Monday, March 30, 2009

Business As Usual

A great HS math department destroyed: JD2718 on Bronx HS of Science.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Western Culture's Got To Go

Lesboprof on changing values. The Chronicle an organ of propaganda? One is shocked!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Some Fell On Stony Ground

D-squared offers a parable of the crisis ("work to rule"). But read it in the blog itself (at March 09 09) so you can look at the comments.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Targeted Tutoring

So I took a meeting yesterday. Which I seldom do, of course. The shiny silver lining of the cloudy state we'll call "contingency" is the right to refuse a mission. But they're starting up this experimental-status thing here in the Math department where I'll work with a Regular Faculty and one of his classes... essentially as a "section man" (to stir up a vanishing piece of academese)—but with, of course, weird rules for the "section" that I'm to run.

Most of all, so put it up front and mention its obviousness, is extra paperwork. Because, naturally, the experiment is being run by the Law of Bureaucrat Gravity: pander to money. Evidently it pleases somebody somewhere to say: apply this-or-that new buzzword and prove you're doing it: look, here's a grant for an "experiment". Just make sure everything gets turned into meaningless unreadable lies every week or we'll cut you off (at the knees).

Well, probably I should've run like hell but... you know... whatever my project in the Barracks (as I've taken to calling the big Group Office over in MadPOV) is, keeping up with what the Adjunct Pool are up to is sure part of it... and, dammit, this is how departments are run and these poor souls running it are doing the best they can just like (I have to assume) my colleagues of the Adjunct Pool are doing. It's just a rule of social life: you don't question how the other party makes their living. And that'll have to apply even though my project here, if I understand it at all, is to some extent about flying under the paperwork radar to avoid the twin corruptions of Grades and Money.

So anyway, this Section gig pairs me with... let's call him Ira... and a 148 class. The weakest students will be assigned time with me and the whole class will be invited... but, again, the whole point looks to be this Big-Brother-is-watching project: tracking progress of individual students. As far as this meeting is concerned, anyway. Obviously mostly I'll be doing math problems with 'em in practice. And meeting with Ira will be a hoot. I love talking to math teachers about The Art.

Some faculty are better at administration than the Art; it was ever thus and ever must be thus. As I've mentioned before (in my old math-ed blog), scheduling the tutors is service to the profession and one wants to be collegial. The on-line sign-in interface the current underboss imposed on the tutoring process is cosmically bad but hasn't been much of an actual pain in my particular flesh. So I think the thing here is I'm supposed to try to sort of forgive her in advance for the whole clueless waste of time aspect of things that she's sort of necessarily going to be associated with. A "human face of the institution" thing. OK. We'll see how it goes.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

UFT Protest At Bronx Highschool

Mentioned by (leading mathblogger) JD2718. Announced in Gotham Schools.

Thursday, March 12, 2009



The College’s chief academic officer, Provost Dr. Kay Adkins, has not been seen on campus since November. College records indicate she has not been present at any Cabinet or administrative meetings for nearly four months. The administration has offered no explanation for her absence, despite the fact that she is not on medical leave and continues to receive her salary in excess of $120,000. A conspiracy of silence surrounds Dr. Adkins’ status at Columbus State.

Deans and other academic administrators have been asked to assume many of her responsibilities, various functions that require action by the Provost have gone unfulfilled, and reports indicate that she is seeking administrative positions elsewhere in the country and has been a finalist for leadership positions at several other colleges. The Provost Search Committee is in the process of recommending candidates to replace the current Provost, but why is she still on the payroll if she’s not showing up for her job? At a time when many Americans have lost their jobs, the President's decision to continue to pay the Provost to "work" at home seems to be a colossal waste of taxpayer money, as well as an insult to the rest of the College's committed employees who serve students and the community by showing up for their jobs every day.

The Provost’s failure to fulfill the position’s duties has resulted in several embarrassing situations, conflicts between faculty and support staff, and lapses in completion of important College initiatives. It’s time for open communication: why is the Provost being paid to stay at home while much of her work is not being completed and additional responsibilities are being foisted off onto other administrators?

The Scholar In The Category Of Pure Evil

"When an Intent to Protect becomes a License to Harm", by Catherine Scott (Ed Prof in Oz), found in The Third Education Group (amateurish page design... charming or ominous?).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Getting The Word Out

Some recognition for Scott Jaschik (of IHE) by Vanessa of Computers, Language, and Writing, in The New Faculty Majority. The comments feature there is broken; I can't see the word that you're supposed to type in to prove you're a human.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

All Your Danger Is In Discord

Deborah Lewis reports on activities of the Organizing Committee for an organization Yet To Be Named (at th' NFM).