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Sarbanes' Measure Is Overkill, Study Says
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Sarbanes' Measure Is Overkill, Study Says

BY Donald Lambro

The Senate-passed bill to crack down on corporate auditing abuses has been condemned by a bipartisan group of economists, who say it will result in regulatory overkill that will enrich trial lawyers and heap huge costs on U.S. firms "with little likely benefit." The bill, which passed the Senate on Monday 97-0, "goes far beyond what is necessary" to prevent corporate fraud, the economists said in a lengthy study of its impact that was conducted for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A copy of the study, which has not been made public, was obtained yesterday by The Washington Times as the House reversed itself and passed criminal penalties for corporate fraud in the aftermath of the Senate's action. The House bill, overwhelmingly approved in a 391-28 vote, calls for criminal penalties and jail sentences for executives of publicly traded companies who deceive investors. The criminal-penalties provisions were not in the original bill the House passed in April. Yesterday's action was seen as a move by House Republicans to strengthen their hand when differences between the two bills must be ironed out in conference, which could happen by the end of the week. However, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's study questioned the effectiveness of recent legislation, saying that many of the provisions in the Senate bill authored by Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, Maryland Democrat, "go well beyond what is truly required to stem accounting and auditing abuses." While some aspects of the regulations "are advisable on economic grounds," many of the reforms "will likely impose significant new costs on American firms with little likely benefit. In addition, the new rules may significantly increase the exposure of firms and, particularly their managers, to litigation," the report said. In a separate broadside against the Senate bill, Paul Beckner, president of Citizens for a Sound Economy, said the Sarbanes bill was "a giveaway to a major financial backer of the Democrat Party - the trial lawyers." "All the Sarbanes legislation does is make it easier for class-action lawsuits to be filed against corporations," Mr. Beckner said. As for improving the ability of the government to uncover further corporate fraud, the chamber study said that "there is a strong possibility that the new rules will provide little help in sorting out the bad apples, in which case these extra costs would have little benefit." The Senate bill passed Monday would ban personal loans from companies to their top officials and directors, and would require company insiders to notify the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] more promptly when they buy or sell stock. The measure creates a new private-sector oversight board for the accounting industry with disciplinary powers, to replace the system in which the industry polices itself. The chamber study was written by economists Kevin A. Hassett and Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute, and Robert J. Shapiro, a former Democratic Leadership Council economist. Among their chief conclusions: *"The bill imposes potentially large ... costs on U.S. firms, costs that Congress has to date made no attempt to quantify." *"The bill could introduce new inefficiencies into the normal operations of businesses and potentially new distortions into the reporting of their financial condition." *"The bill would create a largely unprecedented and unconstrained bureaucracy, with unlimited taxing power and authority when what is required is to allow the SEC to pursue the authority it already has." *The bill "would enhance the power of Congress to influence the establishment of accounting principles - a route that will lead to far greater lack of investor confidence in the securities markets than we have seen thus far." The study concluded that "the Sarbanes bill - in the tangible and intangible costs it will impose on the economy - goes far beyond what is necessary to address the significant questions about the quality of accounting and auditing raised by the collapse of Enron and other companies." The White House opposes the Sarbanes bill in its present form, charging that the new auditing oversight board it would create will overlap with the regulatory jurisdiction of the SEC. "What you would end up with is turf wars, finger pointing and things falling through the cracks," said White House economic adviser Lawrence Lindsey. Under the Sarbanes bill "the board would have much broader jurisdiction that would include getting involved in securities fraud, and we think the SEC should be the one that handles that. The Sarbanes bill muddies the waters," he said.

07/17/2002
Government Meddling Greater Threat to Social Security Reform than Corporate Misdeeds
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Press Release

Government Meddling Greater Threat to Social Security Reform than Corporate Misdeeds

Because Republicans have been reluctant to discuss the issue of Social Security reform – particularly in the context of the 2002 midterm elections – the relationship between the declining stock market and proposals for personal retirement accounts has been an afterthought. Democrats may incorporate the supposed dangers of Social Security “privatization” into their “Republicans are too cozy with corporate crooks” election theme, but beyond that scarcely a word has been spoken about the relation between the two.

