New Bellwether policy brief takes a look at pensions and Social Security (pdf). Big implications for teachers:
For the majority of retirees today, Social Security makes up the largest portion of their retirement income. Yet despite Social Security’s importance, and its prominence as a political issue, most Americans aren’t aware that not all workers enjoy the benefits of Social Security. In fact, 6.5 million state and local government workers, including 1.2 million public school teachers, lack the protection of Social Security.The IRS has a formula for testing whether state and local government retirement plans provide sufficient retirement benefits to their workers. If a retirement plan fails the IRS test, the state or local government must offer its workers Social Security instead. In theory, this “safe harbor” provision sets a base floor for the retirement plans offered by state and local governments. Even in the worst economic times, state and local policymakers know that they can’t cut benefits by too much, or they risk being forced into Social Security and into paying the taxes that come with participation.In practice, however, this safe harbor provision fails to protect the majority of workers who aren’t covered by Social Security.
Having been credentialed as an elementary teacher already—years ago, in a neighboring state I will identify only by indicating that it has the most loathsome baseball team imaginable—I figured that doing so here would be an annoyance, but not especially challenging. Truth be told, I felt kind of like one of those drivers obliged, through some bureaucratic misfortune, to retake the road test.
My stars, was I wrong. And you know what else I was wrong about? About half the answers on my first practice math test. I was expecting “Pick out the rhombus!” and “Do the times tables up to thirteen!” Nope. See for yourself. Questions 20 and 36, for example, gave me a bit of a workout.
Michael Magee on diversity in school leadership:
Diversifying education leadership—and retaining those leaders—will not happen on the wings of our good intentions. We need to take a closer look at districts where people of color hold and keep leadership positions. And then we have to make a plan to model those districts. It will take a diverse body of educators, both those who lead America’s public schools today and those who want to lead them tomorrow. Hollywood is waking up to its diversity crisis. It’s time to disrupt the status quo in education as well.
For context (pdf), education doctorates make up nine percent of all doctorates earned in the U.S. and are also the largest concentration of earned doctorates for black Americans. So something is going on more than supply.