Error-plagued history books’ publisher to bypass Va review by marketing directly to districts

RICHMOND, Va. — A year after Virginia overhauled its review process to improve the quality of textbooks used in public schools, the publisher whose error-plagued history books helped spur the change now plans to bypass state Department of Education scrutiny.

The Washington Post ( says Connecticut-based Five Ponds Press plans to introduce a series of elementary-level science books that it will market directly to school systems, and is refusing to submit them for state review.

The publisher says on its website that its new “All Around Us” science series is “the first textbook series created to meet the needs of Virginia students using Virginia’s 2010 science standards.”

“Five Ponds Press has indicated to the department that it does not intend to submit science books for review,” Department of Education spokesman Charles Pyle said. The publisher’s marketing campaign “should not be interpreted to mean it has the imprimatur of the state,” Pyle said....

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