Bienvenido, Chancellor Salgado – Adelante!

So, we have a new Chancellor.*

Meet Juan Salgado–this interview from The Reader, published shortly after Chancellor Salgado was named a MacArthur Genius grant recipient for his work in community advocacy is a good place to start. Salgado is clearly connected to the city power networks and Mayor Emanuel–he also serves as a Commissioner on the Park District Board. Yesterday, I heard some grumblings about him as “anti-union” and guessed that it was related to his leadership of a couple of charter schools (and that seems to be the case–apparently he put up some resistance to one of his schools’ attempts to unionize, at least at first), but was happy to find this article from 2015 about unions and charter schools from just last year where, if you read through it, you’ll see him quoted as saying:

I sat down with Juan Salgado, the president and CEO of Instituto Del Progreso Latino, a nonprofit educational organization in Pilsen, a predominantly Latino neighborhood in Chicago, to learn what it’s been like for him to oversee two charters that have unionized with AFT. Salgado believes that unions have been tremendous assets for his schools, particularly around some of the more fraught questions of wages and benefits. Can such issues be resolved “without a union?” he asks. “Yeah. But can we move forward to actually run a school? Probably not.” The mutual buy-in at the end of the negotiating process, Salgado said, created a better spirit at his schools.

Though Salgado was explicit that he disapproved of the way the union conducted its first organizing campaign—the organizers caricatured him as an evil boss, he says, solely to advance their strategy—he still feels the resulting unions, full of organized, passionate people, are no hindrance to excellence. “Unions ask a lot of questions! And that’s OK,” he says. “Critical questioning causes reflection and makes sure you have very good answers. And they demand transparency, and transparency is important. It’s a value that we should all have.”

I love the idea of having a Chancellor who has a moral commitment to education as transformative, though, I’m reminded that Chancellor Hyman has a deep belief in that same principle. I’m a little worried that so much of the talk about education and schooling that I see in relation to Chancellor Salgado (and the Mayor) consistently connects learning and jobs/careers. Even while I understand the appeal and value of a pathway to work and pay, we have seen where that narrow conception of the value of a liberal education can lead. I am heartened by his commitment to (and experience in) citizenship preparation and GED programs and recognize those and his charter school experience as providing something of what Faculty Council asked for in regard to an “educational background,” and I hope that Chancellor Salgado will recognize that his experiences at Moraine Valley and his work experience are a long way from being a complete understanding of what we do and do well. (For example, he is quoted in the Sun-Times article as saying, ““The school that I run, 54 percent of our students get some sort of college credential before they graduate from high school. We need to do that in every school because that saves students and families money and advances them into higher education,” he said. But a credit is not a credential, and a community college is not a bridge from high school to college–it IS college. But maybe that’s just semantics. Certainly everyone in a new job deserves the chance to learn and grow and show what they can do. I look forward to seeing what our new Chancellor does and can do. Hell, I look forward to actually seeing our Chancellor in the colleges for something other than a press conference with the Mayor.

 

*I have to also say that I was also happy to see that the news reports were not mere restatements of the press release, but provided fuller context on situation that our new Chancellor comes into. I’m not sure if it was a fluke or part of the information provided by our current board and leadership or whether we have Donald Trump to thank for the new willingness on the part of our local press to not accept the pronouncements of City Hall as unquestionable truth, but I’m happy to see it.

Nothing New Under the Sun: ID Policy Edition

So, just the other day as I rode home on the train, I was thinking to myself how nice it is not to have to be fighting about paper and copiers anymore, a thought that came to mind as I walked out of the building and saw the signs taped to the doors saying students would not be let in without their IDs. “This again,” I thought as I walked by, which drew my mind into other policy battles of the past (e.g., the Great Copy/Printer battles of 2012). Happily distracted by thoughts of gratitude I didn’t think much of the new ID policy, knowing that our active and effective Faculty Council was on the case and, surely, this wouldn’t be a thing again.

And then, just yesterday, I had a student show up at the very end of her class’ first examination, in the last two minutes of class, actually, apologizing and worried. She remembered having her ID with her at home in the morning, but somewhere between that memory and her arrival at school, she’d misplaced it. Unfortunately, she didn’t have ten dollars with her, nor a bank card to get some, so she had to go back home, get a check, get to a bank, cash it, return to school, pay the ten bucks, get a new ID and then find her professor and hope that she could get a make-up (which, as you surely can imagine) is not a guarantee for any college student.

In other words, this young woman could easily have lost the chance to pass the class (while, nevertheless on the hook for paying for it because she misplaced her ID one morning and goes to a school that refuses any other means than $10 to verify that she is in fact a student at the school. Had she been allowed to log in to Blackboard or MyCCC.edu on her phone or on a computer in the lobby, the security guards could have easily verified her status and purpose.

Talking to her, I had a tremendous sense of deja-vu. This policy is a policy that creates problems for our students by solving a problem for…whom exactly? Security? Administrators? Who? And then it hit me. We’ve seen this one before. And I wrote about it before. So I went back and found my post about the last time this happened, and re-read it, and found that EVERY SINGLE CRITICISM  applies now. Was SGA involved? Was Faculty Council (hint: No)? Is there data supporting broad HWC community desire for this policy (or some other reason–legal, safety (has there been a spike in thefts by unidentifiable visitors?)? Is this the plan to make up for the service-sucking state-budget-created black hole of a problem one Hamilton at a time? What problem is it solving and for whom? Who knows? So, why now? Good question.

Last time, in September of 2014, Margie “postponed the implementation of charging $10” for people without their ID. I guess that “postponement” ended the first week in February. But it’s not any less of a stupid policy. My student got her make-up exam and an apology from me for a school policy that made an already difficult and challenging day much much harder. That seems like the opposite of what our HWC values and aims are.