07/16/2002
People in Glass Houses
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Press Release

People in Glass Houses

For the first 18 years of his congressional career Dick Gephardt (D-MO) served in the majority. According to Gephardt’s own official web site, “as a House freshman, he was given the rare opportunity of serving on both the Ways and Means and Budget Committees, where he quickly became a national leader on health care, trade, and tax fairness.” Apparently, Gephardt considers himself something of a leader on national economic policy.

07/16/2002
Washington vs. Wall Street: Will New Rules Boost the Market?
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Press Release

Washington vs. Wall Street: Will New Rules Boost the Market?

This week, the Senate passed a bill creating more layers of oversight for corporate accounting while President Bush has announced tough new standards of corporate accountability. Unfortunately, the current rush for more regulation and increased federal oversight of market activity raises a number of questions while offering few solutions. It is not likely that political wrangling will have much effect on stock market jitters. If anything, excessive new regulations could hamper the workings of the equity markets without generating new information that is useful to investors or that boosts confidence in markets. Rather than more legislation or regulatory controls on accounting practices, a better approach would examine the fundamentals of the current market.

07/16/2002
Confirmation Of Smith May Herald End Of Judicial Nominee Gridlock
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Confirmation Of Smith May Herald End Of Judicial Nominee Gridlock

The Washington Times (7/16, Hudson) reports, "The gridlock over President Bush's judicial nominees eased yesterday with the confirmation of Judge Lavenski R. Smith to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the first action growing from a deal struck last week between Republicans and Democrats. Judge Smith of Arkansas was confirmed by the Senate on a voice vote, after senators backed a measure to vote on his confirmation by a 94-3 margin. Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, tentatively agreed to hold votes on judges in exchange for Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, Mississippi Republican, releasing his hold on the nomination of Jonathan Adelstein, an aide to Mr. Daschle, for the Federal Communications Commission. . However, the objections of Sen. John McCain over a particular nominee are forcing Republicans and Democrats to proceed at a snail's pace to confirm 70 stalled candidates. . While Judge Smith was confirmed without conflict, the nomination of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla R. Owen to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court came under fire yesterday. Her first committee hearing is set for Thursday. . Liberal special interest groups held a press conference criticizing the nominee, immediately followed by conservative groups defending her as a fair and qualified candidate. . The groups, which include the National Organization for Women, the AFL-CIO and Planned Parenthood, want Democrats to reject the nomination." Coalition Decries Liberal Groups' Criticism of Owen. The Houston Chronicle/AP (7/16) reports, "The U.S. Senate should not allow any 'left-wing activist groups to hijack' the confirmation process of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, President Bush's nominee for a federal appeals court, several groups said Monday. 'She's just, very simply, an excellent, an extremely well-qualified and a very liked judge,' said Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel of Liberty Legal Institute, which says it specializes in the defense of religious freedoms and First Amendment rights. . Bush has nominated Owen for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which decides appeals from federal courts in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. A hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled for Thursday. Shackelford made his comments Monday as his and other groups pledged their support for Owen after a coalition of labor, consumer and women's rights groups last week labeled Owen an 'ultraconservative activist' who opposes consumer and reproductive rights. The groups last week pledged to battle Owen's confirmation. . Among the groups Monday that held the news conference in support of Owen's nomination were the Texas Justice Foundation, Free Market Foundation, Liberty Legal Institute, the Texas chapter of Concerned Women for America, Texas Eagle Forum, the Texas Home School Coalition, the Texas Christian Coalition, the Young Conservatives of Texas and Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy."

07/16/2002
Department of Homeland Security, Meet Government Bureaucracy
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Press Release

Department of Homeland Security, Meet Government Bureaucracy

This Week – Homeland Security continues to dominate the House as nearly a dozen committees submitted their suggestions to a Select Committee that is working to create a bill implementing President Bush’s vision of a new Department. In the meantime the House is also moving through the Appropriations bills. This week they expect to have four on the floor – Interior, Agriculture, Legislative Branch and Treasury, Postal.

