Friday, October 24, 2014

Adjunct Faculty in Illinois Win Right to Unionize

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By Mary Ellen Flannery It’s been more than two years since adjunct professor Curtis Keyes Jr. and his colleagues at East-West University in Chicago decided they didn’t want to live on peanut-butter sandwiches anymore. They didn’t want to say farewell to two-thirds of their faculty friends at the end of each semester. They wanted a [...]

Community Colleges Critical For Job Creation, Says Obama

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By Mary Ellen Flannery When Winston Bender graduates next year from Northern Virginia Community College with an associate’s degree in automotive technology, he knows he’ll have a job waiting. Standing next to him is proof — Kul “Jimmy” Heo, a recent graduate who had no problems getting a paycheck. “I am the proof!” he says, [...]

For-Profit Colleges Face Tougher Regulations

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By Mary Ellen Flannery Those for-profit colleges that take in millions of federal tax dollars but turn out graduates with mountains of debt and worthless degrees will have to do better for their students. Long awaited regulations released this week by the Department of Education make it clear that those “career colleges” risk losing their [...]

Academic Freedom Sold Off Cheap

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By Mary Ellen Flannery What’s the price of academic freedom? At Florida State University, it looks like $1.5 million – or the amount donated by a right-wing billionaire who, in return, gets a final say in faculty hiring. The contract between the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation – and yes, that is the same Koch [...]

As Pell Grants Go, So Goeth the Economy

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By Mary Ellen Flannery Teri Sibenaller, an English and education major at Northern Illinois University, knows she’s going to be a great teacher someday — but not if conservative lawmakers cut short the college dreams of millions of Americans who rely on federal Pell Grants to pay their tuition. “It’s taken me 10 years to [...]

New Life for the DREAM Act?

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By Mary Ellen Flannery Mary Ann Pacheco still remembers a conversation with a former student, who had returned to campus after earning a college degree in architecture. ““I was talking to her and I said, ‘What are your plans for the future?’ And she said, ‘I don’t have a future – because I don’t have [...]

GOP Budget Slashes Education and Health Services

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By Mary Ellen Flannery On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled his much-anticipated 2012 budget proposal. Ryan calls his program The Path to Prosperity, which it probably is – if you happen to be rich and are looking to get richer. If, on the other hand, you are a middle-class American who [...]

A Wave of Teacher Retirements on the Horizon

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By Mary Ellen Flannery In Wisconsin, the number of state employees who have applied to retire this year is already 73 percent over last year – and public schools are bracing for a full-on stampede before contracts end in June. Educators simply can’t afford to stay on. With Gov. Scott Walker’s success in gutting collective [...]

College Affordability Must Be Protected, Says Congressman

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By Mary Ellen Flannery What’s your tax rate, U.S. Congressman John Tierney asked higher education employees at the NEA Higher Education Conference on Saturday. Is it a mere 2.4 percent – like the tech giant Google? Or is it zero — like Boeing or pharmaceutical king Pfizer? Maybe you received an enormous refund like General Electric? Probably not. [...]

Oklahoma! Where Educators Have a Voice

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By Mary Ellen Flannery Even as corporate interests are trampling middle-class workers in Wisconsin, Idaho and elsewhere, there is still inspiration to be found in states where educators are being heard by their representatives. Like Oklahoma! A few weeks ago, a bill to prohibit the Oklahoma Education Association from collecting dues or contributions to their [...]

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