California Textbook Reviews


Beginning in May 2017, Truth in Textbooks volunteers began reviewing 28 K-8 social studies textbooks that were submitted by the publishers for consideration for approval by the State Board of Education.

Two products were products were produced.  The first was the “Report Card” and the second are the detailed reports. 


Truth in Textbooks assigned grades, Good, Acceptable, Poor or Unacceptable on these textbooks based upon the number of omission of facts, imbalance of material, bias, half-truths and agenda based “opinions disguised as facts” found by TNT reviewers.

The Report Card consists of the “grades” of each textbooks along with the major themes found among the errors on the front page.  The back page is full of examples of the worst examples of errors in the textbooks that illustrate why some were not rated “poor” or “unacceptable”.

The Report Card is designed to be used by parents, concerned citizens or education activists to lobby local school boards with a simple to read and understand “Report Card”.  When testifying before local school boards, it is recommended to take the Report Card and make copies for each of the school officials you wish to talk with or testify in front of. Determine which books are being considered and if they are on the list below.

If the books are under consideration and are rated as “poor” or “unacceptable”, then have the specific reports printed out for those textbooks and present them to the school officials with the recommendation to not approve.  Remind the officials that books that are approved that are poor or unacceptable could be used by political opponents in upcoming elections…use the most egregious errors found on the back of the Report Card

California Report Card 2017

To provide detail on what is in Report Card, full reports of all of the textbooks reviewed are found below.  They are color coded with “Good” books=blue link, “Acceptable” books=green link, “Poor”=violet link and “Unacceptable”=Red Link

This summary is even more extensive and should be looked at when testifying before any school officials.

The second product produced are the individual reviews/critiques for each of the 29 social studies textbooks that can be viewed by clicking on the links below.  They are organized by grade level and the colors indicate the grade TNT assigned to them. Click on the links to view the full report.


American Legacy Publishing Grade K Studies Weekly, CA Edition (2017)  Unacceptable

Grade 2

Pearson California History-Social Science myWorld Interactive Grade 2 ©2019 Poor

Grade 3

Teachers’ Curriculum Institute/Grade 3/Social Studies Live! California’s Communities/2017 Unacceptable

Grade 4

McGraw Hill Grade 4 IMPACT: California Social Studies, 2019 Unacceptable

Grade 5

Studies Weekly Grade 5 Ancient America to Westward Expansion, CA Edition (2017) Unacceptable

Teacher’s Curriculum Institute/Grade 5 Social Studies Alive! America’s Past, CA Ed. (2017) Acceptable

Pearson – MyWorld Interactive – Grade 5 – CA Edition – 2017 Acceptable

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Kids Discover California Social Studies, Grade 5 Acceptable

McGraw Hill IMPACT: California Social Studies, 5th Grade, US History: Making a New Nation/2009 Acceptable

Grade 6

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Kids Discover California Social Studies:  Grade 6 (2017) Acceptable

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Social Studies World History:  Ancient Civilizations, Grade 6, Ca edition (2017) Acceptable

McGraw Hill, Grade 6 Impact World History & Geography, Ancient Civilizations, Student Edition & Inquiry Journal, and Impact California Social Studies Weekly Explorer Magazine, 2019 Acceptable

National Geographic Cengage World History: Ancient Civilizations (CA edition) Grade 6 ©2017 Acceptable

Pearson/Grade 6/My World Interactive Ancient Civilizations/CA Edition (2018) Unacceptable

Teachers’ Curriculum Institute, History Alive! California Series, Grade 6, 2017 Good


Grade 7 Medieval History

Discovery Education/Grade 7/Medieval & Early Modern World History/2017 Unacceptable

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt World History: Medieval and Early Modern Times, CA Social Studies Grade 7 ©2017 Poor

McGraw Hill Grade 7 World History and Geography: Medieval and Early Modern Times Unacceptable

National Geographic Cengage World History: Medieval and Early Modern Times (Grade 7 CA edition) ©2018 Good

Pearson California History-Social Science: myWorld Interactive, Grade 7 World History: Medieval & Early Modern Times (2017) Unacceptable

Teacher’s Curriculum Institute Grade 7 History Alive! The Medieval World & Beyond, CA Edition Good

Grade 8 US History/Geography

Discovery Education/Grade 8/United States History/California Edition (2017)

First Choice Education; Grade 8; E Pluribus Unum: The American Pursuit of Liberty, Growth, and Equality, 1750–1900, CA Edition (2017) Poor

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt United States History Beginnings to 1914, Grade 8 CA Edition, ©2019 Poor

McGraw Hill California Impact US History & Geography: Growth & Conflict (Grade 8) ©2018 Poor

National Geographic Cengage/Grade 8 US History/American Stories: Beginning to World War I, CA Edition/2018 Unacceptable

Pearson American History myWorld Interactive: Growth & Conflict (CA edition, Grade 8) ©2019 Unacceptable

Teacher’s Curriculum Institute History Alive! The United States Through Industrialism, CA Edition (2017) Unacceptable