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  • U.S. PIRG Joins 91 Organizations In Calling on White House to Open Access to Federally Funded Educational Resources | CALPIRG Students
    can be found at http www oerusa org Background The Federal Government currently invests billions of taxpayer dollars each year in programs that include the creation of educational training and instructional materials through grants contracts and other cooperative agreements This investment produces educational resources ranging from innovative curricular resources to workforce training materials to English language learning tools While these materials are created for the public good they are generally not open to the members of the public who paid for them At a time when educational opportunity workforce development and access to knowledge are critical to America s future these valuable publicly funded resources should be openly available to students teachers businesses workers and the public to use in new and innovative ways The availability of publicly funded educational and training materials could address key challenges facing our educational and job training systems Currently student outcomes suffer as school districts struggle to provide up to date textbooks and require students to share books and materials In higher education where textbook costs are borne directly by students the rapid rise in prices too often forces students to skip required materials alter their course of study or even drop out because it is the straw that breaks the camel s back This burden is particularly significant for community college students where textbook costs comprise a larger portion of overall expenses Ensuring that educational materials that taxpayers have already paid for are available for free could directly expand educational opportunities In issuing this statement this coalition hopes to ensure that educational materials arising from programs funded with billions of taxpayer dollars are freely open to the members of the public that invested in them The Administration has both an educational and economic imperative to increase access to learning and workforce development opportunities

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/news/sp/us-pirg-joins-91-organizations-calling-white-house-open-access-federally-funded-educational (2016-04-29)
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  • CarMax Sales Practices Endangers Lives in California | CALPIRG Students
    Watch Don t Get Ripped Off Hunger and Homelessness Protect Our Beautiful Places New Voters Project Protect Public Health 21st Century Transportation Make Textbooks Affordable Newsroom Latest Updates Blog PIRG in the News News Releases Reports Donate Internships Work on important issues learn valuable skills get hands on experience and make a difference Get Info Students in Action Like Us Follow Us RSS Contact Reports by Campaign New Voters Project

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/reports/ca/carmax-sales-practices-endangers-lives-california (2016-04-29)
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  • Open Textbooks - The Billion Dollar Solution | CALPIRG Students
    new printed textbook In order to reduce costs for students now and in the future we must break free from the traditional textbook market and deliver educational materials through an alternative model This report analyzes the potential of open textbooks and open licensing to become that alternative In brief open textbooks are faculty written peer reviewed textbooks that are published under an open license meaning that they are available free online they are free to download and print copies are available at 10 40 or approximately the cost of printing This report reviews data collected from five different campus based pilot programs that encouraged faculty to replace the traditional textbook for their course with openly licensed educational resources OER and open textbooks Findings Analysis of these pilots determines that a student saves 128 per course when their traditionally published textbook is replaced with an open textbook By extrapolating average student savings and applying it to larger segments of the student population we can predict that open textbooks have the potential to save more than a billion dollars each year Additionally by comparing total investment and money spent during these pilots with the total savings by students as a result of the project we can conclude that investing in open textbooks has an exponential return on investment in student savings Recommendation Institutions and all stakeholders in higher education should take greater ownership over solving the problem of high textbook prices and can do so effectively by providing the training and resources faculty need to convert their classroom to an open textbook Related issues Affordable Higher Education About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Frequently Asked Questions Campus Chapters UC Berkeley UC Davis UC Irvine UC Riverside UC San Diego UC Santa Barbara UC Santa Cruz UCLA USC Get Involved Take Action

