You may have read about the recent textbook revisions proposed in Texas (I include both a link to The Economist‘s take and a link to the detail-full, though more partisan take of The Huffington Post.). While The Economist, The New York Times, and others highlight the economic weight of textbook-related decisions by the State of Texas, I would argue that a more dramatic outcome may eventually involve the relative dimunition of Texas’ influence. Namely: Texas’ potential decision creates a perfect storm to increase interest in electronic and/or open source textbooks, which do not require economies of scale as large as does the current publishing regime.
Electronic innovators and open source writers tend to be (much more often than not) precisely the sort of folks who would most object to the Texas Board of Education recommendations. I would not be surprised to see an “alternative textbooks movement” take root in the short-term (and a less-covered Texas controversy took place on this front in recent months); I would, however, be quite surprised if such a movement does not materialize in the mid-term.