Last week I received the evaluation report from Curriculum Services Canada for “Economics for Canadians.” The good news? The evaluators stressed that the book was of excellent quality overall. The bad news? Due to concerns regarding issues of bias and sensitivity, the book was not recommended for inclusion on the Trillium List.
Sadly, I am not allowed to share the evaluation report in full, as despite my having had to pay CSC to prepare the report, it is the property of the Ministry of Education of Ontario and is confidential. I wish it weren’t because the report is overwhelmingly positive concerning the book’s content, methodology, and assessment. As my proofreader put it to me after handing back the manuscript, students using the book will understand what economics is about and will be well-prepared to study it at the university level.
While I am disappointed that the book will not be on the Trillium List I also feel that the bias and sensitivity issues raised in the report are somewhat frivolous. Understandably, the Ministry is extremely cautious about ensuring that nothing it approves could lead to accusations of bias or insensitivity. However, as my graphic designer and style editor (who is herself quite aware of matters of sensitivity and bias) did not find anything objectionable in the book I continue to feel confident recommending the book be used with Ontario students.
As I will be distributing the book liberally at both the OBEA and OHASSTA conferences this fall I hope that as many interested teachers as possible will have the opportunity to see the book and judge for themselves. In the end, it is the responsibility of teachers to select the materials which best fit the learning needs of their students.
I attach below the letter from the Ministry for your perusal. The bias and sensitivity issues raised by the Curriculum Services Canada evaluators can be found on the “Errors and Corrections” page of this website.