I just don’t get why this is a thing.

First CASTivity for Spring 2017

It’s about the P-word:

Exam

Placement.

We are inviting all interested faculty to join us for a CAST Lunchtime chat on

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

12:30-1:50pm

CASTle (Rm. 1046).

Our English and math placement coordinators as well as our dedicated testing center staff will be present to talk about the new placement process and its impact.

See you there!

 

Upcoming Conferences

conference

Over the last few weeks, Grace and I have received conference announcements from a few disciplines. Please keep sending those that you’d like to share.  Below are some conferences that are happening soon.

Rosie

Upcoming Conferences

Chicago SNCC History Project (Black History Month Conference):  “From Civil Rights to Black Power”: Tracing the African American Freedom Struggle” (Fri, Feb 17, 2017 – Sat, Feb 18, 2017)

Roosevelt University

Theme: This is 50 years after the, very controversial, shout, “Black Power”, rang out, on a Mississippi highway, as part of the Meredith March Against Fear. It signaled challenges to the early integrationist, non-violent and leadership of the southern civil rights movement and the beginnings of demands for equity rather than integration, an end to old alliances and the creation of new alliances, tactics, leadership and a change in locus to a northern / national Black Power/ Black Liberation movement.

The Chicago SNCC History Project in cooperation with the SNCC Legacy Project and others will use this year’s Black History Month Conference to revisit this, understudied an often misunderstood but crucial, part of the on-going African American fight for freedom, social justice, and humanity.

At this historic two-day conference, through discussion, film and music, we will begin the study of such important period. A usual, this will be an intergenerational arena where we will count on the participation of those who were there in earlier days as well as those younger people who have now taken up the on-going fight for freedom, justice, and humanity.

21st Annual Illinois Community College Assessment Fair (February 24, 2017)

Prairie State College

Theme: Assessment: Just and Fair

The keynote speaker will be Norbert Elliot, Professor Emeritus at New Jersey Institute of Technology. The title of his presentation is “Ethical Theory, Writing Performance, and Assessment of Student Learning: Foundational Principles” and will address fairness in assessment and its relation to validity and reliability.

Proposal deadline: Friday, February 10

Submission and registration details are available at the conference website: http://prairiestate.edu/academics/assessment-fair.aspx

For questions, please contact Carolyn Ciesla (cciesla@prairiestate.edu; 708-709-2949).

29th International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Math (March 9-12, 2017)

Chicago, IL

https://pearson.cvent.com/events/ictcm-2017/registration-d92237f82db14378aaa394e2c0a5d7a1.aspx?utm_medium=email&utm_source=HED_Math_ICTCM17_Registration_Oct10_SOC&utm_campaign=701b00000006Kt9&cmpid=701b00000006Kt9

Oakton Women’s and Gender Studies Program 2017 Conference (Friday, March 24, 2017)

Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, IL

Theme: “In Challenging Times:  Women, Activism and Leadership”

Keynote: Barbara Ransby, the new NWSA President Proposal Deadline: February 15, 2017 Full details of the conference, including possible topic areas, and guidelines for submission of proposals, can be found in the attachment to this message.  For more information, please contact Kathleen Carot, coordinator of Women’s and Gender Studies, at kcarot@oakton.edu or 847-376-7061.
Excellence in Teaching Math and Science Research and Practice (April 13, 2017)  

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

https://www.math.uic.edu/chicagosymposium

53rd Allerton English Articulation Conference (April 19-20, 2017)

Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Monticello, Illinois

Theme: Addressing the Moment: Resistance and Resilience

This year’s theme, Addressing the Moment: Resistance and Resilience, invites us to consider challenges we and our campuses face in light of budgetary exigencies and changing political tides. With budgets slashed, MAP grants in jeopardy, and resources for higher education more fragile than ever, how do we find the spirit and equanimity to support our students and colleagues through our work in English Studies? Since our theme is suggestive, meant to invigorate rather than limit our discussions, proposals need not adhere strictly to our thematic invitation. As always, suggested proposal topics include but are not limited to composition, cultural studies, diversity, English education, first-year experience, English language learning, film, genre, literature, developmental writing, reading, cognition, collaboration, technology, placement, assessment, and Writing Across the Curriculum.

Proposal deadline: February 15, 2017

Please email a title and one-paragraph abstract of your individual, group, or poster presentation proposal to AllertonConference@niu.edu by February 15, 2017. Those accepted will be notified by March 1, 2017.

Good news from CCC. No really…

Posted on behalf of Michael Heathfield

The data are in – serious big data. Millions of anonymous tax filings and tuition records have been used by The Equality of Opportunity Project which specializes in using mass data to create policy solutions for social justice and increase equality. The headline of the just-published data set when searched for CCC says:

“The median family income of a student from City Colleges of Chicago is $31,700, and 4.9% come from the top 20 percent. About 2.7% of students at City Colleges of Chicago came from a poor family but became a rich adult.”

Behind this unsurprising finding there are much more important data about which we should be proud. On the access issue it is very clear who our students are. Really clear:

heathfield-1

Yet, with regard to social mobility we do much better than we might imagine:

heathfield-2

So we end up with what I consider to be a fairly impressive “mobility index”:

heathfield-3

To know our students, to know the struggles some of them face, and to now know that big national data puts us at 53 out of 690 community colleges for real impact to family lives, is a pretty impressive performance. Of course, I am being selective with the data I report here. Yes, really.

You can find the full data set here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/projects/college-mobility/city-colleges-of-chicago.

Sure, there is more to do. And yes, we must always get better. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful 2017 to have a District leadership team who lead by knowing and acknowledging the pretty spectacular job we already do? Oh happy day!

 

Mike Heathfield