How Was the Rally?

Did you go?

Post your stories and/or links to your Tumblr (or whatever) for photos.

And if you didn’t go, consider reading this fascinating piece from Forbes Magazine called, “The Wisconsin Lie Exposed” (or this one which is the inspiration for the Forbes article) and support the Wisconsin teachers by spreading the word about the Wisconsin teachers and their pensions:

Many of us are familiar with the concept of deferred compensation from reading about the latest multi-million dollar deal with some professional athlete. As a means of allowing their ball club to have enough money to operate, lowering their own tax obligations and for other benefits, ball players often defer payment of  money they are to be paid to a later date. In the meantime, that money is invested for the ball player’s benefit and then paid over at the time and in the manner agreed to in the contract between the parties.

Does anyone believe that, in the case of the ball player, the deferred money belongs to the club owner rather than the ball player? Is the owner simply providing this money to the athlete as some sort of gift? Of course not. The money is salary to be paid to the ball player, deferred for receipt at a later date.

A review of the state’s collective bargaining agreements – many of which are available for review at the Wisconsin Office of State Employees web site – bears out that it is no different for state employees. The numbers are just lower.

In other words:

They are not, in fact, asking state employees to make a larger contribution to their pension and benefits programs as that would not be possible- the employees are already paying 100% of the contributions.

What they are actually asking is that the employees take a pay cut.

Read the rest, and then spend a few minutes lamenting the state of modern journalism (or should it be lauding the non-mainstream media?) by watching a prescient clip about modern journalism from a movie that should have won a boat load of Oscars (7 nominations, zero wins) called Broadcast News. The important part starts at about 1:35.

A New Community College Degree: Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences

Check out what Wisconsin Community Colleges are proposing:

“Easing their way into awarding four-year degrees, some community colleges around the country have begun offering applied baccalaureate degrees with a technical, workforce-ready focus. Two-year colleges in Wisconsin, however, are lobbying the state system to let them offer a different kind of applied baccalaureate – one with a liberal arts focus and aimed at rural, place-bound adults.”

If people are as serious about completion rates as they claim to be, this looks like one really innovative, potentially useful and positive way to approach the problem.