As we work on open content, I try and separate my notions of the textbook from my notions of the textbook industry.
At its most basic, a textbook provides a starting point for the processes of learning. Textbooks can be used well, or used poorly, but this is an implementation issue. In the same way, some textbooks are better than others. But, the right text in the right hands can do a world of good.
However, the textbook industry gets into political, economic, and public policy issues. The means by which the Common Core standards came into being, and came to be adopted by 48 states, 2 territories, and the District of Columbia illustrates the issue.
On July 1, 2009, the working groups charged with "determining and...