Saturday, June 27, 2009

I've had a few things in mind to post here lately (including how irritated I was over Roger Ebert's review of My Sister's Keeper...but since I haven't seen the movie, I decided that would keep). Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, what can you say? As a teen in the '70s and young adult in the '80s I admit to feeling sad.

Bob's doing well, although the third surgery is becoming more likely. Still hoping that turns out to not be the case. The weather has changed from continuously overcast and rainy, to sunny during some parts of the day, raining during others. The endive is up!

What motivates me to write today, though, is that yesterday, faculty received an email about changes in textbook ordering, sparked by revisions in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. We have to have our book orders in by October 1 for Spring and March 1 for Summer and Fall. This is supposed to enable timely access to affordable course materials for students.

Although those dates are very early, I don't have a big problem with the deadines (I usually get mine in kind of early anyway), and I do believe in helping students with making books affordable (I have copies of all of mine on reserve at the library), but I am concerned about one aspect of the legislation, "Reference to this textbook information on any printed course catalogues." Anytime I have referenced the printed course catalogues, there are many things in there that are out of date - making the information available online is not much of an issue, but I don't think the printed versions are revised very often. Since I change some books about once a year, does this mean that out of date information will be in there? And then students could have purchased obsolete materials and expect faculty to accommodate them? (Might this force faculty to change books less often?)

How did this slip through from the Feds without so much as a whimper from colleges?

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