Bloomberg takes a look at some pushing and shoving over where teacher pension funds should be invested in New York. I have no idea if Joel Greenblatt* is the best money manager for public pension funds and how his investments compare with other options, but I do think that whether or not he’s into charter schools really shouldn’t be a factor in whether public entities use his services. Pension funds are supposed to provide for the retirement security of the current and future retirees they’re serving, not act as political slush funds to bully people around various education issues (or other issues for that matter).
Here’s some background on this issue and also how teachers unions and private equity/hedge fund types are really frenemies when it comes to investment strategies.
*Don’t know Greenblatt (though I know Eva Moskowitz who leads the school network he is helping).
Update: Here’s a profile of Greenblatt’s education work. Apparently in addition to helping provide better educational options for low-income kids he also helped turn around a Queens elementary school. He sounds just horrible!
Update II: Word is the teachers unions are outliers on this at yesterday’s meeting, other city pensions want to invest with Greenblatt who apparently delivers results. And here’s another article on this issue.