Texas profs reject common textbooks

Standardizing textbooks won’t save money and will threaten instructors’ autonomy, complain faculty at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth,Texas, reports Inside Higher Ed. The faculty association voted 714-54 to reject the board’s plan.

 Instructors in each department will select a common text or e-text for each course that will be used across Tarrant County College’s five campuses. The hope is that textbook costs will go down and students will learn more as the college buys books in bulk, encourages cheaper options and pushes open-source and other online materials.

Tarrant County faculty asked for time to develop “meaningful, realistic strategies for reducing student textbook costs ” by the fall of 2014.

Community colleges are looking for ways to cut textbook costs in response to surveys in which students say they’re trying to get by without buying required books. The average community college student spends nearly $3,000 on tuition and more than $1,000 for textbooks and supplies, estimates College Board.