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Rotten apple
Last spring, student teachers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst refused to participate in a pilot teacher licensing program that would replace real-life classroom observation with a take-home test and edited videos of the prospective teacher in the classroom. The new teacher licensing would be done for profit by testing company Pearson, and 67 of the 68 student teachers training for middle school and high school teaching at UMass said no. Within weeks, the director of the secondary-teacher education program who had trained them and had spoken out against the new licensing system got a letter saying her contract wouldn't be renewed when it expired a year later.

The New York Times' Michael Winerip, who last spring wrote about the 67 students' refusal to film themselves for licensing by Pearson, writes now of Barbara Madeloni that:

Ms. Madeloni is 55 and has been overseeing the university’s program to train middle and high school teachers for nine years. During that time, she has repeatedly been rated “outstanding.” (“We applaud Dr. Madeloni for her work,” read her December 2011 evaluation.) [...]

“They’ve been angry at me for a long time, but I believe the article pushed them over the edge,” she said this week. “For several years this has been building inside me, this reliance on standardized tests to evaluate teachers.

“It’s so degrading,” she said. “For a long time I decided not to fight it. I wouldn’t have been able to do this at 40. I don’t think I could have stayed as grounded. You have to be able to manage people saying awful, awful things.”

The university administration insists the decision not to renew Madeloni's contract was completely unrelated to her anti-standardization activism and the publicity that resulted. (It's always a coincidence!) Ironically, the way the administration was able to get rid of her was to convert her position into a tenure-track one—so the next person hired to fill this role will be able to speak up from a less vulnerable position. But how much do you want to bet that they do their best to hire someone who'll be complacent?

(Continue reading below the fold.)

A fair day's wage

  • Station Casinos lost its appeal of 87 unfair labor practices violations. For background on just how you accumulate 87 ULPs, see here.
  • More on Thursday's Walmart strike.
  • When it's NFL referees locked out, there are bad calls making headlines and fans screaming every weekend. When it's NHL players locked out, there's just ... no hockey. You notice if you're a hockey fan, but otherwise not so much. But hockey fans are noticing. After already losing their preseason, the NHL has canceled two weeks of the regular season.

    Remember that this is a straight-up money grab by owners, whose real problem is with each other but who think it's easier to go after the players.

  • Time for a burrito! Chipotle signed an agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to improve wages and working conditions for workers at Florida tomato farms.
  • A nifty win from the National Union of Healthcare Workers:
    The NLRB’s ruling affirms that employers must craft clear off-duty worksite access policies and apply them fairly and consistently instead of leaving them so vague as to afford managers broad leeway to improvise excuses to squelch workers’ rights to freely associate.

    The National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) prompted this landmark ruling when it contested Keck Medical Center’s discriminatory treatment of four of its employees who were NUHW supporters and who entered the worksite while off duty.

  • A potential strike by 14,000 New England janitors was averted when a tentative deal was struck at the last minute.
  • As one Walmart warehouse strike ends, another snowballs.
  • EMTs, AT&T retail workers, and more decide to join unions.
  • The AFL-CIO has endorsed a boycott of American Crystal Sugar, which has kept workers locked out for more than a year, with the company's CEO likening the union contract to a tumor, despite high profits for the company.

The War on Education

  • Raging Chicken Press is tracking what's happening to education in Pennsylvania at all levels. Making working conditions for adjunct professors worse is one part of that.
  • Chicago teachers voted overwhelmingly to approve their new, hard-fought contract.
    Our contract was approved!
    @CTULocal1 via Twitter for iPhone
  • The Chicago Reader responds to a Tribune editorial dumping on public schools and praising Mayor Rahm Emanuel's favored (non-union) charter schools:
    There are 541 elementary schools in Chicago. Based on the composite ISAT scores for 2011—the last full set available—none of the top ten are charters. None of the top 20, 30, or 40 either.

    In fact, you've got to go to 41 to find a charter. Take a bow, CICS Irving Park!

    Most of the 49 charters on the list are clustered near the great middle, alongside most of their unionized neighborhood schools.

