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building CUNY Communities since 2009
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Dear Commons Community,
In a New York Times op-ed today, Chris Emdin, an associate professor at Teachers College and an alumnus of our Ph.D. Program in Urban Education here at the CUNY Graduate Center, examines the role of black male teachers in -12 education. Chris comments that “black male teachers can serve as powerful role models, but they cannot fix the problems minority students face simply by being black and male”. His rationale is:
“Black male teachers are not just expected to teach and be role models; they are also tasked with the work of disciplinarians. The stereotype is that they are best at dispensing “tough love” to difficult students. Black male educators I work with have described their primary job as keeping black students passive and quiet, and suspending them when they commit infractions. In this model, they are robbed of the opportunity to teach, while black male students are robbed of opportunities to learn.”
As a result, black male teachers leave the profession rather than dish out “tough love”.
There is truth to what Endin says but it is not the whole story. The entire profession has a very high attrition rate regardless of race or gender especially in the first several years of teaching. Furthermore, there are so few black male teachers in K-12 because proportionally very few of them go into it in the first place. If there were more black male teachers, they would not all have to be “tough love” dispensers, some would just be teachers.
Chris is correct in that our schools of education can do more to prepare all teachers to deal with severe issues of poverty, the inequitable distribution of resources across communities, and the criminalization of black men inside and outside of schools. But I believe that we would serve our minority students better if there were more role models for them. Our K-12 system needs more male teachers – black, Latino, and white.
Dear Commons Community,
Bill Clinton’s relationship with the for-profit Laureate International Universities received some attention last year but has resurfaced due to the publicity that Bill and Hillary Clinton have received regarding The Clinton Foundation. As reported in the New York Daily News two days ago.
“Bill Clinton accepted nearly $18 million in payments from a prominent for-profit education company, despite the fact that his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, has made criticism of such firms a cornerstone of her education policy proposals, a new report alleges.
The former President took at least $17.6 million from Laureate International Universities, a large for-profit education conglomerate that runs at least 80 schools and universities across the world, in exchange for a five-year role as “honorary chancellor,” NBC News reported.
As part of that job, which Clinton held from 2010 to 2015, the former President traveled the world talking up the advantages the company’s schools offer, according to the network.
But his role appears to contradict many of the criticisms Hillary Clinton — who was secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 — has offered about the very same kind of institutions during her campaign.
Candidate Clinton has vowed to “crack down on predatory” for-profit schools as part of a broader plan to help lessen crippling student loan burdens on millions of Americans.
The “College Affordability Plan” posted to Clinton’s campaign website dubs “for-profit colleges” as institutions that have “too often taken advantage of borrowers” and promised a “crackdown on the abusive practices of for-profit colleges that defraud taxpayers while burdening students with debt for educational programs of no value.”
In fact, one of Laureate’s largest schools in the U.S., Walden University, was found to have burdened students with the second-highest debt load of any American school, according to a 2015 study by the Brookings Institution.
Three of the five schools the company runs in the U.S. have been under what the federal Education Department calls “heightened cash monitoring” due to questions over its finances, CNN reported this week.
In a statement, the Clinton campaign reiterated its desire to “crack down” on for-profit schools operating in “lawbreaking” ways.
Complicating the picture even more is the fact that Doug Becker, the founder of Laureate, has donated up to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation.
And it appears that Hillary Clinton, during her tenure as secretary of state, but before her husband was hired by the company, wrote to a top aide that she wanted officials from the school added to a State Department dinner guest list.
According to emails released by the State Department, Clinton, in 2009, described the company as “the fastest-growing college network in the world” and mentioned that it was “started by Doug Becker, who Bill likes a lot.” Bill Clinton appears to have resigned from his position with Laureate just days before Hillary Clinton announced her campaign and after five years in the role.”
The Clinton Foundation is a weighted chain on Hillary’s candidacy that just keeps getting longer and heavier. The Clintons should divest themselves of all involvement in the Foundation as soon as possible.
Girls for Gender Equity is growing.
We are seeking a full-time ASSISTANT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (FT) to join our senior management team. This is a remarkable new position for an effective and experienced leader in social justice organizations with a focus and commitment to anti-racist, feminist/womanist/queer and/or youth development work. The Assistant Executive Director is the leader responsible for enhancing the internal organization and infrastructure necessary for GGE’s continued growth and, will have both internal and external facing responsibilities.
