Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Myths about textbooks debunked

As an occasional student myself and the father of some college (and college-bound) students, I feel the pain of textbook prices.
We hear a lot about why college textbooks are so expensive and what might be done to slow or even reverse the expense of college textbooks. In a recent post, I suggested that professors start comparing the prices of the textbooks available for their courses when making adoption decisions. See The Cost of Textbooks, in which I pointed out that some A&P textbooks cost as much as $45 less than comparable A&P textbooks.
Even state legislators have taken this up as a cause and have enacted regulations aimed and making textbooks more affordable. Unfortunately, none of these efforts seem to work . . . or at least not very well. Some of these efforts actually make the situation worse!

Most of the news stories I've seen or heard—and comments from students and politicians—makes it clear that we are not getting all perspectives on the issues involved. How do I know that? Because as a life-long student, as a professor, and as a textbook author, I know some important facts that are not commonly reported or debated. Facts that could and should expand the debate to help us find solutions that actually work.
So that you can find out "the rest of the story" I suggest checking out this brief article from the Text and Academic Authors Association (TAA), of which I'm a member:
(Feel free to pass the article around to others who might be interested.
Click here for the PDF version.)
You may also want to explore this website


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