II, trigonometry, or calculus.  The science materials must be aligned to the standards for physics, chemistry, biology/life sciences, or earth sciences, including the investigation and experimentation strand.  The standards for mathematics and science are available at http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/.

These materials will be reviewed by California teachers and experts in mathematics and science under the guidance of the California Department of Education (CDE), Office of the Secretary of Education, State Board of Education, and the CLRN.  The results of the review will be released on August 10, 2009 in time for the 2009-10 school year.

Content developers of digital materials will have to submit their digital textbooks and their standards maps by June 15, 2009.  All submissions must be sent to CLRN at http://www.clrn.org/publisher/.

For questions about the Free Digital Textbook Initiative review process, contact Tom Adams, Director of CDE’s Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division at 916-319-0881.  For questions about electronic materials, contact Cliff Rudnick, Administrator of CDE’s Education Technology Office at 916-323-5072.  For questions about submitting digital textbooks for review, please contact Brian Bridges of CLRN at 209-238-1420.