  • So fucking depressing:
    California's public higher education system is, in other words, dying a slow death. The promise of a cheap, quality education is slipping away for the working and middle classes, for immigrants, for the very people whom the University of California's creators held in mind when they began their grand experiment 144 years ago. And don't think the slow rot of public education is unique to California: that state's woes are the nation's.
  • The anti-teachers union, pro-charter movie Won't Back Down had the worst opening weekend since 1982 for a movie showing in more than 2,500 screens. The movie flopped despite being heavily promoted by right-wing organizations including the Heritage Foundation, FreedomWorks, StudentsFirst, the Heartland Institute, and the Chamber of Commerce. Anthony Cody argues that the movie's failure among critics suggests that people are getting wise to the corporate deformers since the release of Waiting for Superman.

State and local legislation

  • California Gov. Jerry Brown did veto some bills that would have helped domestic workers and farm workers, but he also signed a bill promoting retirement security for private sector workers. It always seems to be a split decision where Brown is concerned.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Another depressing case of the United States emphasizing trade with a country—in this case, Bahrain—at the same time as it's threatening and suppressing union activism:
      ...the government has accused activists of tarnishing its reputation. Their names and photos -- circled in red -- were published in Al Watan newspaper, a clear threat with chilling consequences for any Bahraini citizen who values freedom of speech. Even less subtle, the very GFBTU leaders who accepted a humanitarian award have told us that they receive regular and threatening calls and messages.
    • In 18 months, the AFL-CIO has registered 450,000 voters from union households.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by Teachers Lounge, Progressive Hippie, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  shocked, shocked that academic imanagement (5+ / 0-)

    acts like fascist capitalists

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:08:07 AM PDT

  •  Shame on us as a country (8+ / 0-)

    The stupidest, most destructive thing you can do to a society is to neglect the next generation.  Every time I hear someone say they shouldn't have to pay taxes for schools because they don't have kids in school I want to scream.  

    I hope we wake up soon, but I'm not optimistic.

  •  The three rules of the modern workplace (10+ / 0-)

    1.  STFU

    2.  Get back to work.

    3.  Bring me the goddamned money.  Now, asshole,  I ain't got all day.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:10:13 AM PDT

  •  After dealing with the online program (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, katchen, dufffbeer, rbird

    Pearson Learning for 2 years I am retiring.  One more online program and I will explode.

    Psst!!!......Willard let us see your income taxes.

    by wbishop3 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:17:37 AM PDT

  •  Education, Shoes, Brain Surgery (10+ / 0-)

    It's all finance.

    In 10 years the teachers and half the surgeons will be in Bangalore anyway.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:18:51 AM PDT

  •  Wow. Nice piece of misrepresentation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dizzzave, johnny wurster

    In this post. I assume you are talking about the edTPA. This assessment is developed and owned by Stanford. Pearson is ONLY contracted to provide hosting services and hiring trainers (a mix of teacher Ed faculty and k12 teachers). In fact, Pearson won the contract because they were the only company willing to allow Stanford to retain ownership and control of the assessment.

    The edTPA is meant to be an external measure that is one component of candidate assessment. It absolutely Does not limit field observations by faculty.

    There are policy issues, but at least characterize the assessment correctly.

    •  I think you need a whole diary to make your case (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, mahakali overdrive

      You may have a compelling counter-case but I just don't know.  The Stanford vs. Pearson thing in itself doesn't make the case, since universities are willing to be as reactionary as for-profit companies when it comes to proprietary ways of doing things, especially Stanford which is arguably far the most conservative of its genre.

      Romney '12: Berlusconi without the sex and alcohol!

      by Rich in PA on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 12:43:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, Stanford does have seem to lean conervative, (0+ / 0-)

        but the diarist clearly implies that this is a Pearson test.  It is not.  It is a performance assessment designed by a research group at Stanford.  The assessment closely matches the intasc standards for teacher education programs.

  •  Between this diary and "Cloud Atlas" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rbird, divineorder

    I have a desperate urge to get out of the house and head to the nearby foothills. I need to breathe.
    I want to hope a rising up is coming, but sometimes I don't.

    •  There's gold in them thar hills (peace of mind) ! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Free Jazz at High Noon, 714day

      We did just that recently, headed into the Sangre de Cristos and enjoyed the fall colors in the Santa Fe National Forest.