07/15/2002
Why Volunteers Enlist In Textbook Wars
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Why Volunteers Enlist In Textbook Wars

BY Jim Suydam

Unemployed consultant Bill Peacock is a foot soldier in the seasonal clash of cultures that marks the state's adoption of textbooks. Driven by what he saw as an anti-business, anti-Christian bias in the textbook publishing industry, Peacock is taking advantage of time between jobs to scour seven proposed economics textbooks on behalf of the group Citizens for a Sound Economy. "Some of the things I've seen in textbooks have kind of made me stop and pause," Peacock said, referring to passages that he says speak kindly of socialism and communism. One example: a sentence in a social studies book for sixth-graders stating that in a socialist system, the government runs companies "for the good of the people, not profit." Like Peacock, Austin attorney Phil Durst is also volunteering to hit the books children may end up reading. Durst, however, is motivated by the hundreds of people screening books for groups such as Citizens for a Sound Economy. "The religious right continues to use its political clout to make textbooks more religious and conservative," said Durst, who will be reviewing books for the Texas Freedom Network. Hundreds of other people, from a variety of backgrounds and political stripes, are doing the same in preparation for Wednesday, when the State Board of Education will hold its first public hearing on more than 150 proposed social studies and history books. Those books are approved every six years. In other years, the state considers other subjects. The board will approve the textbooks in November and will purchase 4,681,500 of them for the state's schoolchildren to use next school year. The stakes are high for textbook publishers as well. The state will spend $344.7 million on the textbooks up for review, and because Texas is the nation's second-largest textbook consumer, what publishers produce for the Texas market is what children in many other states are likely to read. Different causes Among the concerned parties is a coalition of eight nonprofit groups, who have a crew of volunteer textbook screeners working for the only pay they get: little gems of perceived bias or incorrect information mined from hours of digging through textbooks hundreds of pages long. The coalition, organized by Citizens for a Sound Economy, includes the Eagle Forum, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Gabler Group and the Reason Foundation. Also involved in the review is the Texas Federation of Republican Women. The Texas Public Policy Foundation, another pro-business, limited-government advocacy group, hired 16 scholars to review texts. Peggy Venable, director of Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy, said reviewers are drawn by a common interest. "Really, who's mostly involved are parents and taxpayers who want to make sure what we feel is important is in there," Venable said. "We've got some people who don't know where to start. We've got experts; some are experts in the Civil War -- or 'the war between the states,' as they like to call it -- some are experts in the Second Amendment. We've got teachers who will be teaching from these books." Venable said reviewers such as Peacock aren't given marching orders, but they are given extensive readings on how to spot bias and review U.S. history material, among other things. About 100 volunteers from the Texas Freedom Network, a group that seeks to maintain a separation of church and state, are also screening textbooks -- with the goal of simply being prepared to object to changes suggested by the other groups. "For too many years now, a small but vocal group of people has controlled the textbook adoption process in Texas," said Samantha Publishers prepare All sides in the Texas textbook battle claim popular support. All sides claim the moral high ground. And publishers must listen to everyone involved as they work to get their draft books approved, said Wendy Spiegel, a spokeswoman for Pearson Prentice Hall. "They all deserve to be heard," she said. "Texas requires it." For the textbook publishing industry, this is a dicey time of the year, said Joe Bill Watkins, an Austin lawyer who represents the American Association of Publishers. About 80 percent of the work on a textbook is done before a publisher can go before the state board to try to make the sale. Unsuccessfully negotiating the ideological minefield that is the state's textbook adoption process can be costly, he said. "Most of these publishers have been in the business for decades. They are businesspeople, not ideologues," he said. "They realize that they cannot meet every viewpoint, but they try to present materials that cover what lawmakers say Texas schoolchildren should learn, and they try to present materials that are factually accurate and balanced." In 1995, legislators passed a law attempting to hobble the social activists who have made the adoption of Texas textbooks a priority in their annual efforts. The law states that the board could reject books only if the books fail to cover the material state lawmakers say must be taught or if the books have physical defects or factual inaccuracies. That law hasn't dampened anyone's enthusiasm, however. Already, publishers have shown that they are listening. Some have sent early copies of their texts to groups such as Citizens for a Sound Economy, soliciting their views and making changes. And Pearson Prentice Hall has pulled one book from consideration. "Out of Many," an advanced-placement U.S. history text that Pearson Prentice Hall sells to many colleges, was pulled after Grace Shore, chairwoman of the State Board of Education, noticed a passage about rampant prostitution in Wild West towns. Shore said she felt the mention of prostitution wasn't appropriate for juniors in high school. Most problems that have been brought forward so far are much less sexy, but no less contentious. In one book that Peacock reviewed, the author explains socialism to 12-year-olds: "In a socialist system, the government owns most of the basic industries. It runs them for the good of the people, not profit," according to Pearson Prentice Hall's sixth-grade social studies offering, "World Explorer: People, Places and Cultures." Embedded in these two sentences are two reasons Peacock is spending his free time reading textbooks when he and his wife don't yet have any children. Peacock, who holds an MBA but considers economics a hobby, says the phrasing implies that for-profit industries cannot be run for the good of the people. The statement also assumes that a socialist government can actually use property for the good of the people, "when, in fact, that this is what is at the heart of the debate over socialism," he said. That example also points to the larger issue that makes this year's textbook battle one of the most contentious ever, according to publishing insiders: Although members of the State Board of Education can give a thumbs down only because of factual or manufacturing errors, there are often no right or wrong answers in social studies and history.

