This contribution makes excellent points.
If you are 30 years old like me, and you plan on having children by the time you are 35 (like me) by the time your kids go to college today's $100 text book will cost your kid (or you or hopefully the government will be paying for such things in the future):
NO KIDDING. You can do the math yourself.
I assumed having a kid today (18 years compounding), and a steady inflation rate of 4%. If the price of books has gone up and continues to go up at twice the rate of inflation well. Imagine what your kids entire book bill will be. Given that many books are closer to the $200 mark.
So perhaps someone should do something about this, given that in the future it seems education will be rather costly just in terms of books, and all this talk about how stupid our children are in comparison to other competing economic nations.
I don't like the idea of a "TMO" as the author of the piece suggests. I feel HMOs may have slowed the rise in healthcare costs, but I feel they have also contributed to the increase in the costs. So a similar system for books probably would do the same.
I think the best way is to use (as the author suggests) the same system in use in American Public Schools. However, I think all state schools should make a collective bargaining agreement on basic texts such as Biology, Chemistry, History etc. that are required classes even in College. Accompanying this policy for books may be a standardization of the requirements within curriculi at state schools.
I went to Rutgers and it amazed me that only 1 science class was required. I think everyone needs to take Biology, Chemistry, and Geology. Perhaps even Physics should be required.
That way you would have a smarter educated class and perhaps silly "debates" about things like Intelligent Design would be harder to gain traction.
All the while saving on books, graduating smarter kids, and inceasing the value of our college educations!
Somebody call a congressman!
Or you could start saving up for that freshman year book bill!