Saturday, July 11, 2009


Sorry for not posting more regularly. Sometimes summer is the worst time. Other projects are going on and blogging sometimes takes a back seat. Still, there are a few things of note I wanted to mention.

Unbeknownst to me (mostly because I stopped reading the Pravda-like NY Teacher), Teacher's Choice was restored. For once, the UFT decided not to go ridiculously overboard in announcing they'd gotten something back that they had lost. If you read this blog regularly, you know how I feel about Teacher's Choice. Schools should have supplies, period. For this year, my principal has basically said that due to budget cuts, we shouldn't ask for copies of anything. They have no paper and can't afford any. This is insane.

The UFT did go overboard in announcing that they had "preserved" 55/22 (did anyone know it was on the table? I sure didn't) and got back our two days before Labor Day that they gave away in 2005. Of course, they gave away some of our upcoming raise for it, as well as agreeing to lower fixed annuity rates in the TDA from 8.25 to 7%. I calculated that this little agreement will cost me about $15000 over the next five years based upon the amount I have in TDA and lost salary. So the ten days I save will cost me $1500 each. Thanks, Randi!

There was a spirited debate over at NYC Educator about PCs vs Macs. I pointed out that Macs are PCs, and it's really a question of which OS you want to use. Personally, I refuse to pay a $500 or more premium for the privilege of using OS X on a Mac. Windows Vista works beautifully, and everyone who complains about it should just get over it already. It never crashes, it runs probably 50 times more software titles than the Mac, I can upgrade the computer myself, and I have never had a virus or a firewall breach in the last 15 years. I only bring up the discussion here because there were 20 responses to the post. I wish people would get as fired up about Bloomberg vs Thompson as they do PC vs Mac.

I'm now on the blog roll at Gotham Schools. I think this means I made the big time.

If Michael Mulgrew wants to make a splash, he will come out TODAY and state that tenure is absolutely off the table under any and all circumstances. And unlike Randi, he should mean it.

James Eterno is running for UFT president. He absolutely has my vote. And this kind of topic is the one that needs tons of discussion, no offence to PCs and Macs.


ed notes online said...

James needs more than your vote. He needs you to get the votes of people in your school. Help ICE/TJC organize the rank and file. Start getting the word out now. Ideally, get an email list of your school and forward info as you see fit so that when ballots go out in March they are ready.

ed notes online said...

Better yet, ICE/TJC wants to fill as much of the 800 member slate as possible. Recruit people to run. Very few positions are winnable due to the Putin-like rules, so they don't have to be concerned about serving. But the growth of an opposition movement will force Unity into changes.

As for Macs/Windows, I was in tech since '84 with the latter years in distric tech support. The diff between addressing issues of macs and pcs was very wide in terms of networking and the number of hours needed to be spent in support. Mac all the way.

NYC Educator said...

I've never had a Mac. I was on the verge, but I've decided to plod on with my little Toshiba. Also, your contention that even wi-fi is monitored by the DoE makes me think it's unwise to use my personal laptop at school for anything that goes over the net. It's really disappointing.

NYC Educator said...

By the way, considering that Mac is offering an ipod touch with every purchase, the difference between a small laptop and the small Mac is--small. In fact, there are plenty lightweight laptops that run up to double the cost of the Mac.

Mr. Talk said...

Norm, I will definitely work to get the word out. It's a huge challenge though--most teachers don't even know that there are different slates to vote for,

NYC--I'm not really against Macs, and you are right--when it comes to super lightweight notebooks, prices are high all around. BTW, an Ipod touch doesn't sway me much. My daughter has one and the type is so small that I'd need a magnifying glass to use one.

The DOE can track your online use, if they want. A recent email sent to our DOE mailboxes made it clear that the use of Websense, a filtering software, will probably make using your laptop for personal email and such impossible, anyway.