In a press release
dated 6 May 2009,
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today launched an initiative to make California the first state in the nation to offer schools free, open-source digital textbooks for high school students. The Governor directed his Secretary of Education Glen Thomas to ensure these resources are available for use in high school math and science classes by fall 2009, a critical first step in helping ensure digital textbooks are widely available to all California students.
I've been waiting for something like this for over a year now. To be honest, I didn't expect to see such a huge step be taken this fast. It's May already, and CA has a goal of having math and science textbooks available for the coming fall. That's just over 3 months away, and I don't see how they will do it.
With California taking the lead, I expect this to spill over into college textbooks fairly soon. There is a good chance that by fall 2010 I'll be able to report on a school that has adopted an open source textbook.
I don't know about you, but I still have my college textbooks. I couldn't sell them back to the bookstore because a new edition comes out every 2 to 3 years. Publishers do this to hurt the used book market. They have to otherwise they won't make a profit.
I don't have a problem with their profit, but it galls me to see a new edition of a math, physics, chem, or bio textbook that contains the same information as the old. I look forward to the day when that won't happen.
P.S. I'd like to thank MR member shrimphead
for telling me about the story.