Committee News

Committee on Education in the News releases an Anti Academics Report

The contents of this Committee News are provided to the press on the first or second day of every september. These are issues that have been reported since september 1. Most issues are forwarded by the PR executives of the parties involved. To ensure a timely release of the relevant information to the media, the Chairperson of the Committee will travel to the location of the media inquiry and participate in the program.

The subject of discussion in this Committee News is the “Banned Books in New York State.” This Committee’s work is to examine the state of the industry which is engaged in the sales of printed matter which may be construed to endorse terrorism or to promote illegal activities. Since September 1, the State of New York has been working to implement a system to ban books which have been determined to be supportive of terrorism. The Department of State and the New York State Department of Education are responsible for co-coordinating the work of the Committee and the public on this issue.

The work of the Committee was triggered by the controversial publication of the “Banned Books in New York” list. There were numerous complaints about the conduct of the publishers and booksellers on the part of the State of New York. It was determined that the publishers had in some cases advertised the titles as “banned books in New York” when they had in fact only received a written request from a foreign publisher for the publication to be lawful. It was further noted that there had been lapses in the responses made by the State to requests for confirmation of the list. The Committee on Economic Development recommended that immediate steps be taken by both the State of New York and the New York State Department of Education to institute safeguards and controls to mitigate future problems that could arise as a result of the breadth of the previous Banned Books list.

At this point, the bookstores have reported brisk sales following the release of the report. The Publisher’s of the various publishing houses agreed that it is important to respond promptly to requests for clarifications and to ensure that the State’s efforts to prevent contraband books are effective. The Publisher’s agreed that future reports and actions will address concerns with regard to compliance with the law and its efforts to maintain a consistent Bookstore Code of Conduct. Additionally, a number of the Publisher’s expressed their willingness to work cooperatively with the Committee on Economic Development to increase training programs for employees dealing with the purchase, sale and distribution of textbooks in New York State.

Concerns were also raised about the possibility of increased costs associated with the enforcement of the laws on the sale of textbooks in New York State. According to the Publishers Association, a recent study estimates that the imposition of the new rules could cost the State approximately $150 million dollars over five years. Many publishers also reported financial hardship resulting from having to implement a system that is not in their favor. Some of the most prominent booksellers took the stance that the current legislation is an attempt by the State to control the marketplace and stifle free speech. The Association of American Publishers also pointed out that many publishers could be forced to close their stores if the laws were not changed.

Although the Press Releases issued by the Committee on Education in the News were well-written and provided plenty of information, some people were left wondering why the Committee chose to focus on the economy rather than the state of our nation. While economic issues are a very important concern, the goal should always be education. As educators we have a duty to the American People to provide them with the information necessary to make sound decisions regarding education. As teachers we know that our job is to teach and we believe that all of us have a duty to share knowledge and ideas that will lead to successful lives. Please consider this in 2021.