We are seeking a full-time DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS (FT) to join the senior management team and lead our programming efforts. The Director of Programs will coordinate the effective delivery of programs and services, provide supervision and training to Program Directors, and further integrate our dual macro and micro social work approach. The ideal candidate will be a social change advocate with firm roots in anti-racist feminist/womanist/queer theory and practice, who is prepared to make at least a 2-year commitment to the position.
We are seeking a full-time OPERATIONS MANAGER (FT) who firmly believes in feminist/womanist theory to join our administrative team. Working closely with and reporting to GGE’s Assistant Executive Director and Executive Director, this position’s primary responsibility is ensuring organizational effectiveness by managing and coordinating the organization’s administration, finance, human resources and information technology functions.
How to Apply For Positions Above:
For employment consideration, the optimal way to contact us is via e-mail. We have engaged Héctor Cariño at People Architects Group, LLC to manage this search.
Each position has specific application requirements. Please thoroughly read the job descriptions to see specifically what applications must include:
Application deadline is Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 5:00pm, EDT
Girls for Gender Equity (GGE) is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages applications from people of color, women, persons with disabilities and LGBQ and Trans applicants.
Girls for Gender Equity’s office is located in Brooklyn, New York
Movement Netlab is looking for a Project Coordinator for our first ever community of practice! The community of practice will bring together 5-6 social justice groups and organizations for 9 months to learn about, and implement decentralized network structures.
The project coordinator would be responsible for:
Who are we?
The Movement Netlab is a practice-centered ‘think-make-and-do tank’. We are comprised of movement-based activists, organizers, and researchers whose goal is to help develop powerful conceptual and practical tools that help facilitate the growth and effectiveness of the most dynamic, emerging social movements of our time.
To accomplish this, we work directly with core organizers from emerging popular social movement to support the growth of decentralized, self-organized network structures; we work with technologists who build free and open source technological platforms that support network movements; we work with funders to support the development of movement funding strategies including the design and creation of movement level infrastructure not situated within the domain of a single organization; we work with artists to make these ideas clear, accessible and compelling; We work with trainers who facilitate mass participation; and we work with organizations to develop strategies for working in true partnership with the movements of our time.
Specifications and How to Apply
The position pays $35/hr and would be approximately 10 hours a week between October and the end of December and 10 hours a month from January – August with the possibility for additional hours down the line depending on funding. Send cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org Please submit applications by September 14th, 2016.
Hello and welcome to my Wondering Mind. I use the term wondering mind because not only will this blog touch upon education, and education policy, but other topics from politics, sports, and life. I will not comment on entertainment but topics of educational and intellectual worth. I guess you will be the judge of that. However, I hope to spark some erudite conversation through this. I will ask questions, give opinions (respectively of course) and make notes and observations of things that I come across, from time to time. Enjoy the journey and I look forward to some great discussions and learning new things from those who contribute.
Workers United, New York-New Jersey Regional Joint Board, affiliated with SEIU
The New York-New Jersey Regional Joint Board, Workers United, affiliated with SEIU, seeks an experienced organizer who views labor organizing through a social justice lens. Candidates must be deeply connected to issues including: workplace fairness, immigration, racial justice and education.
As an organizer at the Joint Board, you would be part of a team working on the Nail Salon Organizing Project. Other organizing campaigns may include retail, manufacturing, and garment workers in New York and its surrounding areas. Our current membership consists of workers from nearly every continent who speak many languages but are united through the fight for justice in their workplaces and communities. Our ideal candidate is an experienced, creative, driven, and hard-working organizer who is skilled at and excited by facilitating the empowerment of workers through forming a Union.
· Demonstrated commitment to the labor movement and social justice.
· Minimum of two years’ experience organizing as part of a labor union or community organization.
· Ability to work independently and within a team structure.
· Ability to carry out work in efficient and effective manner to meet goals within established timelines.
· Experience with and enthusiasm for working with people from diverse backgrounds.
· Strong listening and relational skills.
· Demonstrated ability to reflect on and learn from interpersonal relationships.
