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This article appeared in the "Editor's File" in
The Textbook Letter, January-February 1998.

Oops!

William J. Bennetta

Prentice Hall is marketing, for use in high schools, a textbook called Physics. According to an advertisement in Prentice Hall's current catalogue of "Science & Health" books for grades 6 through 12, Physics is aimed at "Grades 11-12" and presents material that is "accessible to students of all ability levels."

Physics, however, is a college textbook. It is a very thinly disguised adaptation of a strongly mathematical book called College Physics, and it remains a college book in every respect. Prentice Hall's adaptation process consisted chiefly of replacing a few illustrations and deleting the word College from the title shown on the book's cover and title page. The adaptation process evidently did not include any attention to the preface, because the preface in Physics continues to display the book's original name, College Physics.


William J. Bennetta is a professional editor, a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, the president of The Textbook League, and the editor of The Textbook Letter. He writes often about the propagation of quackery, false "science" and false "history" in schoolbooks.

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