Checking our Privileges are Faculty Organizer Learning Conditions

Cultural Capital Doesn't Pay the Rent

Maria Maisto is President/Executive Director of the New Faculty Majority Foundation. I first learned about her work in 2010, doing search after search trying to find out if there were any organizations addressing the adjunct crises. I came across NFM, joined the org and joined the e-mail list. I mostly quietly observed the communications, trying to get a sense of who this group f activists were and what labor activism is versus community-based activism. I learned a lot.

Maria has been going up against the system creating, as she calls it, “the largely manufactured adjunct crises,” very directly. You can find her testifying before the IRS trying to insure we didn’t lose as much income as was clearly coming down the pike when administrators were finding ways to avoid including contingent faculty under the new ACA/Obamacare guidelines.

Early on in SEIU’s organizing they turned to Maria to understand more about adjunct working…

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Contingent Faculty and Labor Justice: Opportunity, and Incorporation

The New West

The third post in our “professional development and reflections on the discipline” series, curated by the WPSA Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession, discusses contingent faculty. Julie Novkov, current WPSA President, reflects on the realities of adjunct and contingent faculty, and suggests what we and our universities can do to transform thinking around, and acknowledge the crucial contribution of, contingent faculty. Other posts in this series include Failure and Success in the Academy, By Susan Sterett, Jennifer Diascro, and Judith Grant, and The Personal is Political, or At Least, Relevant, by H. N. Hirsch. If these topics are of interest to you, we would like to encourage you to register for the short course at the APSA conference in Philadelphia in September on Unlocking Success with Failure. This half-day short course will focus on unlocking our success – as individuals and institutions – by exploring the failures…

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Fighting Labor Contingency: Getting Teacher Unions to Work with the Larger Labor Community

ICYMI post by Geoff Johnson, new VP of AFT Adjunct and Contingent Faculty Caucus

The Adjunct Crisis

Good Adjuncts,

As I more or less said in an earlier post, if the fight to address the issue of adjunctification is ever going to get anywhere, we have to realize and act upon the fact that adjunctification has been going on in earnest in all aspects of the economy under the terms like “labor contingency,” and the “independent contracting” of the “gig economy”.  In that post, I pointed out how this was the discussion you needed to have with your students.

But that’s just the beginning of it.

Teachers’ unions and traditional labor unions need to get on the same page in addressing the issue, and really, adjuncts are the true link between the two.

For those of you needing a little background into the history of labor and teachers’ unions in this country, the history of such unions takes two strains.

One strain was that, as with…

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First AFT #Adjunct/Contingent Faculty Caucus #aft14!

from the archives, Bill Lipkin and Caucus № 1, 2014

National Mobilization For Equity

AFT14,BillLipkin.CFC Interim Chair Bill Lipkin

This evening saw the first ever gathering of AFT’s Contingent Caucus.

It was organized by Bill Lipkin and attended by about 40 AFT contingent members and allies from around the country. Margaret Hanzimanolis acted as secretary.

This historic event will help to give contingent faculty a greater voice within the union of 1.6 million members, of whom perhaps 100,000 are contingent academics in higher education. Thanks to Bill, Richard Gomes and Margaret Hanzimanolis for pulling this off—it’s been a long time coming!

Yesterday and today saw the unanimous approval of a number of excellent resolutions that pertain directly to contingents. More to follow.

LR: Margaret Hanzimanoulis, Bill Lipkin, Richard Gomez L-R: Margaret Hanzimanolis (CA), Bill Lipkin (NJ), Richard Gomes (NJ)

from Peter D.G. Brown, New Paltz, originally posted to the adj-l listserv

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My AB 1690 Advocacy Letter to the California Senate Education Committee Members

We’ve been waiting and hoping for one of our California partner organizations to submit something for the Legislation page. Geoff Johnson’s AB1960 update and advocacy letter fills that gap splendidly.

(Thank you, Geoff ~ you’re hired as our California correspondent)

The Adjunct Crisis

Good Adjuncts:

For those of you outside the state of California, a big adjunct issue playing itself out in the chambers of the California Legislature is the push for adjunct job security via AB 1690.  The bill made it past the Senate Education Committee, and now awaits a more uncertain battle in the great legislative graveyard–the Senate Appropriations Committee, where its forerunner AB 1010, died last year. I choose to be optimistic.  if it makes it out of appropriations, it is almost certain to get approved by the floor of the senate, then sit before Governor Jerry Brown.  What will he do? No one is certain, but I’d like to think he’ll sign it,and I’m doing everything I can, along with so many others, to see he has that chance.