· Demonstrated independent judgment within an organizing context.
· Ability to communicate effectively with workers verbally and in writing.
· Attention to detail and follow-through.
· Ability and willingness to work on nights and weekends according to the needs of the campaign and within the limits set forth in the staff Union contract.
Fluency in English-Korean or English-Mandarin, including reading, writing, and speaking is required.
· Building relationships of trust with individual workers.
· Identifying, recruiting, and facilitating the development of worker activists to lead and guide union organizing campaigns.
· Facilitating the formation of worker organizing committees that are effective in the overall strategy of union organizing campaigns.
· Conducting worker meetings either one-on-one or in group settings.
· Motivating workers to take action.
· Providing accurate assessments of workers’ commitment to an organizing campaign and their ability to carry out tasks related to the campaign.
· Identifying and building solidarity with community allies.
· Providing input into the development of campaign strategies during all phases of the campaign.
· Probing identified targets.
· Maintaining accurate lists, records, wall charts and updating the database.
· Coordinating workplace actions.
· Working effectively with the organizing team and all Union staff and leaders.
Salary is commensurate with experience. This is a full-time position within the bargaining unit. The New York New Jersey Regional Joint Board is a staff Union shop that provides a strong and competitive salary and benefits package. We are especially interested in applications from qualified candidates who are also women, immigrants, gender non-conforming people, and/or people of color.
A resume and cover letter are required for all applications. Your cover letter should explain your reason for wanting to work for us, an example of how you demonstrated success in a similar position and a description of how this position fits into your long-term career plan. APPLY HERE
Workers United, New York-New Jersey Regional Joint Board is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Recently, our library was considering adopting Augur, a CUNY-made open source reference desk transaction tracking program. It’s a nice program that fills a very specific niche function. We tested Augur at our library for a couple of weeks. Yet despite its niftyness, we didn’t implement it at Kingsborough. This was mainly because it added an unnecessary layer of complication to what is currently a very simple, manual process for keeping reference desk statistics.
I wasn’t too disappointed that the project didn’t go ahead. Manual reference desk tracking has been working fine at Kingsborough, and in some regards there is no reason to interfere with that workflow.
Yet evaluating Augur got me thinking about the value of open source projects for libraries. I found myself revisiting some of the old tropes of open source advocacy: projects like Augur can provide opportunities for us to expand our technical skill sets. They allow us to build collaboratively and to contribute actively to open projects. And so on.
Even though these issues are not new, they are still important in our libraries. Building our librarians’ skills is an important long term goal, as is creating software that benefits libraries. So I hope that we can find opportunities to integrate open source tools that meet the needs of our librarians and our communities.
Dear Commons Community,
The New York Public Library is going mobile by making available an app for downloading 300,000 of its holdings.
The app called SimplyE, is available if you have a library card. If you do, you can simply head to the app to check your desired book’s availability and download it for free, right to your phone. Books in the public domain are available for permanent download.
There are a limited number of licenses for each book, so if you have your eye on a popular choice, you may have to wait until it’s back “in stock” to read it. But you can always reserve a book and download it when it’s available.
Go read and be happy!
Maybe I’m late to the party on this one. But still! My dear friend Devon recently shared this fascinating (terrifying?) article about how non-journalistic content providers are cornering valuable real estate on people’s Facebook newsfeeds with biased snippets about the election. He included a link on Facebook’s website, which the New York Times had also written a short feature about, where you can take a peek at the categories Facebook uses to determine which ads you see when you idly scroll. I already knew Facebook was collecting tons of data about me in order to somehow determine the extent of the echo chamber that is my news feed. But there is something delightfully and tantalizingly navel gaze-y about ogling this page anyway. What do they know about me? Are they right about me? What in the world could they mean by “pessimism”? Is that my outlook?The questions start verging on the existential: Am I somehow this random collection of categories? The algorithm might know more about me then some casual acquaintances! Though it also has some pretty important misconceptions and major oversights. Automobiles? Really?
After a few minutes of this, I wake myself up from from marveling at and fetishizing this technology. How important is it to me that these imperfect details are out there in the world, forming my digital profile and persona? Is this all they have? Where will this data go? How is it being used?
These are all questions I ponder, as I respond to Devon, and then continue idly scrolling away.