At the Web 2 conference last week, Vinod Khosla — almost in passing — made what I thought was the most interesting observation and comment during the entire conference. We noted that it would be much more cost efficient, and better, if schools adopted "open source textbooks" — modeled on wikipedia — instead of continuing to spend enormous sums on classic textbooks.
Wikibooks is clearly trying to jumpstart this.
This is a splendid idea. It would be nice to see Democrats get behind this kind of intelligent, clever initiative. It embodies a kind of practical progressive solution that could help redefine what it is to be liberal; collective action, to improve our collective condition, with more efficient use of resources. Monies saved on textbooks could go to more teachers, and smaller classrooms.