Feb 16, 2013 by

John Saxon would explode at the mention of textbooks by committee

Nakonia Hayes, author of John Saxon’s Story: A Genius of Common Sense in Math Education, responds to the article posted at this link:


From: Nakonia Hayes []
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2013 9:46 PM
To: Donna Garner


It is sickening what has been done to John Saxon’s original and beloved Algebra I textbook by the Houghton Mifflin’s “committee” of writers. I did send the following message today to Truth in American Education regarding their link to “Saxon Math Aligns with Common Core”:

I’m concerned with a broad headline that says “Saxon Math Aligns with Common Core.”

Stephen Hake, as author for books in grades 4-8, still controls the content of those books. Nancy Larson, author for primary grades, still controls the content for those materials. Both authors are totally dedicated to John Saxon’s philosophy.

It’s the high school textbooks that are up for grabs since John was the author of those. (There is one high school text that is still controlled by its author, Frank Wang, and that is his Calculus book.) The last time I heard, the high school texts comprise only 3% of the Saxon sales. There was the thought that Houghton Mifflin might be dumping the high school division because of the low sales percentage.

What I am reading into this article [on TAM] is that Saxon Publishers, for whom I hold NO dear thoughts, is playing with Common Core press releases’ wording to relate to John’s design of presenting appropriately sequenced material “over time.” Remember that advertising and public relations people are hired to sell, not tell the truth to the consumer.

Nonetheless, I have recommended to many folks that they buy the old high school Saxon books whenever possible, especially through Alg. 2.

I should have added to this message that means looking for high school materials published prior to 2004.



New biography: John Saxon’s Story by Niki Hayes


Comments by Donna Garner:

Niki Hayes’s new book entitled John Saxon’s Story: A Genius of Common Sense in Math Education will be hitting the shelves on May 1, 2010.  You can be one of the first to order your own copy online.

I have followed Niki’s progress as she has written this marvelous biography, and I can tell you that nothing like it has ever been written on John Saxon’s life.  Niki gained access to Saxon’s personal possessions, memoirs, archived tapes, diaries, journals, interviews, and scrapbooks.  She spent so much time going through his materials that she was able to think like him as she wrote the story of his life.

John Saxon was a very witty and brilliant scholar, and his passion for teaching students math the right way is a story that must be told.  Niki has done just that.

As you read the book, you will feel as if you have crawled into Saxon’s marvelous mind; and you will come to understand why he fought so hard to publicize the math series he wrote and published — Saxon Math. 

He showed how mathematics could indeed remain true to itself—a historically rich discipline—and still cause students from all academic levels (and races and genders) to say, ‘I love math!’ (Niki Hayes)

I was privileged to order the first copy sold of John Saxon’s Story: A Genius of Common Sense in Math Education.

I treasure Niki Hayes’ diligence to present John Saxon’s colorful life in all its boldness and uniqueness.

“When Saxon died in 1996, Saxon Publishers had sales of $27 million in spite of major efforts by math education leaders and their political allies to destroy him personally and professionally.”  (Niki Hayes)

Please go to where you can easily order your copy online.

Donna Garner

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    Saxon instructional materials – 1.800.247.4784


    K-8 Saxon Math
    Algebra I and II – 3rd edition only
    Advanced Math – 2nd edition only
    Calculus (by Frank Wang)
    Saxon Grammar & Writing – Grades 5 – 8
    Saxon Phonics

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    Mary Etta Jeske

    Very concerned about Saxon math. Is it true the books are not common core influence before 2004? I am buying from Amazon to get the used. Can’t afford new because I have 3 children and homeschooling the best way I know how. Thanks, Mary

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