      Have fun!

      Gotta love this though

      In 18 months, the AFL-CIO has registered 450,000 voters from union households.

      Move Single Payer Forward? Join 18,000 Doctors of PNHP and 185,000 member National Nurses United

      by divineorder on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 12:43:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the view. On a cloudy day in L.A. (0+ / 0-)

        it was a little less lovely but not at all bad.
        Speaking of clouds and the need for change, I veer a bit OT
        to share the trailer for "Cloud Atlas", synopsised thusly by the producers:

        An epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present, and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution.
  •  Barbara Madeloni was my teacher (13+ / 0-)

    when I was concluding my teacher training program at UMASS. I was on a fast-track licensing program becuase I already had a PhD in a scientific field and was switching careers to become a secondary school science teacher. She ran our weekly seminar that went along with student teaching. Barbara or her grad students were an important presence in the classroom. How can you fairly observe a teacher from a video? Everything that happens in is the context of the classroom and students. How can you possibly "observe" when you are not present in the classroom. This makes me angry beyond belief. She is outstanding, and many future teachers are going to miss out on her wonderful support and insight. I consider myself lucky to have been under her guidance. Why is everything about public education becoming "for profit."  This is very sad.

    •  Why is everything becoming "for profit" ... (5+ / 0-)

      ... period?

      Aren't there some things which should be done just because they're the right, correct thing to do, regardless of cost or the time or the money involved?

      And which are worthwhile enough that they should be kept out of the hands of for-profit corporations who have primary motives other than those goals?  (e.g. insurance companies whose primary motivation is making money for their stockholders, not ensuring the health of U.S. citizens)

      Apparently not anymore.  At least not in the U.S.

      •  This isn't for profit. The diarist has (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster

        Oversimplified the assessment and mischarecterized Pearsons role.

      •  I agree (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        peregrine kate, niemann

        This alarming trend extends beyond public education. I am just so focused on public education right now because my daughters are recent high school grads and my husband and I were so invested in their education. Luckily they went to a great public high school, but they were still subjected to high stakes testing. I teach a Biology course preparing students to take the Biology MCAS here in MA. Passing this test (along with the math and ELA MCAS tests) has become a requirement for graduation. Someone is making a lot of money off of this testing. What a way to stifle  a kid's interest in science. Now they are dehumanizing the teacher evaluation process.  How demoralizing. Immigradvocate (see comment below) says there is a move to get this teacher reinstated. I will be following this closely.  Thanks for your thoughts.

    •  The U Mass Newspaper, the Daily Collegian has (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, mahakali overdrive

      more details and says there's a campaign to get here reinstated.

      •  I won't pretend to understand the "entire" (0+ / 0-)

        story behind this person's firing.  However, there could very well be another side to this story.  Generally, universities do not fire people willy nilly and are relatively tolerant of dissenting voices.

        However, if the edTPA is a requirement for license (by the state) or approved as part of the teacher education program, then it would be inappropriate for this person to allow an "opt out."  There are many pilot programs like this throughout country because teacher ed programs are working to scale the assessment.

        This newspaper columnist doesn't add any facts to what edTPA is....and misstates its role.

        Don't forget, many professions have professional standards and certification exams.

        •  Professional standards (4+ / 0-)

          and certification exams - yes. I totally agree with that. The problem is having your "teaching" evaluated remotely, completely out of context. I completely DISAGREE with that. I do not feel that this practice the "professional standards" for teacher evaluators.

          •  Have you seen the assessment? Have you done (0+ / 0-)

            any research on it beyond what is in this diary?

            The written "test" provides the context - it is much more than a simple 10 minute video.

            A few of my colleagues signed up as evaluators over the summer.  They did it to get a better feel for the process.  They are highly experienced teacher educators and have evaluated (in person) probably hundreds of student teachers.  They found the process reasonable (although concerned about workload) and it required multiple sources of evidence (from video, artifacts of student work, lesson plans, and written explanations from the candidate) for each rubric.

            Almost all professional certification exams are done out of context and by an external party.  At least this one is a performance assessment.  

