Showing posts from July, 2009

School Compensation Systems: Salaries vs. Grades

Schools reward their inhabitants in two amazingly different ways: teachers get salaries, and students get grades. Not only are these systems vastly different, but I'm not sure teachers would accept a pay scale that's built like a grading scale, nor would students accept a grading scale that's built like a teacher's pay scale. The vast majority of schools pay teachers according to a "salary schedule," a rigid, two-dimensional matrix of dollar amounts with credits across the top and experience down the left side. The more credit hours you've earned, and the more years you've taught, then the more you'll make. I don't feel it's a fair system, but it's a system that most teachers will agree to use, putting it ahead of most any other pay system available. It's a simple system, perhaps too simple. Its simplicity allows us to easily print and read the salaries on a sheet of paper, and I think that's one reason we continue to rely

A Look Into the Future (From 1998)

While digging through some old papers, I came across a copy of PC World magazine from January 1998. The headline on the cover reads, "YOUR NEXT PC: What's New for 1998 - and Beyond ." Predictions are fun to make, and more fun to make fun of looking back. Let's see where PC World hit, and where they missed. In one section called "The Desktop Computer in Ten Years," PC World asked Mark Weiser, chief technologist at Xerox PARC what to expect by 2008. Here's his list: The PC will move into a closet, and we can expect gigabytes of RAM and terabytes of storage. Displays will be flexible and you can fold them up in your pocket. Voice recognition will not replace the keyboard and mouse for privacy reasons. Wires will become built into walls and the furniture and we will have wireless mice, keyboards, and phones. E-paper will be standard for everything from books to business cards. We will have "pocket net computers" that allow us to log on to the i