Unreliable References This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Many students unknowinglyface an obstacle that hinders their education: inaccurate textbooks. Thisproblem, often unnoticed, plagues schools throughout the nation. Since theseunreliable resources can hinder students in their education, textbooks must bethoroughly examined before using them.

Defective textbooks are detrimentalto students since they negatively affect them, especially during standardizedtests. For example, a person studying for a test may review the textbook, followit and apply erroneous information, so he or she will be severely affected onthat test.

Students must be provided with textbooks that carry accurateinformation. Defective ones lead to the long-term memorization of errors. Acollege student may remember wrong information from a high school textbook andapply this to his or her college work!

Inaccurate textbooks also affectstudents in their homework and class work. Recently, a student using a chemistrybook learned that the trusted book had several errors. The homework problems onwhich he laboriously worked were useless because of the faulty information.

Often, teachers inform students of obvious mistakes in textbooks, butinexperienced teachers may not know to warn students. Last year, a substituteteacher gave my class an assignment that many students failed to understand.Students who followed the textbook's information scored poorly and failed tounderstand the material. The textbook was outdated and full of mistakes, but thestudents held no fault in using their "reliable" sources. A studentshould be able to use a textbook with confidence that the book is reliable andits information accurate.

Incorrect information in textbooks can causeshort-term and long-term difficulties in schoolwork. School boards must ensurethat the books used are up-to-date and thoroughly edited. When mistakes arefound, teachers are responsible for acknowledging these errors, informingstudents, and correcting the faults. Multiple errors in books are signs ofcarelessness, and the references should not be accepted.

Textbooks arethe foundation of a student's knowledge on a subject. If the foundation is notsound, the knowledge will be unstable. The board of education is responsible forensuring that textbooks are updated and reliable sources for the education ofmillions of students.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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