Adjunct Solidarity Day

Hope you are wearing red today to show your support for our adjuncts as their union continues negotiations on a new contract. Anyone who has done it knows that it is a hard road to walk. And it is a mistake to think that they are second rate teachers; research shows that many of them are excellent–even better than their full time colleagues. It is also a mistake to think that what happens to them doesn’t affect the rest of us, and it is ridiculous to ignore what is happening to them everyday. To wit:

Un-Hired Ed: The Growing Adjunct Crisis

To FC4, Love District


Going along with the example set by WIKILEAKS, the following information is being leaked through district faculty council. You might want to ask your local administration why they have not relayed it to us.

Julius Nadas,
secretary FC4

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

1. December 13-16, 2010:  College Success Seminar Training is scheduled to take place at District.  The request for College Success to be part of load is under review

2. December 18, 2010:  All grades must be entered into PeopleSoft no later than Saturday at 2:00 p.m.  Faculty who are experiencing issues should contact the CCC Help Desk by email or by phone 2600.  Also, campus Registrars are available to be of assistance.

3. January 3, 2011, additional advisors and tutors will be hired for each college and will be paid for by an ICCB grant.

4. January 6, 2011:  The Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet at Harold Washington College.

5. January 10, 2011:  Spring 2011 semester starts Monday; spring classes begin Tuesday, January 18, 2011.

6. January 2011: The Upgrade to Blackboard 9.0 will be available.

7. February 15, 2011:  Initial deadline date for I.A.I. five-year Course Review process.  College administrators, Department Chairs, and District Academic Affairs need faculty assistance to complete program reviews.

8. The 2010 CCC Credential Guidelines are attached. If you feel you are qualified to teach courses on some other basis you will need to present the relevant documentation to your VP and ask that it be presented to the district office of Academic Affairs.

9. The spring 2010 Syllabi Audit conducted by the Office of Academic Affairs is attached.

10. Please remember to update your syllabi and upload them to Blackboard for spring 2011 classes.  Syllabi are expected to be available to students no later than the first day of classes.

11. The official CCC Syllabus Template is attached.   2011 CCC Syllabi Template

12. A sample CCC Syllabus is attached.   F09-CHLDDV-109-K-Connor

To FC4, From District Office

Each week, FC4 representatives (and our own FC president (TBD)) will be sent the upcoming events from District Office. Please relay questions and concerns here or to your local FC (or FC4) representatives.

1. November 19, 2010 is the deadline date for online training for faculty to enter their final grades. For face to face training, please check with your College’s Registrar.

2. December 1, 2010 COMPASS test scores will be automatically loaded into PeopleSoft.

3. December 11, 2010 is the last date to enter your final grades on line in PeopleSoft.

4. December 17, 2010 students will have access to one CCC transcript, which will list transfer credit as well as all the credit courses taken from the various CCC’s. A separate transcript for Continuing Education courses will be available.

5. January 3, 2011 testing for foreign language proficiency using the ACTFL or the CLEP will be available at each campus.

6. January 3, 2011, additional advisors and tutors will be hired for each college and will be paid for by an ICCB grant.

7. The CCC catalog is available in three versions: print, CD, and on-line. The Spanish version of the CCC Catalog is under development and may be completed as early as January 2, 2011.

8. Please inform adjuncts about the availability of services to assist at-risk students, especially, tutoring and advising. Students are currently being contacted regarding their mid-term grades.

9. A draft version of the Credential Guidelines, first distributed in 2007, has been updated and distributed to Deans of Instruction and Vice Presidents for their review and comments.

10. Please check with your Dean of Instruction regarding date for submission of your tenure portfolio.

This is Absolutely Necessary and Horrifying Reading

The 2010 Schott 50 State Report on Public Education and Black Males was released this week by the Schott Foundation (Read the whole thing for yourself HERE). In Illinois, only 47% of black males who start high school graduate. That compares to 83% of its white males. Only four states have a larger gap–New York, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Also stunning is the fact that even with that abysmal showing, Illinois is right on the median national average (though it should be noted that 36 states graduated a higher percentage of Black male students than Illinois did.

Also jaw droppingly horrible: Chicago’s rate of 44% qualifies it as 17th out of the 59 “large districts” included in the study. New York City is 50th graduating 29% of the 167, 277 students who started high school in 2003-2004.

The Schott Foundation tried to emphasize the good news–NJ had some impressive results–but it is very, very not good news overall.

I don’t know what to do, but it’ll have to be something…

CCC Alert System

The CCC alert system will be put to the test today. I prefer to think of it as a beta roll out since we will all be testers. The information has been provided in writing and it appears that all precautions have been taken.

At our last department meeting, several members raised possible and plausible concerns. I thought it may be a good idea to share our faculty concerns and assist in the enhancement of this program. Detractors are also welcome. Speak your mind, I mean, write it down.

Provide your comments and concerns now or AFTER you’ve gone through the drill(s).

Schools in the News

There’s been a flurry of school news lately. Layoffs are starting to hit districts across the state, as the state money crunch, and Governor Quinn’s proposal to slash education spending by $1.3 billion is becoming more real by the minute. We just found out from our daughter’s Principal that the States “Pre-School for All” program was among the items cut from the state budget this year, and they have no money for music either. And, apparently CPS is changing its menus.

As noted to be a possibility right here on the Harold awhile back, the four day week has been floated and passed the House. It probably won’t happen in Chicago, though, since neither the Mayor nor the CPS Union wants anything to do with it.

One glimmer of hope amidst the economic carnage is the fact that an increase in Pell Grant spending was attached to the Health Care Reform bill, and the feds will spend an additional $36 billion over the next ten years. There was also quite a bit of money attached for Community Colleges, though not as much as had originally been proposed by the President (or hoped for by the colleges).

Still, we’ll take any good news we can get, right?

State Budget Crises

There was a news conference on Thursday where some things were said that bear watching. Y’all have heard all about the state budget fiasco over the past couple of years, most recently at the State of the College Address, so this shouldn’t be news, but the fit is beginning to hit the shan in a big way, and we would be foolish to ignore the possibility of a little spatter, no matter how well Ken Gotsch has managed our (district) money over the past few years.

Chicago Public Schools is facing a deficit of up to $1 billion next year that can be reduced only through a combination of pension reform, union concessions and job cuts, schools chief Ron Huberman said Thursday.

Without all three measures in conjunction, Huberman said, teacher layoffs, increased class sizes and cuts to important programs are distinct possibilities.

Huberman will be seeking concessions from the Teacher’s Union, asking them to renegotiate their current contract while it is in effect. The union, unsurprisingly, showed some resistance to the idea. Stuck into the article, down toward the end is this little bit of scariness:

Huberman can declare a fiscal emergency, which would force the union back to the bargaining table.

That’s right. Under a “fiscal emergency,” as declared by the administration, the CPS contract can be opened up. As in, completely–previously negotiated health care, pay, class sizes, etc.

And, though Illinois is one of the worst, at least when it comes to funding pensions, we are not the only state in a similar rough spot. In Georgia, they’re looking at going to four-day school weeks, with slightly longer hours and a shorter school year.

Now that the Olympics aren’t coming, with the economy remaining in the dumper, and economic pain all around, we should expect there to be little sympathy for unionized teachers, especially for ivory towered elites who work 15 hours a week and average $70,000 a year with their summers off (remember that one?), should the state keep skipping its bill payments and cause a fiscal emergency for our district…