This the letter I wrote to the legislative aides of particular senators on the Ed. Committee.  They are often the…

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The First Rule of Test Club is We Don’t Talk About Test Club

ICYMI gadfly Steven Singer’s take on PARCC’s big PR blooper. Even if you didn’t miss it, here are more links:

Celia Oyler’s post that started it all,

Social media and blogs pick it up. Mercedes Schneider analyzes the PARCC argument,

…goes main stream in Slate,

and US Today,

If PARCC can and will do this to individual bloggers, what, if not our own effects, prevent others from doing the same to retaliate against testing resistance?



How can you criticize standardized testing if you aren’t allowed to talk about the tests?

To show why these assessments are bad, you have to be able to mention specific questions on the exams.

But if you do that, you will be violating the test company’s copyright and thus be subject to legal action.

So there will be no discussion of your concerns, no defense of the questions in question. Instead you’ll be threatened to silence.

This is the Catch-22 for teachers, parents and children throughout the nation.

We know the federally mandated high stakes assessments public school children must take are poorly constructed, culturally and racially biased, and ultimately unfair. But if we speak up in public with any kind of specificity, we’re threatened with steep fines. And if we write about it on-line, those articles will be taken down, censored or otherwise disappeared.

This is what happened…

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#Petition @wethepeople to include #Adjuncts in #PSLF Program

Yes, it does ~ or should. Make it so now. First, sign (of course) and then spread the word. Share on social media. Re-blog. RT. Send it to all your email groups. We’ve got a lot of numbers to round up by the end of May. ICYMI here’s the petition copy:

Adjunct educators teach many of the classes that are the foundation of higher learning, and are often the first professors a student has at college. They have the same education and experience as tenure-track professors, and the same student loan debt, but usually make less than half of what their full-time, tenure-track colleagues make. Including adjuncts in the Loan Forgiveness Program would give them the ability to keep making a difference in education while offering a way out of crippling debt in a poor job market. Adjuncts who teach 4 or more courses at qualifying institutions per academic year for 10 years, and who would qualify if full-time, should receive the same loan forgiveness as their full-time colleagues.

 And here’s the link, Include Adjuncts in Loan Forgiveness Program. There’s more to say, and we will; many links to share, and we will.

The Tide Is Turning: High School Is Coming Back

This did not get the attention or traction it should have. The higher ed media coverage gap seems significant, especially considering the report’s source. Surely this gap speaks to the vested interests of college prep, testing and admissions industry that advertise in higher ed media.

More Links:

Executive Summary:   20160120_mcc_ttt_execsummary_interactive.pdf 

Real Learning CT

Sometimes changing one thing in a culture changes everything. That is what more than 50 college and university deans of admission, college presidents, and university chancellors, in addition to representatives from public and independent schools, are hoping for. Their one thing to change is the process of applying to college.

Educators on both the high school and college side of the college admissions process have been looking with dismay at what adolescence has become for many students due to the pressure to succeed in high school in order to gain college acceptance. They are concerned that those pressures have been harmful to the students’ well being and have influenced them to be overly self-absorbed. That group, with representatives from the most prestigious colleges and universities, recently released a report through the Harvard School of Education, entitled Turning the Tide, which details proposed changes in the college application process. All…

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Some Characteristics Of Fascism in the early to mid 20th Century: Hmmmmm?

Revisiting Laurence Britt’s classic 2003 Free Inquiry Magazine article, read it today through the contemporary lens of contingency, public education and the politics of the 2016 election campaign.

DCGEducator: Doing The Right Thing

screen-shot-2015-11-11-at-9-14-21-pmIf these ring any bells here in the early 21st century , it surely must be purely coincidence…or not!

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights – Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.”

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause – The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. “Controlled” Mass Media – In many cases the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives.

5. Obsession with National Security – Fear is used as a…

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John Merrow Reflects on Four Decades of US Education

Examining the history of US education ~ all levels, public and private ~ is critical to understanding public education now ~ and changing course.

Diane Ravitch's blog

A few months ago, John Merrow met with the National Superintendents Roundtable (a non-reformster group) and talked about the best and the worst of what he had observed in 41 years covering education.

His biggest regret? He didn’t find the key document about cheating in DC until after his Michelle Rhee documentary had aired.

His major prediction: a major charter scandal will soon erupt.

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