Past practice and other arcane collective-bargaining matters

Now that the spring semester is over, it’s time for me to catch up on a bunch of reading. In the current-higher-ed-commentary genre, I just finished Matt Reed’s Confessions of a Community College Administrator, and am looking forward to Jeff Selingo’s College (Un)bound, which came out this week. I thoroughly enjoyed Reed’s book, though I […]


I am hesitant to draw too many conclusions about the just-ended Chicago Teachers Union strike. With an overwhelming recommendation by the CTU delegates’ assembly, after talking with the rank-and-file on the picket lines, we can probably assume that the membership as a whole will ratify the tentative agreement. But the practical and political implications of the […]

Brief note on CTU strike

Unfortunately, I’ve got a ton of stuff to do this week, or I’d write a longer note on the Chicago strike. But please read Dana Goldstein’s blog entry today, which has a useful thumbnail history of teachers unions. A few notes: 1. Politics of public-employee unions. While Matthew Yglesias is correct that the politics of […]

For public schools, “artistes” need not apply

A few weeks ago, my summer class and I discussed teacher evaluations–the first paper for the class uses value-added measures in teacher evaluations as the case under discussion.1 This undergraduate class serves both several teacher-education programs and also the university’s general-education curriculum, and one of the students who is not in teacher education asked how […]

University of Florida faculty union head: Why the giant provost’s raise in the midst of budget cuts?

From John Biro, University of Florida chapter president of the United Faculty of Florida: Dear Colleague, Before the Administration imposes the draconian budget cuts it claims are unavoidable, it owes the faculty answers to these questions: 1. Why, instead of imposing a hiring freeze, is it continuing with extensive hiring? Today’s Chronicle of Higher Education […]