07/15/2002
Groups Support Texas Supreme Court Priscilla Owen Nomination to Fifth Circuit
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Groups Support Texas Supreme Court Priscilla Owen Nomination to Fifth Circuit

A diverse collection of individuals and groups will hold a press conference on the steps of the Texas Supreme Court Building, on Monday, July 15, at 10 a.m. They will announce their unanimous support for the nomination of President George W. Bush of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Those announcing their support are: Texas Justice Foundation; Free Market Foundation; Liberty Legal Institute; Becky Farrar, Concerned Women for America/Texas; Cathie Adams, President of Texas Eagle Forum; Tim Lambert, President of Texas Home School Coalition; Texas Christian Coalition; Mark Levin, Young Conservatives of Texas; and Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy. These groups will announce that they concur in the judgment of the American Bar Association and President Bush that Justice Owen is a "highly qualified" candidate for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. While not agreeing with every decision Justice Owen has ever rendered, these groups agree with the people of Texas who have elected her to the Texas Supreme Court that she is a highly qualified, independent mainstream justice. The groups will also announce their condemnation of liberal special interests groups who oppose her nomination. Texas Justice Foundation CEO & Founder, Allan E. Parker, stated: "The liberal special interest groups who oppose Justice Owen are demonstrating that they are out of touch with mainstream Texans and have no respect for the people of Texas. Justice Owen has been endorsed by the people of Texas and the majority of newspaper editors in this State as a highly qualified Justice. To say that she is not qualified is an attack on the judgment of the people of Texas." The Senate and the Senate Democrats should respect the will of the people of Texas and their judgment as to judicial qualifications. These non-partisan groups support high quality judges like Ms. Owen, no matter what party affiliation. For instance, each of the groups would strongly support former Texas Supreme Court Justice Raul Gonzalez, a Democrat, for either the Fifth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court. "The fact that the extreme left has set its sights on such a fair and qualified judge as Justice Owen demonstrates the depths to which the confirmation process has sunk. There is no basis for their attacks," said Shackelford, chief counsel for the Liberty Legal Institute. "Apparently, instead of judicial qualifications, the only qualification that the extreme left demands in a judge is mindless adherence to their left-wing activist agenda. If the Senate begins rejecting judges of Justice Owen's caliber, the confirmation process will be reduced to a game of raw political power, permanently damaging our system of justice," said Shackelford.

07/15/2002
Groups Announce Support of Owen Nomination
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Groups Announce Support of Owen Nomination