            •  Thanks for the details (2+ / 0-)

              At UMASS (as probably everywhere) our evaluation materials included artifacts of student work, lesson plans, written reflections, etc. I agree that these are very important. I need to do more research on this new system. I was just wondering why it was decided that it was better to have someone outside evaluate teaching methods based on a video, than to have someone from the Institution granting the teaching degree/certification do the observing. The "old" system seemed to work fine, at least for me. I just need to do more research on this.

              •  I don't disagree with you. However, I also see (0+ / 0-)

                the benefit of an external assessment as one way to tell those outside of education to stfu.

                I do have plenty of concerns with edTPA, but Pearson isn't one of them.  edTPA is much better than Praxis (which we still have to use).

                I put myself in the neutral camp.  I see the benefit from a professionalization of the field argument.

        •  "Generally, universities do not fire people (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli, mahakali overdrive, Ree Zen

          willy nilly and are relatively tolerant of dissenting voices."

          Really? I have a bridge to sell you, if that's what you think.

      •  Thanks! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, mahakali overdrive

        I will be sure to read more about this now that I know what has happened. Thanks for letting me know. I figured a lot of people would be upset by UMASS letting her go.

    •  It's a real problem, and I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You cannot observe in this way AND she was right to resist that.

      This pisses me off. I hope it's fought. Hard.

  •  In the minds of so many "job creators"... (6+ / 0-)

    ...workers are fungible commodities.

    IMO, when you treat workers as part of the solution, as part of management (in some countries in Europe, Boards of Directors include workers' representatives by law), when you treat them as felloow human beings and part of your community, it's a win win situation.

    I am afraid this is not part of our culture, the distant echo of slavery is still an influence.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:25:50 AM PDT

  •  "Tenure-track" means "Not tenured yet, and (9+ / 0-)

    you don't do it our way, you never will be." There's no protection until you've completed the (usually) 6-year probationary period. Plenty of time to find legal (even if unethical) reasons for firing someone. I've seen it happen several times.

    •  Yep (4+ / 0-)

      Saw it happen when I was in grad school.  The professor in question sued the school and won.  This was back around 1990 and the technique was old then, so the practice of stiffing tenure-track professors has been around for a while.  It's one of the reasons I stopped at my MA (the other big one being the huge amount of debt involved in a PhD).

      Please feel free to HR me for my informative and argumentative nature. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

      by rbird on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 12:25:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  when you have to sue to get tenure, something's (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rbird, mahakali overdrive, sethtriggs

        wrong with all involved

        yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

        by annieli on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 01:21:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  that stifling is based on the culture of the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        institution.  It is also done by faculty to themselves.  It doesn't really make sense.

        •  "Done by faculty to themselves" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Oh do elaborate. Really.

          Also, are you IN Higher Ed, perchance?

          •  yes, I am in higher ed. and just received tenure. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Here is how the tenure-track process works...

            As a new faculty member, you get reviewed in three areas -- teaching, scholarship, and service. You keep a portfolio with evidence of your proficiency in each of these areas.  In some cases, the department bylaws require a detailed letter of expectations for the new faculty other cases, it is vague.

            You get reviewed multiple times during your first 6 years.  You can get non-renewed at any of these points if you are not making progress towards your tenure requirements.

            Your department is the first decision point.  They vote on your tenure (or renewal for earlier reviews).  This is the most important vote.  Further steps really need to have a very compelling reason to go against the department faculty vote.  The next step is usually a college (or university-wide, depending on size) personnel committee vote.  After that, it goes to the Dean and then on to the Provost.  If you want to see a university have a melt down, see what happens when a Dean or Provost goes against a faculty vote.

            At each stage, the faculty member does have the opportunity to file a response (if there are questions) or grievance.  For example, if you have evidence that you are doing well at teaching, scholarship, and service, but your department votes against you because they don't like you.  Obviously, this part is ugly and contentious.  But, it generally works.  Of course, if it doesn't, you can sue.

            It really is a pretty crazy process, but it does provide the tenure-track faculty member with protections.  Due Process!

            •  Oops...I didn't answer your question... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive, rbird

              But, the process of review does help!

