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McGraw-Hill Says It’s “Done Enough” To Fix Problems With Calling Slaves “Workers” While Refusing Reprints Undermines Validity

October 12, 2015

McGraw-Hill became the target of online ire after a parent posted about how the textbook called slaves “workers” in the agricultural industry. You can read the post about The Problem With Rewriting History here.

In an update, McGraw Hill has stated that they have “addressed the issue” adequately, and they have no further responsibility, ostensibly blaming reviewers, not the McGraw Hill team, for not picking up this epic historical rewrite sooner:

In his response on the segment, Levin said he doesn’t think his company needs to take any further steps to rectify their wrongdoing.

“Frankly, we think that we’ve addressed the underlying issue,” Levin told HuffPost Live. He said that he doesn’t deny that the text was problematic, and that he “would firmly rebut any belief that we sugarcoat or downplay the role of slavery in the United States.”

Redd asked Levin how such an egregious error even made it to the printed pages considering that the company has an extensive review process of internal and external educators and experts. Levin did not respond directly, nor in detail, he simply said that the process is transparent and open to the public, adding that the book’s content was posted online over a year ago.

“In the context of this book, it was made available in April of [2014] for consideration,” Levin said. “During the open consultation… there were hundreds of comments that came to us from individuals who chose to engage. So we have a transparent, open, public process around that.”


Here is the problem with “addressing the underlying issue”– it doesn’t serve as means of addressing the real issue, which is that a textbook manufacturer “re-wrote history” with mistakes and then refused to issue a reprint; that undermines content validity. In addition, while the reviewers may not have caught the language, and even if they did, if there is such a large factual discrepancy, McGraw HIll makes no effort to fix the text in the actual book, again undermining its own factual validity.

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