BY Natalie Gott

The U.S. Senate should not allow any "left wing activist groups to hijack" the confirmation process of Texas Supreme Court Justice Priscilla Owen, President Bush's nominee for a federal appeals court, several groups said Monday. "She's just, very simply, an excellent, an extremely well qualified, and a very liked judge," said Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel of Liberty Legal Institute, which says it specializes in the defense of religious freedoms and First Amendment rights. Bush has nominated Owen for the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which decides appeals from federal courts in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. A hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled for Thursday. Shackelford made his comments Monday as his and other groups pledged their support for Owen after a coalition of labor, consumer and women's rights groups last week labeled Owen an "ultraconservative activist" who opposes consumer and reproductive rights. The groups last week pledged to battle Owen's confirmation the U.S. Senate. Owen's supporters say she received a unanimous "well-qualified" rating from the American Bar Association and that she faced little opposition in her state judicial elections and was elected overwhelmingly. Groups that opposed Owen's nomination are showing that they are out of step with Texas values, said Allan Parker, the chief executive officer for the Texas Justice Foundation. "We feel those liberal special interest groups have no respect for the judgment of the people of Texas when they attack their Supreme Court justice and say she is not qualified," said Parker, whose group says it provides free legal representation in cases to protect individual rights, limit government and promote a better business climate. Shackelford said the only basis for the attacks by the groups is that Owen "won't legislate their left-wing political agenda from the bench." The criticism Owen has received comes because she has tried to interpret laws passed by the Texas Legislature, which has been somewhat conservative, Shackelford said. The coalition against Owen said last week that her opinions on the state Supreme Court, where Owen has served since 1995, are anti-consumer. They also criticized her rulings against young women who seek to bypass the state's parental notification law for minor seeking abortions. Cris Feldman, a staff attorney for Texans for Public Justice, which opposes Owen's nomination, said Owen's published opinions reveal an "extremist and activist by any measure" and said her defenders consist of a who's who of the "right-wing fringe." "Furthermore, she is inefficient in processing her caseload and she repeatedly goes out of her way to protect large special interests," Feldman said. Owen's office referred calls seeking comment to the U.S. Justice Department, where Monica Goodling said Owen would be an excellent federal judge. Among the groups Monday that held the news conference to say they support Owen's nomination were the Texas Justice Foundation; Free Market Foundation; Liberty Legal Institute; the Texas chapter of Concerned Women for America; Texas Eagle Forum; the Texas Home School Coalition; the Texas Christian Coalition; the Young Conservatives of Texas; and Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy.

07/15/2002
Books Face Gantlet of Reviews, Ideology
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Books Face Gantlet of Reviews, Ideology