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/reports/ca/open-textbooks-billion-dollar-solution (2016-04-29)
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  • REPORT: Open Textbooks: The Billion-Dollar Solution | CALPIRG Students
    around the country that encourage faculty to replace their traditional textbooks with open textbooks faculty written peer reviewed textbooks that are published under an open license meaning that they are available free online they are free to download and print copies are available at 10 40 Based on the data from these programs the report concludes that when a student has their traditional introductory level textbook replaced with an open textbook they save 128 on average per course Using that estimate the report concludes that wider adoption of open textbooks in place of traditional textbooks would result in billions of dollars in savings for students As author of the report Senack concludes If every full time undergraduate had just one of their traditional textbooks replaced with an open textbook each year it could save students nationally almost 1 5 billion in textbook costs There are over 160 open textbooks available on the Open Textbook Library open umn edu that faculty could adopt in their classrooms immediately The report urges campuses and institutions to take action on high textbook prices and provide the training and resources faculty need to switch to open textbooks encourages policy makers to support these efforts encourages faculty to adopt open textbooks when available A copy of the report Open Textbooks The Billion Dollar Solution is available on our website at http studentpirgs org reports sp open textbooks billion dollar solution The Student PIRGs are independent statewide student organizations that work on issues like environmental protection consumer protection and hunger and homelessness For nearly 40 years students working with their campus PIRG chapters have been making a real difference in people s lives and winning concrete changes to build a better world About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Frequently Asked Questions Campus Chapters UC Berkeley UC

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/news/sp/report-open-textbooks-billion-dollar-solution (2016-04-29)
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  • CALPIRG's Go Solar Campaign: What you need to know | CALPIRG Students
    become a regular activity on the East Coast It only makes sense for us to look to solar power as a solution to the finite nature of fossil fuels and other resources We ve really got to start conserving those sources of energy and using unlimited resources such as wind power and solar energy Establish an official solar policy Overall CalPIRG s goal is to implement a new solar policy According to Berkeley Go Solar campaign director Arthur Bookstein the group wishes to increase the quota of Berkeley s energy that is derived from solar power We re hoping to get Berkeley s City Council to approve this by the end of the year he said It s not currently an issue under the political spotlight but the recent presence of solar power has really started to increase and we hope to build off that momentum On campus CalPIRG s goal is simply to educate students about solar energy Bookstein said raising awareness for solar energy s potential is the most important goal right now because it s really a pressing problem of our generation By showing that there are a lot of students interested in solar energy City Council will be more likely to pay attention to this issue The solar energy controversy Much of the controversy about solar panels centers on the quality and quantity of the energy produced solar panels do not work when there are clouds or when it is dark out and they only work at top efficiency during times of direct sunlight which is calculated to be about five hours per day Furthermore solar panels are fairly expensive to install and maintain and they take up a lot of space In other words many believe that the costs of solar energy outweigh the benefits

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/media/ca/calpirgs-go-solar-campaign-what-you-need-know (2016-04-29)
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  • Student Groups Make Final Push for Voter Registration | CALPIRG Students
    the students on Sproul registering people to vote and said many students were not aware there was an election going on If my friends and I had cared enough to vote when we were younger we could have actually changed something Braud said District 7 is among the contested City Council races with current Councilmember Kriss Worthington running for re election against UC Berkeley alumnus Sean Barry who previously worked at The Daily Californian as an assistant news editor If the students step forward and register to vote they could clearly swing this election Bates said City Councilmember Laurie Capitelli noted that voting patterns among students may be lower because students choose to vote in their home counties Barry and Councilmember Jesse Arreguin both noted the importance of students voting in Berkeley while they live in the city Even though people are only here for a few years they are residents of Berkeley and they have a voice that needs to be heard Arreguin said Assemblymember Nancy Skinner D Berkeley has worked to increase student voter registration at UC Berkeley since she was a freshman on campus in the 1970s Since she graduated she has come to UC Berkeley nearly every year to encourage students to register There are many corporate or other interests who want you to believe that your vote doesn t count Skinner said The fewer young people the fewer poor people the fewer people of color who vote the more concentrated the power It s essential that we exercise our rights Related Chapter CALPIRG at UC Berkeley About Us Our Leadership Our Mission Accomplishments Frequently Asked Questions Campus Chapters UC Berkeley UC Davis UC Irvine UC Riverside UC San Diego UC Santa Barbara UC Santa Cruz UCLA USC Get Involved Take Action Volunteer on Campus Campus