              So, by faculty stifling themselves, I mean:

              The faculty breeds a certain culture within their department.  At the ugly extreme, tenured faculty show disdain for untenured youngsters and "junior faculty."  They don't have much respect for junior faculty voices and expect them to toe the department line.  Even worse is when two (or more) factions of tenured faculty vie for power & untenured faculty get caught in the middle.  These power plays lead to stifling dissent.

              However, other departments are much more collegial and supportive of untenured colleagues.  They are respectful, helpful, and encourage untenured faculty to have a voice...higher ed utopia.

              Obviously, most departments are somewhere between these two points.

              Universities are interesting places, because faculty really don't have a "boss."  The administration has almost no control over curriculum & gets strength from cooperation (and purse strings).

              •  Agreed here (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                I've seen some of that factionalization and understand what you're talking about here. It can be very particular to any given institution and department without a doubt.

                Do you think, in the case of this Professor, that it was a more personal issue where she had bad blood with her Department itself? That is more likely to lead to a loss of position than a fight with Administration, usually, UNLESS it's a very programmatic field, which Education can be, and ruthlessly so at that.

                •  well, this person was not in a tenure-track (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  position, so it is hard to know.

                  If the university (or school of ed) decided (probably through faculty governance or external - Mass Dept of Ed mandate) that edTPA was going to be used, then it was the professional responsibility as director of that program to implement it.

                  That doesn't mean she can't personally and professionally dissent, but it also doesn't mean that there are no consequences for dissent.

                  •  Consequences for "dissent" (0+ / 0-)

                    are generally discouraged via Academic Freedom statutes. Particularly if something is still being piloted and is controversial (which it is; citations widely, widely available). There are current reviews ongoing by UMass Profs to determine whether this was a contractual violation. I'm curious about that. Since I have a friend at UMass, I plan to just ask directly about any buzz over there as well.

                    •  She seems to have had administrative respon. (0+ / 0-)

                      I don't know this specific case.  I also have no idea what was in her contract.  I do think it is important to note that the articles say she was responsible for "overseeing" the teacher ed program.  This is an important word.  It does denote that she had administrative responsibilities for the teacher ed program.  This might have been full-time (still an academic appointment) or part-time with other teaching responsibilities.  

                      An administrator, has specific expectations that are not covered by "academic freedom."  For example, an administrator in the College of Business would find him or herself out of a job in a hurry if they endangered the College's MBA accreditation.  An administrator that doesn't follow certification guidelines in a school of education jeopardizes the entire program and all of the students in it.  I don't think it would be wrong to fire that administrator.  In fact, that almost happened at a university in Wisconsin.  the director of the school of ed was negligent and scheduled student teachers a full 4 weeks shorter than required by law.  The university shut down it's teacher ed program for 3 years for "redesign" instead of having DPI shut it down entirely.

                      MA is listed as a state participating in edTPA with policy pending.  This means that it is very likely that the state will require the edTPA for teacher certification.  By instituting a pilot, the university was preparing for that requirement AND also taking an active role in the development of the assessment itself (Stanford takes these pilots very seriously).

                      It is also important to note that the Dean did the firing.  I assume (but don't know) that the pilot was an initiative of the College and it was the responsibility of the person overseeing the education program to implement it.  The pilot was likely endorsed by faculty as well.

                      •  If she was an administrator (0+ / 0-)

                        that would possibly change things, although it would depend on whether she held multiple appointments. Most faculty hold some type of administrative appointment, almost universally -- I'm sure you must, and I know I do as well. Of course, this depends wholly on her contract and in what capacity she was acting in this instance, which right now is much conjecture. From what I've read, she was an eight-year "lecturer" (I was initially under the impression that she was tenure-line; this would be of interest to me, this distinction, for obvious reasons).

                        So again, over at UMass, there is some motion to look through her contract and see if anything was violated. That's happening now.

                        That she was fired by the Dean isn't meaningful to me since I'm not sure whether it came FROM the Dean or not. Even if the Dean were to be the one with the axe.

                        Again, I think we'll see more about this story. It's certainly gaining traction amongst Professors in California right now who aren't very fond of the Common Core and/or actively oppose it, and also, who don't seem to like the way that this assessment was initiated. It's already gaining some pretty vocal pushback, although I suppose it's due to everyone stuck home grading on a weekend night.