BY Matt Frazier

A battle begins in Austin on Wednesday that will influence the education of children in Texas and throughout the nation. The State Board of Education is kicking off a series of public hearings to gather opinions before choosing which social studies books will shape Texas' children's views of history and the world around them. Seventy organizations and individuals already have signed up to speak. Some political and education analysts say the outcome will be a key test of Texas' textbook selection process. They want to see whether the state board can put aside party politics, absorb a barrage of opinions from lobbyists and choose the most accurate, complete textbooks. Because Texas is the nation's second-largest purchaser of textbooks, the board's decision will affect the education of students throughout the nation. Books approved in Texas are virtually assured some financial success and often are shipped to schools in other states. The Texas Public Policy Foundation, a key player in past textbook debates, says it has discovered 553 errors in the recommended books, as well as hundreds of cases where key historical figures and events were misrepresented or ignored. Publishers eager to earn the $344.7 million Texas will spend on books this year have already been working with such concerned groups to correct factual errors and consider possible revisions to make the texts more acceptable. The Texas Freedom Network has launched an "I Object!" campaign, claiming groups such as the foundation will try to censor texts and impose conservative and religious agendas on the new textbooks. Groups such as the foundation, however, counter that the Texas Freedom Network is pushing its own liberal viewpoints. Education board members say that despite the politics and rhetoric, the result of the review process has been steady improvement in textbook quality. Bill Miller, a lobbyist and political consultant, said there's little question that the review process has helped catch errors before they make it to classrooms. "Whether it has gone too far - I think we are bordering on that," Miller said. "That would be damaging to education." Constant battles In the past, groups have complained about how textbooks portray a variety of subjects, including God, sex, slavery, evolution, patriotism and gender bias. The constant battles prompted state legislators in 1995 to limit the State Board of Education's textbook selection powers. The board cannot directly alter textbook content but can reject books because of errors or failure to follow the state curriculum. Groups such as the Texas Freedom Network have complained that conservatives and religious right groups have had too much influence on textbooks. Those complaints came to a head last year when the Texas Public Policy Foundation and other conservative lobbying groups said a proposed environmental science book unfairly portrayed the significance of acid rain, deforestation, global warming and other environmental issues. The state board voted along party lines to reject the book. Republican board members say they and Democrats were elected to represent their constituents' wishes in educating their children. Because Republicans have had control over the board since 1996, more conservative, patriotic philosophies have appeared in textbooks, they say. "We are just trying to do our jobs and make sure we have accurate, error-free textbooks in our children's hands," said education board member David Bradley, a Republican. "I think we've seen vast improvement in our textbooks." Although Republicans outnumber Democrats, board member Rene Nunez, a Democrat, said there is enough philosophical diversity on the board to keep textbooks from following extreme agendas. "I think it's worked, contentwise," Nunez said. "The textbooks are improving." Hundreds of errors Famed African-American Rosa Parks made headlines in the 1950s when she took a seat in the middle section of a public bus where blacks and whites were allowed to sit together. Or, at least that's what Texas students would learn from one of the textbooks proposed this year, according to the Texas Public Policy Foundation. In fact, there were no such bus sections, and Parks made headlines by sitting in the whites-only area. This year, the state seeks to update textbooks for a variety of high school subjects under the broad heading of "social studies," including U.S. history, comparative government and politics, human geography, psychology and sociology. English and Spanish textbooks for elementary and middle school also are being reviewed. All but one proposed text passed preliminary state review this year. The San Antonio-based foundation asked 16 university professors and public school teachers to study how well proposed replacement texts meet state essential knowledge and skills requirements. Including Rosa Parks' bus seating error, the organization said it discovered 553 errors in the books and hundreds of instances where key historical figures and events are misrepresented or ignored. After spending almost $100,000 on the three-month review project, the organization does not think any of the proposed books deserves to be removed from the state's acceptable list. But the group believes changes must be made. "We gave our reviews to the publishers about two weeks ago," said Chris Patterson, director of education research for the foundation. "If it is possible, we hope some can add material to make their textbooks more historically comprehensive." Texas Citizens for a Sound Economy also is collecting a list of mistakes. The group says it rejects revisionist history, anti-free market, anti-American sentiment and "politically correct textbooks" that promote student advocacy. April Hattori, spokeswoman for education book publisher Glenco/McGraw Hill, said the company is studying some of the reviews and is "very willing and happy" to correct factual errors in its book samples, but that content is guided overall by educational experts and Texas requirements. But the Texas Freedom Network argues that, for many conservative groups, complaining about mistakes and balance is cover for a deeper agenda. "We are seeing the same thing this year we saw last year," said Ashley McIlvain, spokeswoman for the network. "Groups certainly did identify factual errors. But when it came right down to it, they were rejecting books based on philosophical objections they had with the author." Richard Kouri, spokesman for the Texas State Teachers Association, agreed. "Politics is being interjected," Kouri said. "What we are going to be watching this time is how successful this new attack strategy is going to be. Is the board going to start knocking off three, four or five books at a time, or forcing companies to go back and rewrite books in order for them to have a chance to be adopted by local school districts?" Matt Frazier, (817) 548-5403 mfrazier@star-telegram.com State textbook review panel Texas is one of 22 mostly Southern states that use a statewide textbook adoption process. The process begins with the State Board of Education issuing a proclamation to publishers that details the subject areas for review, content needed to meet state requirements, the maximum acceptable per-student costs and the estimated number of books required. Members of the state textbook review panel search for factual errors while determining whether the proposed texts cover knowledge and skills deemed essential by the state. Based on these evaluations, the commissioner of education prepares a preliminary report detailing which textbooks should be placed on the conforming list, nonconforming list or be rejected. School districts choose books from the conforming list. The board then conducts public hearings in Austin on Wednesday, Aug. 23, Sept. 11 and Nov. 14. A final decision is expected Nov. 14. Public hearing The first public hearing on proposed textbooks is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday in Room 1-104 of the William B. Travis Building, 1701 N. Congress Ave. in Austin. It is too late to register to speak at this hearing. Those interested in speaking at subsequent hearings may fill out a registration form at the board's Web site at www.tea.state.tx.us/sboe/input/register.html.

07/14/2002

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