More Stuff To Read

Looks like they’re getting close to the end of this strike–which is good because I have a still huge and growing backlog of reading to share with you people. Here’s some:

~I have been pained every time I read in an article or a comment about that “Chicago teachers make $71,000, on average” because standing alone that number means nothing. ‘What’s the median? What’s the mode? Is the value set skewed and which way? Who is included in the list? Is that salary or income (i.e., does it include summer school, coaching, etc.?” I shout at my screen. Makes me crazy. Probably because I remember when they used a similar number against us in 2004. Anyway, I’ve been hoping for and waiting for and finally found someone willing to give a little attention to all of that. Here you go:

That aside, there are typically two ways one might choose to compare teacher salaries to determine how they fit into their competitive context. One is to compare teacher salaries to non-teachers of similar age and education level. The overall competitiveness of teacher salaries tends to influence the quality of entrants to the profession. The other is to compare teacher salaries – for similar teachers – across districts within the same labor market…

So, here’s a quick run-down on salaries and student populations – and funding equity (or lack thereof) – in pictures and tables.

~CTU is reminding people why we have unions (included is news about their high levels of support among both parents of CPS students and likely voters, putting the lie to some of the things we’ve heard about the toxicity of the current environment for all unions and Wisconsin, Wisconsin, Wisconsin–boogedy, boogedy, boogedy):

The strike by Chicago teachers is reminding all of us of the reason we have unions, and the reason why they are so feared and hated by those who are in command. The ability of these 29,000 teachers to act as one, to withhold their labor, gives them a power far mightier than the sum of their parts. So long as they stay unified, and have the support of parents in their community and others across the nation, they will prevail.

And in other news, if you’re in line somewhere to get the new iphone (or even if you’ve never had one) this article describing how Apple invented it is fun to read and fascinating:

Put it all together and you get remarkable story about a device that, under the normal rules of business, should not have been invented. Given the popularity of the iPod and its centrality to Apple’s bottom line, Apple should have been the last company on the planet to try to build something whose explicit purpose was to kill music players. Yet Apple’s inner circle knew that one day, a phone maker would solve the interface problem, creating a universal device that could make calls, play music and videos, and do everything else, too—a device that would eat the iPod’s lunch. Apple’s only chance at staving off that future was to invent the iPod killer itself. More than this simple business calculation, though, Apple’s brass saw the phone as an opportunity for real innovation.

Finally, just in case you’ve managed to stay focused on your teaching through all of the strike and GradesFirst and copy code and new ids and assorted hub-bub, there’s been some good stuff over at Truman’s Center for Teaching and Learning, for example this suggestion on how to get students doing their reading. I do some similar kinds of things and have found them to be very helpful for the class of the day and the course as a whole. Good stuff.

Updates over the weekend or next week on Faculty Council news from our meeting on Tuesday, GradesFirst language and updates, Reinvention stuff, and more.

In the meantime, remember that your Day 10 list is DUE TODAY and you (and your students) need to have your new ID by Wednesday or you’ll be standing in line waiting for a pass to get in…Have a great weekend. Mine is off to a spectacular start!

3 thoughts on “More Stuff To Read

  1. I have been very impressed with Karen Lewis especially how she is handling the proposed agreement. She is actually waiting to see the language in the contract before taking it to her membership. If only Perry had been as firm in his own negotiations. No telling what was actually agreed to in our contract and I’m sure we are all waiting to see what MOU he will come up with.

  2. Just finished reading an article in the Trib titled ‘Mayor’s reputation tarnished in teachers union dust-up’.
    Here’s the link:,0,7339940,full.story

    Too little too late, but it’s not like Perry stood up to the mayor and asked for more time or that he encouraged unity amongst members like Karen Lewis, but I thought he might benefit from reading the last part of the article:

    Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, said he expects Emanuel’s experience with the teachers union will make him a little less strident in pushing forward with policies likely to find him at odds with organized labor.
    “I would imagine that would be the case,” Sawyer said. “I think he can see the unions are standing solid on these issues.”

  3. HA! Too funny, phD.
    Bears tagged on this post.
    I guess I’m as slow as their offensive line for catching it three days later.

    Packer fans…


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