At its education focused event today in NYC, where it announced iBooks 2, digital textbooks and iBooks Author, Apple also announced that it is partnering with textbook makers Pearson, McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

These are three of the biggest names in the textbook industry and should provide a solid foundation for Apple to work from. These companies provide 90% of the textbooks available to high schoolers, the first area that Apple is targeting. “These are stunning books. They take full advantage of what can be created,” said Apple’ Head of Marketing Phil Schiller.

Screen Shot 2012 01 19 at 7.34.46 AM 520x296 Apple partners with DK, Pearson, McGraw Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for textbooks

Apple is also partnering with DK Publishing: “They have four books launching today,” said Schiller, “Dinosaurs and Prehistoric life, Natural History Insects, Natural History Animals, and My First ABC.”

E.O Wilson was also announced as a partner. “They’re launching a new book, Life On Earth — coming exclusively to the iBooks Store. You can get the first two chapters for free — and the rest are coming as they make them for a very reasonable price.”

In a video presentation, Roger Rosner, Apple’s Vice President of Productivity Applications said, “There’s no reason that students have to use the same things they used in the 1950′s — that’s preparing them for something already in the past.”

Check out all of our posts from today’s Apple Education event here.