U.S. Undersecretary of Education Martha Kanter was the keynote speaker at the OER conference. She assured attendees that the Obama administration would continue to support the development of OER as a way of reducing growing educational costs—a highlight of Obama’s State of the Union address.

During her days as a community college chancellor, Kanter knew of student groups that pooled their money to buy textbooks, ripped the books into pieces, and made copies of those sections for their classmates.

“It broke my heart to see that,” Kanter said.

Six in 10 students at the University of California, Riverside said in November that they forgo purchasing recommended class supplies—including textbooks—because they’re strapped for cash.

And while 60 percent of respondents to the UC Riverside survey said they “skipped buying [schools supplies] entirely,” and two-thirds of students said they postponed buying textbooks and other supplies, leaving them without necessary class material in the first weeks of a course.


Add your opinion to the discussion.