Teacher Pensions Are Not “Gold Plated,” Willingham x 2, Teacher Prep, Walkouts, Bullying, More!

In Democracy Chad Aldeman and I take a look at the big pension lie proponents (implicitly) and opponents (explicitly) tell: Teacher pensions are “gold plated.” They’re not. Chad and I look at why and what policymakers can do to make pensions more effective for more teachers, including those who teach for a long time but not in the same places because of life circumstances. Also, the Social Security problem.

Traditional pension plans simply don’t work that well for the majority of teachers. Lost in all the attention to the cost of teacher pensions is the more fundamental design problem. Traditional pensions are a lousy fit for today’s teacher labor market.

The design problem is overlooked because there is a lie, or perhaps more charitably a myth, at the heart of the debate about teacher pensions. “Teachers get “gold-plated” pensions,” argue critics and some conservatives. “Pension reform is a scam intended to take away the good pensions teachers get,” counter the teachers’ unions. The hyperbole obscures a harder reality: Teacher pensions aren’t gold plated. In fact, they’re not very good for most teachers at all.It’s all here at Democracy.


I’m starting to think that Richard Whitmire and Peter Cunningham don’t like Betsy DeVos.

Willingham: My daughter is disabled, please don’t look away from her. And here’s Willingham on teacher prep.

Is NCTQ’s controversial ed school review actually working?

Hard to miss how social issues left, right, and center got rolled in the omnibus bill. No DACA fix, minimal border security, nothing big on guns or Freedom Caucus priorities. But lots of money. Even in the Trump era some laws of political gravity remain mostly intact.

Years ago test scores were the gold standard for evaluating school choice programs. The evidence on that front is pretty modest. So now choice advocates are talking about whether test scores matter that much. On a parallel track there were people who were skeptical of test scores but didn’t look at the school system through rose colored glasses and supported choice as one strategy to drive change and create pockets of innovation within it – those were people like Ted Sizer.

PA Superintendent on why she treated gun walkouts like any other discipline issue. Texas superintendent accused of bullying when he was in middle school. He denies it but witnesses coming forward. Latest here.

The critics are right. Post-secondary preparation is really lacking.

Bangles 2011.

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