Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Outrageous Cost of Text Books

For the past several years I have been railing against the outrageous cost of text books. I have used the same text in my math and science education course  for many years as  it is by far the best one available. The problem is that it is reissued every two years with an accompanying dramatic increase in cost.

Subsequent editions contain few changes from the previous one apart from the inclusion in the latest edition of reference to the Common Core. The full price for the text, in paperback form,  is now a remarkable $215 according to Amazon which will sell you a copy for $200.32. Other new copies are available for $180 and a used copy will set you back $130.

To help my students ease the financial burden of college I require them to purchase the 7th edition, available for as little as $15. The fundamental mathematical ideas are exactly the same as in the 8th edition. The only thing missing is the Common Core specifics which are freely available on-line.

It turns out that I am not the only person feeling this way. Today, the Hechinger Report suggests that all educational materials produced with federal funding should be made available at no charge. This would surely spur the publishing companies into some form of price control

How can a paperback book be worth $215? 

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