Texas is once again flexing its muscle in the textbook field. AEI shill points out the obvious:
Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute explains it as a simple economic calculation by the big textbook publishers. "Publishers are generally reticent to run two different versions of a textbook," he says. "You can imagine the headache the expense the logistics, the storage, all of it."
But that is, I think, pretty old school. There is nothing stopping other states and other school boards from demanding customized textbooks using the internet. You could very easily have two or more "texts" that are simply downloadable or printable-on-demand, from the internet. In fact that ought to be more cost effective all around.
If your school doesn't want a chapter on, you know, actual history, they can hit "XXXX--the bowlderized Texas version." If you want to be sure that your kids are taught evolution you can and should demand the "good chapters" for your kids. Let Texas wallow in their ignorance. We must not let our kids be dragged down by it.
If you have the time and energy to do it, get yourself elected to your local school board and start pushing for this kind of customization from the other side. This is a game that two can play. PZ, how about it? Lets have a national state's rights pro science textbook that is open source, downloadable, printed on demand and up to date. Let Howard Zinn map out the history version.