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Comptroller’s Office Evaluates the Tennessee Textbook Commission

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 | 09:00am

The Textbook Commission is charged in law with recommending an official list of textbooks and instructional materials for public school students in grades K-12 to the State Board of Education for final approval. The commission must ensure textbooks and materials are aligned to Tennessee’s curriculum standards.

The analysis by the Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) found:

  • The Textbook Commission has not had full membership since 2016, and current membership does not reflect the grand divisions of the state.
  • The Tennessee Department of Education has historically allocated limited staff to support the commission’s activities, though the department recently increased staff support for the commission.
  • More information about each step on the path to approval for all textbooks and instructional materials on the state-approved list would make the adoption process more transparent and understandable.
  • The textbook adoption process does not require publishers to fully disclose all the terms of use and licensing restrictions when submitting materials for inclusion on the state-approved list.
  • Tennessee’s adoption process allows open educational resources to be submitted for review if the bidder submitting the materials meets certain requirements.

To read a more detailed analysis of the conclusions, please visit the Comptroller’s OREA website at:

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Media contact: John Dunn, Director of Communications, 615.401.7755 or

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