Reversing a district panel that had narrowly recommended the sixth edition of World Civilizations: The Global Experience for use in AP world history classes, the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees unanimously rejected the textbook for leaning too far to the left.
That's philosophically, not physically.
The board made the decision Wednesday after hearing from everyone from the book's publisher to a former George W. Bush assistant secretary for education.
Kate Miller of publisher Pearson had called World Civilizations one of the most widely used AP high school and college history texts in America, filled with the works of renowned experts in their fields.
The district board is not running away from World Civilizations, just the sixth edition, approving instead the fifth edition for use in the AP classes.
Of the later edition, Trustee Ellen Addonizio, who also sits on the review committee, said, “The bias was so overwhelming,” according to San Juan Capistrano Patch.com.
The review panel also included Bill Evers, the former Bush education official who is a current fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and the husband of Trustee Anna Bryson. He complained the textbook plays up Marxist ideas and downplays classical liberalism.
Evers also objected to the omission of several historical figures, including John Stuart Mill, Khayr al-Din al-Tunisi, Friedrich August Hayek, Edmund Burke, William Ewart Gladstone, Benjamin Constant, Alexis de Tocqueville and Milton Friedman.
Patch.com reports it received the following statement from World Civilizations lead author Peter Stearns following Wednesday's vote:
We have attempted to craft the book in a balanced fashion. It is a world history, which means that coverage does not center on the United States or just on U.S.-defined interests. We designate a number of modern political movements and changes for attention, including for example communism but also the fall of communism, the rise of conservative movements in several major countries in the 1980s, and so on. Again, no partisan agenda defined our coverage or our manner of presentation.