Third graders at Valleyview Elementary School in Oneonta, NY have a bone to pick with publishing company Marshall Cavendish Education.  The issue at hand came about when students noticed that their Math in Focus workbook had incorrect information regarding Christopher Columbus. There was a math problem that said Columbus was in America in 1492 which is incorrect.  Columbus was never in America.  He left Spain in August 1492 with three ships, and after a stop in the Canary Islands, his party made landfall at an island in the Bahamas.

Under the leadership of Valleyview teacher Kenneth Sider, the students contacted The Marshall Cavendish Education company asking to have the information fixed but were ignored. The following is what they had to say...

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

These students have set up a website page to solicit support in the form of having people sign a petition to get Marshall Cavendish Education to change the information published on Columbus.  If you would like to sign the petition, CLICK HERE.

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