There's an interesting short article in today's Chronicle of Higher Education about a briefing by textbook publishers. Congressional staff members pelted company officials with questions about the high costs of college textbooks and asserted that the publishers did not have students' best interests in mind during a briefing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
But the publishers said they offer professors hundreds of books to choose from for a specific subject, varying in cost from only $30 to upwards of $100, and in some cases even let the professor purchase certain chapters of a book that will not be wholly used.
Data offered by both sides about the amount students pay for textbooks varied from $644 to $900 a year. Congressional staff members, many of whose children are college students, complained about the frequency of new editions of text books that students have no choice but to purchase. Publishers described new online products that they contend will be more effective and less costly than traditional printed textbooks, but in general, these staffers seemed cautious about the efficacy of online learning tools.
Posted by P. Kaufman at July 11, 2007 7:21 AM