In order for a school to have an effective Selection Policy, there must be basic components to it. This author will attempt to compare the Selection Policy from Canutillo ISD to the components presented by the American Library Association. The ALA article states “a good policy on the selection of instructional materials will be relevant to your particular system and include basic sections on objectives, responsibility, criteria, procedures for selection, reconsideration of materials, and policies on controversial materials.” (Workbook for Selection Policy Writing, Revised 1999)
The Selection Policy from Canutillo ISD contains an objectives component. It summarizes the District’s directives in allowing “District professional staff to select and acquire instructional resources.” (CISD Board Policy EFA, 2002) The objectives section includes the definition of “instructional resources”, which this author feels could use further explanation of what “supplemental materials, electronic resources, and any other materials” comprise. (CISD Board Policy EFA, 2002)
The primary statement of policy includes the following: “Although trained professional staff is afforded the freedom to select instructional resources for their use in accordance with this policy and the state mandated curriculum, the ultimate authority for determining and approving the curriculum and instructional program of the District lies with the Board.” (CISD Board Policy EFA, 2002) There is no clarification of whom the trained professional staff is. This statement would be more effective in the objectives component so that the public is aware of where the final selection decision resides.
The CISD Selection Policy does not contain a procedure for acquiring resources. This component is imperative because the public will be aware of the extensive process that goes into acquiring resources. Those responsible for the selection of resources should be able to view and evaluate all sources that can provide all types of resources and curriculum needs. Some of the more common sources are “bibliographies (latest edition available including supplements), such as Children’s Catalog, Middle and Junior High Core Collection, Senior High Core Collection, and Non book Materials Core Collection.” (Workbook for Selection Policy Writing, Revised 1999)
Not only should the responsible parties evaluate bibliographies, but they should also consult current reviewing media. Because of the vastness of information on the internet, there are myriads of reviews available. However, those responsible for the selection of resources should be careful in their choice of reviewing media. The responsible parties should carefully examine the media and determine what are the criteria and policies of the reviewer. They should also ensure that the review provides information not only about the content of the book but also of the quality of the material. Therefore, as a rule, the responsible parties tend to...