Third Graders Fighting to Fix Textbook Error about Columbus


Third Graders Fighting to Fix Textbook Error about Columbus

This petition made change with 1,280 supporters!
Kenneth Sider started this petition to Marshall Cavendish Education and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

We are third graders from Valleyview Elementary School in Oneonta, New York. We have a problem that we want to tell you about.

When we were using our Math in Focus workbook, we noticed page 52 had incorrect information. There was a math problem that said Columbus was in America in 1492. (We have proof.) We know that is not true. Columbus was never in America. The Marshall Cavendish Education company is teaching thousands of kids the wrong information. We want them to fix it, but they are ignoring us. We sent them a letter on October 10, 2018, and they sent us a form letter back that said: “Our representative will be reviewing your request and sending you a response within 2 working days.” When we didn't hear from them, we wrote again on November 6, 2018, to remind them. They sent another form letter that said: “We have since forwarded your class’s letter to the relevant team. We will urge the relevant team to respond to you and your class.” We wrote again on November 28, and told them they are putting false information in their book and that we want to hear from them. We offered to fix the page for them and asked them to please answer us. They still have not answered us. We have been waiting for five months. We think they are ignoring us because we are kids.

Kids deserve to know the truth about history and Columbus. Adults who make books for kids should know the facts and get them right. On the cover of the Math in Focus workbook, it says Marshall Cavendish Education is a “world class program” and a “consistent top performer in international studies.” We can’t believe this is right because of the mistake on page 52. Don’t they know Columbus never landed in America?

We want Marshall Cavendish Education to fix the mistake! We hope you will help us get this mistake fixed. Please sign our petition if you agree with us. Thank you. 

The Valleyview Third Graders

P.S. You do NOT need to donate to


These scholars and professors are joining us:

Elizabeth A. Bloom EdD
Associate Professor and Chair
Department of Education
Hartwick College

Kyle Burke, PhD
Assistant Professor of History and
Peace & Conflict Studies Co-Coordinator
Hartwick College

Anaida Colon-Muniz 
Chapman University 

Dr. Matthew Hendley
Professor and Chair of History Department
SUNY Oneonta

Dr. Anita Levine
Department of Elementary Education and Reading
SUNY Oneonta

Ellis E. McDowell-Loudan
Professor of Anthropology
Co-Coordinator, Native American Studies Minor Program
Dept. of Sociology, Anthropology, Anthropological-Archaeology, & Criminology
SUNY College at Cortland

Zanna McKay, PhD
Department of Elementary Education and Reading
SUNY Oneonta

Mechthild Nagel, PhD
Professor of Philosophy and Africana Studies
SUNY Cortland

Celia Oyler
Professor of Inclusive Education
Teachers College, Columbia University

Georgiena Robinson
Hofstra University

Kenneth Sider, PhD
Oneonta City School District 
and SUNY Oneonta, Department of Elementary Education and Reading

Alan Singer
Director, Secondary Education Social Studies 
Teaching Learning Technology
Hofstra University

Catherine Snyder, PhD, NBCT
Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Education
Associate Director, Institute for STEM Education
Clarkson University

Dr. Caridad Souza
Center for Women’s Studies & Gender Research
Colorado State University

Janice Stiglich
Department of Childhood Studies
Rutgers University     

Mary Beth Tinker
Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District (1969, U.S. Supreme Court)

Alexandra Tolin Schultz, PhD
Oneonta, New York



This petition made change with 1,280 supporters!

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