ATG Article of the Week: A Course Experiment Tackles Textbook Costs

by | Oct 15, 2018 | 0 comments

This post in Inside Higher Ed recounts how “students in California drafted a bill to urge publishers to reveal how their textbooks changed between editions. The students convinced lawmakers to adopt the legislation.”

“The students in the California Bill Project class set out to write a bill that would benefit fellow California students but not cost the state any money.

The undergraduate course was introduced at the San Luis Obispo campus in fall 2017 at the suggestion of former State Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, who was also a volunteer instructor and adviser to the class.

The students’ first idea was to write a bill compelling university administrators to disclose exactly how student fees are spent. But the class quickly established this idea wouldn’t work, said Chris Den Hartog, the professor who teaches the class.

“Staffers in the Assembly told me the Legislature is very wary of getting involved in the inner workings of universities,” he said.

Plan B was to tackle another issue — the exorbitant cost of textbooks …

Click here to read the full story and learn how these enterprising students drafted the legislation and got it through the California legislature.

(The above image is “a group of political science students from Cal Poly joined Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham in Sacramento in April 2018 to lobby for Cunningham’s textbook transparency bill before the Assembly Higher Education Committee. Courtesy photo – sanluisobispo.com)

 

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