                        Ultimately, I'll be honest in that I'm not all that concerned with the fate of this one, particular Professor, sorry, but I am fascinated by the greater implications of edTPA and would think a discussion about the design of it would be of central conversational concern here. It is widely viewed in a similar vein as RTTP is, and I think it contains the same sentiment which drove the recent Chicago Public Teacher's strike.

                        I have no particular comment in regard to MBA programs and how they conduct themselves.

            •  I almost stopped reading when you say "here is how (0+ / 0-)

              the tenure process works."

              Because I definitely know how it works. Firsthand. But it's illuminating to discuss, especially for anyone just tuning in.

              First and foremost, the review areas (teaching, scholarship, service) change considerably with each University and even in each Discipline.

              That you can get "non-renewed" based on "reviews" is vague as you're stating it. Whose reviews are you talking about here?

              It usually is departmental first and foremost, but your process doesn't follow that at my University, FWIW. We have a slightly different hierarchy. Agreed about Dean vs. Faculty vote.

              I'm strongly "for" tenure-track protections. I think it can be a flawed process, of course, and I've seen a few pre-tenure faculty make poor moves or fail to fulfill obligations. In the end, tenure ought be awarded when a Professor is fully able to serve as Department Chair of in another comparable, standalone capacity, plain and simple. They need to show that degree of competence. Also, they need to be able to work with, and stay with, their University for the long-term. Commitment goes two-ways.

              I'm largely agreeing with you, but still teasing out some of the nuances that shift from various institutions.

              Not to mention the differences between R1's, Teaching Colleges, and small Liberal Arts Colleges, etc.

              •  absolutely. I should have clarified that this (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive

                is the process at the 2 universities that I was at.  And, there were lots of differences in the number of times I was reviewed by faculty & the amount of evidence I was expected to produce.

                Both of these were comprehensives (no PhD granting programs).

                I hope I'm not unique, I found the process fair and my colleagues were very supportive.  And, I'm not a conformist -- I did push them to consider non-traditional / new media publications & pushed the envelope frequently.

    •  again, not true. (0+ / 0-)

      First, the concept of tenure is very liberal.  It is something we should celebrate.  It is central to faculty governance...not dictation from administrators.

      In theory, the people that know the faculty member the best are the ones that make hiring and firing decisions.  The fact that someone is tenure-track does mean that they have certain protections.  For example:

      "Plenty of time to find legal (even if unethical) reasons for firing someone."

      Shows that there must be protections in place. By "legal" you mean reasons based on the bylaws of the department or handbook.  There must be "cause" for non-renewal.  The tenure-track faculty member can't just be fired at a whim.

      There are obviously many cases where the process is corrupted, but so many more times where it works the way it should.

      •  Tenure track faculty can be fired (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, peregrine kate

        for all manner of reasons which may not formally be stated to be "on a whim," but are often precisely that, particularly at some notorious R1's where "tenure-track" is often used as a means to keep Professors at minimal pay without ever advancing them (in this case, not by firing, but simply by refusing tenure; faculty PARTIALLY evaluates this in conjunction WITH administration, who have the final say).

        •  classic case: Paul Baran, who was kept at (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive

          minimum professorial salary throughout his entire career.

          Paul Alexander Baran (25 August 1909 – 26 March 1964) was an American Marxist economist. In 1951 Baran was promoted to full professor at Stanford University and Baran was the only tenured Marxian economist in the United States until his death in 1964. Baran wrote The Political Economy of Growth in 1957 and co-authored Monopoly Capital with Paul Sweezy

          yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

          by annieli on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 02:17:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  generally, if you are refused tenure, you need to (0+ / 0-)

          leave the university.

          I won't deny that there are places where the process is corrupted, but I prefer the tenure process to the business model!

          •  It depends why you're refused tenure though (0+ / 0-)

            If it's some B.S. requirement like you weren't cited enough times that year, that's a problem. Ditto with "enough service." That can be a sticking point and totally open to interpretation. Likewise, student evaluations dropping in terms of total score IF you simply had a bad batch.

            Then there's the really fun one of having an incompetent tenure committee.

