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Thread: The Great School Book Scam - advice required

  1. #1
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    Default The Great School Book Scam - advice required

    Well as September approaches, I find myself perusing both my children's book lists and am utterly amazed at the number of books which are now "redundant" 4 years after my older child has used them.

    Regardless of subject, virtually every book used by my older child to become literate etc, is no longer in use in the school they attend.

    Whilst i'm glad that the TUI seem to have taken some kind of role in discussing this - RTE Radio this morning - the level of silence on this issue from both the National Parents Council (NPC) and NPC-Post Primary leave me wondering about their business or political affiliations of both these bodies. It's not possible as a parent to register on either site - so which parents do they represent??

    Given the state of our economy, it is surely incumbent on the Dept of Education to

    1. creates a moratorioum on the issuing of "revised/updated/new Version" of the same book for the next two years, given the economic situation.

    2. Establish a syllabus which doesn't change over say, a 5 or even 6 year period. It's not perffect, but it will reduce the annual spend on books.

    3. Establish a "book-share" scheme in primary and post-primary schools which would allow the school to retain ownership of books whilst parents "rent" the books for the year, with responsiblity for keeping them in good condition, and replacement costs should the book be damaged/become unusable.


    WHO is getting paid to continually change these books???

    1. The Book Companies?
    2. Inspectors at the Dept of Education who "revise/Update" the Syllabus ?
    3. School Headmasters?
    4. School TEachers both primary and Post-Primary?
    5. Boards of Management?

    Can anyone advise HOW books are chosen either by a school or by a teacher in relation to each year? Do book companies visit schools with books and suggest/offer them to schools?

    Are "inducements" given to teachers/schools for choosing particular books (similar to inducements given to doctors for prescribing certain types of drug to patients) ahead of existing books?

    IIRC, maths, english, Irish, languages, haven't changed in recent centuries- but the books used to teach have changed annually....

    I'm about 400.00 worse off, for my younger child to attend the same school and study the same subjects, 4 years later....

    Thanks

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    Politics.ie Member Hazlitt's Avatar
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    A central body setting the syllabus doesn't help, we could start with abolishing the DoE and getting the state out of education, allowing competing schools and private accreditation agencies to set what is taught and how it is taught. Books in and of themselves in forward looking teaching institutions are being replaced with eBooks on eReaders, tablet PC's and laptops, but unless we allow these institutions to experiment and compete we will not benefit from the advances that rivalrous competition brings about.

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    Politics.ie Member nozzferrahhtoo's Avatar
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    I think more information is needed before we should comment on this.

    For example you speak of books that are "revised/updated/new Version" of the same book.

    Maybe, since you clearly have both an older and newer version of these books, you can sit down and systematically work out what the changes actually were.

    Then when you have them documented, consider them and see if the changes were cursory, useless, or in fact entirely necessary.

    Without such information, on which to decide if the changes being made are in fact necessary ones, it is almost impossible to comment on whether you are right or wrong about whether they should be implemented.

    Also, the publishers should be able to give you a "change log" between versions if you contact them, which should save you time.

    For me, I would rather buy a new set of books with glaring errors corrected, rather than have falsehoods taught to me kids in order to save other parents pockets.

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    also...im constantly amazed at the weight of the schoolbag my daughter has to carry around...and thats just the books she needs for that particular day...

    in this day and age...i wonder if it would be better for each child to have an ipad type device...this would be easy to manage...plus if a revised edition were required then all i would have to do is pay for the patch to that particular book and download it...
    "goddam it!...when you tell me not to click on something...i have to click it!"............Ard Eoin!...

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    This has been happening for many many years .I remember having to buy books on the syllabus which my children never had to even open for the school year -tried to sell these new unused books the following year and they were defunct -I can only presume that ,like everything in this appalling corrupt country,somebody was making fortunes from this practise.

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    [QUOTE=nozzferrahhtoo;2946926]I think more information is needed before we should comment on this.For example you speak of books that are "revised/updated/new Version" of the same book.

    Maybe, since you clearly have both an older and newer version of these books, you can sit down and systematically work out what the changes actually were. I think that should be the role of the person who is telling me which books i need to buy for my child. If i want to compare books, perhaps I should be teching the subject myself!

    Then when you have them documented, consider them and see if the changes were cursory, useless, or in fact entirely necessary. I'm not the teacher of the subject. Who am I to decide on whether the changes are necessary.


    Without such information, on which to decide if the changes being made are in fact necessary ones, it is almost impossible to comment on whether you are right or wrong about whether they should be implemented.

    See my last statement above. I'm not the teacher.

    Also, the publishers should be able to give you a "change log" between versions if you contact them, which should save you time. I'm not paid to make editorial decisions- i'm taking it that the teacher of the subject has asked for the updated book on teh book list for a reason!

    For me, I would rather buy a new set of books with glaring errors corrected, rather than have falsehoods taught to me kids in order to save other parents pockets.[/QUOTE] I think this is an incredible statement. You are either a bookseeller r a book publisher, with that kind of line!

    For a second consider what you're saying. Book companies are publishing books with falsehoods/glaring errors - have you never heard of editing/editorial correction? And it's completely contrary to what you said above - either the change log you talk would reveal inaccuracies -in which case the company should not be in the business of educational text publishing!


    Most glaringly of all the comment i've bolded in red - WE????? Who ARE you?

    The Dept of Education syllabus Inspectorate?
    Folens?
    The National Parents Council?

    I think your arrogance in telling nobody to comment reflects a particular vested interest in this subject!

    You've ignored all the questions i've asked!!
    Last edited by inthemire; 26th August 2010 at 11:23 AM.

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    Text book answer Hazlitt

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    the uniform pricing no matter which shop you go to suggests resale price maintenance which is a criminal offence under irish competition law.

    you should contact the competition authority at The Competition Authority

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    I remember when I was in secondary school there was a maths book which released an "updated edition" the changes literally amounted to jumbling the pages around and replacing £ signs with € signs.

    Book loan schemes are a very good idea - but the reality is they require alot of capital up front and they can only be organised on a local (i.e. school specific) basis. Not many schools would have enough cash to buy 30x8 school books for all the children in the school, irrespective of whether they may be able to recoup it all back by renting them back to them for a period of years.

    It is quite clear that the school book market is a scam. As is the majority of the "educational resources" sector. For example, students having to buy a whole new set of past papers each year for State exams, rather than just the most recent year's. The Leaving Certificate English poetry syllabus is also a farce and basically a money making exercise.

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    Politics.ie Member Vega1447's Avatar
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    Default The system is intended to keep Irish Ed. book publishers in business

    That is the only (semi-) rational explanation.

    What does puzzle me is why teachers go along with it...

    I work in 3rd level education and write my own notes for my students - give them the pdf file - they can print if they want...
    My Avatar is the FF logo INVERTED symbolising contempt for the FF Party and its members.

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