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/media/ca/student-groups-make-final-push-voter-registration (2016-04-29)
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  • How students are engaging textbook companies in a duel against high prices, and winning | CALPIRG Students
    began regularly issuing new editions According to a 2011 survey from the U S Public Interest Research Group new editions are released on average every 3 9 years but a 2008 report from the California state auditor found many college deans department chairs and faculty members admitted revisions to textbooks are often minimal and not always warranted Huffington Post reported These strategies backfired when students responded by buying used books renting books illegally downloading them sharing books with classmates or not buying them altogether The National Association of College Stores NACS says the average college student will spend 655 on textbooks each year reported the Huffington Post while the College Board puts the annual cost of books and supplies at 1 200 This means that despite a single textbook costing close to 300 students have simply stopped buying Sixty five percent of student consumers have opted out of buying a college textbook due to its high price and of those students 94 percent say they suffer academically reported the U S Public Interest Research Group The solution to the standoff between students and textbook publishers According to a textbook executive who spoke to Kestenbaum it s software Digital interactive versions of textbooks are cheaper and easier to update and the kicker they cannot be resold Another option is the growing open educational resources movement according to the American Enterprise Institute A startup called Boundless is a leader in the movement They call it textbook replacement reported Slate A great deal of academic content has been made available on the Internet for free The open educational resources OER movement has produced high quality texts videos charts problem sets etc Some of the authors are college professors who want to share their work at a larger scale others are sponsored by nonprofits

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/media/sp/how-students-are-engaging-textbook-companies-duel-against-high-prices-and-winning (2016-04-29)
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  • Measure P Divides County to Backing or Sacking Practicing Fracking | CALPIRG Students
    James Boles who has been a community leader with the No On P Coalition said the language of the Measure P ballot is ineffective and problematic for voters because the wording is not specific The writing is too broad and too vague Measure P includes methods that have been used safely for decades Boles said It ll definitely shut the industry down in a couple years because of the way it s written despite what others may say According to Stacey Boles who has been featured in No On P advertisements and is a UCSB graduate with a Ph D in Geology regardless of some individuals preconceptions about the oil industry passing Measure P would result in halting land oil and gas operations thus hurting Santa Barbara businesses The effect of the tax revenue is felt countywide Boles said but it s not just the tax revenue and jobs There are a lot of indirect economic effects to the community But according to Holland jobs associated with fracking are not permanent and do not help the local economy The long term management jobs will stay but those don t help our county those don t help locally Holland said They only help people up top According to Adrianson by continuing to burn fossil fuels and expand oil extracting capabilities in California the state is standing at hypocritical odds with goals towards reducing emissions People are becoming more and more aware of the impacts of extreme fossil fuel extractions and the necessity to curb these extractions in order to fight climate change Adrianson said Holland agreed and said the state can no longer rely on unsustainable methods such as fracking to acquire gas and oil I don t think that using these fuels and saying Let s use them in the meantime while we re working towards clean energy is a viable argument because it just prolongs using dirty energy Holland said Adrianson also said the measure s impact is not limited to Santa Barbara and has a huge impact on the statewide campaign We re watching very closely because we know if we can get fracking banned in Santa Barbara County that gives us more leverage statewide with Governor Brown and with the state legislature Adrianson said But according to Boles changing how we acquire fuel and use energy sources will be difficult to suddenly change What s in your tank Boles said It isn t as easy as just turning off the tap on oil It s simply not realistic to expect things to change overnight The infrastructure isn t there Adrianson said he urges voters to seek more information on fracking acid well stimulation treatments and cyclic steam injection I encourage everyone to vote and make sure oil interests do not come before the interests of the environment and the interests of people in the Santa Barbara County Adrianson said Correction A previous version of this article incorrectly equated acid well treatments and steam injection with hydraulic fracturing

    Original URL path: http://www.calpirgstudents.org/media/ca/measure-p-divides-county-backing-or-sacking-practicing-fracking (2016-04-29)
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