The value of state level textbook adoption systems as perceived by selected textbook publishing personnel

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


The purpose of this study is to examine the perceptions of selected textbook publishing personnel concerning the value of state level textbook adoption systems. The perceived value has been examined in relation to intents for state level textbook adoption systems as identified in an investigation by Tulley (1983). In addition, perceptions concerning appropriateness, importance, achievability, and accomplishment of those intents for state level textbook systems and the influence of state systems beyond textbook selection decisions were investigated.

The method used for the collection of data was a survey instrument, a written questionnaire, developed especially for this study. The questionnaire was designed specifically for selected textbook publishing industry authors and editors of reading programs, and regional and local sales representatives with state level textbook adoption experience. Data were derived from responses to the questionnaire with frequency count for each alternative tabulated and percentages of respondents selecting each alternative calculated and presented according to total sample, publishing firm and role responsibility of the respondent in the publishing firm. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used for data analysis and domain analysis conducted with written comments.

The results of this study indicate that state systems are perceived as having considerable value. Eleven generalizations related to major strengths for state level adoption systems emerged during this study. In addition, respondents noted eight of these generalizations as appropriate, achievable, and actually being accomplished. The results of this study, however, did reveal some major weaknesses of state level adoption systems. State systems’ decisions were viewed by the respondents as having impact which goes beyond the individual state.