            Finally, there's the sad fact that some R1s will hire tenure-track with no intent to ever award tenure at all, simply cycling through tenure-track faculty on-and-on. Some Universities/Departments are notorious for this.

            Just a few examples.

            But I strongly support tenure review over other dubious models. Nonetheless, the process can, and is often, flawed.

            •  yes - Like I said earlier. The process can be (0+ / 0-)

              corrupted.  I did my homework to avoid those places - but often you don't know until you start.

              •  I also specifically asked to see the department (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive

                by-laws and a letter of expectation before I took my second position.  I was well informed by my adviser!

                •  Often, freshly-minted Ph.D's have no choice (0+ / 0-)

                  with the academic job market being what it is, placement is very often not a choice, and with the recent dustup over in Colorado, the notion of landing any tenure-line job within three years is only further underscored for new hires.

                  It's not always about choice. I applaud anyone on the job market who can make a selection about which program they would prefer to join, else risk potentially losing their entire academic career.

                  Did you receive your second position post-tenure? Am I reading this properly?

  •  Quick question on American Crystal Sugar (3+ / 0-)

    They don't sell under that name in my area, but I know they manufacture for private labels as well.  Does anyone know what those private labels might be, so I know whom to avoid?  If anyone knows, thanks for your help!

  •  Let's assume a sudden privatization of (7+ / 0-)

    all schools and fulfill the wingers' dream.  How will they staff the schools?  Do they have secret camps where certified teachers are hiding out, or will they have to hire from the existing pool of credentialed teachers, the very ones they seem to think are so dreadful?   Convincing their gullible flocks that current educators are horrid and then turning around and foisting these selfsame horrids on students in the newly privatized schools just doesn't make sense.  And after all this demonization, just how many young people are going to consider entering teaching?  

    Romney went to France instead of serving in our military, got rich chop-shopping US businesses and eliminating US jobs, off-shored his money in the Cayman Islands, and now tells us to "Believe in America."

    by judyms9 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 11:52:40 AM PDT

    •  I won't. (6+ / 0-)

      It's just this bullshit that keeps me out of teaching, as Ph.D. in a hard science.  Why get paid half or one third what a science job would pay, just to be everyone's political football?

    •  Or no license at all. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      In some states, non-public schools aren't required to have certified or credentialed teachers.

      Of course, the wealthy can keep paying for private tutoring and the best instruction they desire for their children.

    •  The teachers are hiding in India (5+ / 0-)

      First, spend money on computers, so students have access to the internet.

      Second, build a teaching web site that is full of canned academic presentations to send students to, so it looks like they are learning something.

      Third, set up feedback that cannot be automated by hiring subject matter experts in India, Singapore, the Philippines, Russia, Belize or anywhere else that will provide cheap educated peons.

      Fourth, hire minimum wage day care workers to mind the kids while they are sitting at computers in their American 'classrooms.'

      There is absolutely no need to rehire credentialed teachers, in fact, having a teaching credential will probably be an employment disqualifier in this brave new world.

      "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

      by Orinoco on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 12:30:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Indiana is dropping the Praxis tests for teachers (7+ / 0-)

    and going to a test designed by Pearson "to meet the needs of the state".

    I have been selected to be on the Content Advisory Committee for final approval of test questions for the General Music and Instrumental Music tests.  Needless to say, we're being DAMNED rigorous in our sessions, even rewriting questions.  Because if a new licensing law passes, this test is the ONLY thing standing between some doofus who can play a couple of chords on a guitar and a music classroom.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 12:06:50 PM PDT

  •  We now have a privatized government, (4+ / 0-)

    Citizens United made that official. Everything public will eventually be made private. This is shit that we all need to know and understand before we can work collectively to find effective solutions.
    In my humble opinion, nothing will be fixed until we outlaw private political contribution and go to a system of public campaign finance.

  •  Call the AAUP (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I imagine the AAUP will be less than happy with the "oh, we fired you for reasons supposedly unrelated to academic freedom, and by the way, you stayed nine years at a so-called non-tenure-track position that we admit should have been tenure-track all along" dodge.  The AAUP's options are pretty much limited to censure, but sometimes that's enough to get someone reinstated.

