Thoughts on Recent Edu-Reads

A typical teacher pension formula multiplies some factor (usually around 2 percent) times the employee’s salary and years of experience. It might look like this:

Pension = 2 percent X salary X years of experience

In the education context, we know that high-poverty schools tend to employ teachers with lower salaries and fewer years of experience. Pensions literally multiply those problems together. Max Marchitello explains and gives an example from West Virginia.

Technically speaking, Ohio school districts aren’t contributing toward teacher retirement benefits.

Tomas Monarrez, Brian Kisida, and Matthew M. Chingos have new work out on the intersection of charter schools and school segregation. They find that charters do contribute to segregation, a bit, but charters are not the primary driver and there’s wide variation across states and geographies. Here’s the Matt Barnum write-up or the Education Next version from the authors.

Even as someone with concerns about private school choice programs, I was reluctant to tout research showing that private school choice programs seemed to have a negative effect on student achievement in states like Indiana, Ohio, and Louisiana. I wondered if those results were driven more by alignment issues than quality ones. That is, it may be the case that private schools were no better or worse than public schools, but public schools were simply more focused on preparing students to pass state achievement tests. The Urban Institute is out with a new study this week supporting this theory. They found that private school choice programs in Florida and Milwaukee improved college enrollment and graduation rates (although not in Washington, D.C.). Personally, I think the debate over private schools comes down to a values question rather than being resolved by purely objective outcomes data.

Cara Jackson on how teacher residency programs can improve the diversity of our teacher workforce.

For-profit colleges have “got a friend in Trump.”

–Guest post by Chad Aldeman

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