Note to self-righteous public school advocates: Stop whining about homeschoolers and try outlawing the corrupt, worthless textbook publishing industry if you want your children to actually learn something.
Textbooks are a core part of the curriculum, as crucial to the teacher as a blueprint is to a carpenter, so one might assume they are conceived, researched, written, and published as unique contributions to advancing knowledge. In fact, most of these books fall far short of their important role in the educational scheme of things. They are processed into existence using the pulp of what already exists, rising like swamp things from the compost of the past. The mulch is turned and tended by many layers of editors who scrub it of anything possibly objectionable before it is fed into a government-run “adoption” system that provides mediocre material to students of all ages. [http://www.edutopia.org/muddle-machine]
Textbook publishers are hopelessly mired in a discredited twentieth-century business model. From their phony “reference book” veneer acquired through sheer bulk and trolling for prestigious authors, to their practice of recycling old text, to the corrupt adoption system, textbook publishers are definitely the anchor on the modern US public education industry. They should be completely cut off and abolished.
All of the other bad things about public education could be corrected with enough political will at the school board level and enough honest teachers. At least the public school systems could function adequately as daycare centers, welfare agencies, sports clubs, and reading rooms. The bad textbooks, however, cause public schools to actually suck knowledge out of children.