  •  Not that surprised (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dale, Free Jazz at High Noon

    that this is a target of privatization or just doing things on the cheap. I am in a faculty position at a state university and supervise students in the field in a different field of education. In the 20+ years I've been doing this I have often found myself defending the importance of direct supervision. It certainly costs more but it is the only reliable way to evaluate students' understanding and application of practices. Direct observation of students in the classroom is necessary to fully understand the context of the classroom, gain sufficient insight into the student's thinking and practice, and provide necessary guidance.

    Find me on Twitter:

    by wave of change on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 12:32:05 PM PDT

  •  A take home test & a video edited the test taker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive

    Nothing will ever go wrong with that.

    Psst!!!......Willard let us see your income taxes.

    by wbishop3 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 02:15:50 PM PDT

  •  some background on edTPA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    OK, so first.  edTPA has its genesis as a performance assessment for teacher candidates in California.  It is designed by Stanford with LOTS of input from teacher ed programs (design teams stocked with well regarded teacher education faculty) around the country.

    Second, Pearson is simply a contractor that has been hired by Stanford to manage the technical aspects of the portfolio system and hiring / training evaluators.  The evaluators are comprised of 50% teacher ed faculty & 50% k-12 educators. Each submission will be reviewed by two evaluators (@ $75 each).  Stanford (and AACTE) needed a large organization to manage this part of the process in order to do the assessment at this large of scale.  Pearson was selected because they were the only company that agreed to let Stanford retain ownership and control of the assessment.

    Third, edTPA represents teacher education programs being PROACTIVE, not reactive to political trends.  Teacher Ed programs are under attack, just like the rest of public education.  The attacks are B.S., but there is one thing that is hard to argue -- we (I am a faculty member in a teacher education program) do not have a mechanism to provide evidence that we are developing effective teachers.  Almost all professional programs -- legal, business, nursing, doctors, engineering, etc. have some sort of external certification "test."  AACTE (American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education) recognized this problem.  Instead of waiting for the Department of Ed (or, a haphazard mix of state agencies) to impose another incoherent NCLB-style policy, AACTE decided to act.  They partnered with Stanford to expand the California assessment and have been working over the past few years (with state agencies) to bring it to scale under the name, edTPA.  Thankfully, they selected a performance assessment (actually assessing evidence of being able to teach) instead of a simple multiple choice test.

    Fourth, the assessment is one component for certification, not the only criteria.  The arguments that I have seen in this diarist are false.

    Be used in combination with other measures as a requirement for licensure; and
    I'm not blind or naive.  I do understand the limits of the assessment and am frustrated by the additional cost to new teachers.  The sky isn't falling, it isn't a corporate takeover of education, and it isn't going to be a silver bullet either.  We are being mandated (by our state Department of Public Instruction) to implement it at my university.  We are not thrilled about it, but we also don't see it as a bad thing.  In fact, we are using implementation as a way to self-assess our program & pull together a variety of aspects in our program that have resulted from a variety of shifting state mandates over the past year.

    It really isn't that big of a deal.


    •  thanks for the links (0+ / 0-)

      yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 02:32:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The nctq position of slowing down (0+ / 0-)

        edTPA should be a good reason for us to be ALL FOR IT.

        Look at NCTQ funders:

        Our university is in the process of responding to a legal settlement with NCTQ's demand for our teacher education course syllabi.  They are in the process of grading teacher ed programs based on an arbitrary word search of these syllabi.

        If your program has enough of the right words, you get a good grade.  What words?  They won't say.  But yet they have the balls to have a "transparency central" to show how much universities charge them to comply with their requests.

        NCTQ is what teacher educators at Daily Kos should be railing against!

      •  but, they are not entirely off on this post either (0+ / 0-)

        ...edTPA isn't a perfect system.  In fact, the pass rate in California (on the predecessor) is something like 96%.  I'm not arguing that edTPA is great, just that it isn't evil.

        As a parent, I wouldn't want my kid in a class with someone that couldn't pass the edTPA.  And yes, I am very aware of the standards and rubrics used in this assessment.

  •  "Complacent" or "compliant"? (0+ / 0-)

    Acceleration is a thrill, but velocity gets you there

    by CarolinNJ on Sat Oct 06, 2012 at 04:21:20 PM PDT

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