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The big news out of the latest Public Education Finances Report is official confirmation that school districts spent less money per student in 2010-11 than they had the year before, the first one-year decline in nearly four decades. It’s worth taking some time to reflect on that fact, but the full report is also a valuable source of data on state and district revenues and expenditures and the eContinue Reading »
Even in a perfect world—say, Missouri in the mid-1990’s—enhancing pension benefits for teachers creates winners and losers. A new report on Missouri’s teacher pension system shines a light on just how stark the difference is—and how damaging these changes will be for the teaching profession overall.
From 1995 to 2002, Missouri implemented a series of retroactive benefit enhancements to tContinue Reading »
“That’s why science is so exciting—because you don’t know what’s going to happen.” Fifth-graders at one California school send various items (popcorn kernels, jellybeans, marshmallows) to the edge of the atmosphere and hypothesize what will happen next. (NBC Nightly News)
“The most radical experiment in education.” Sudbury Valley School, outside Boston, doesn’t have teachers, structured Continue Reading »
As the details continue to emerge from the Chicago teacher’s contract negotiations, one thing that has already been settled is the shape of the teacher salary schedule. Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed down from his plan to create a performance-based compensation system, so the existing step-and-lane salary schedule will continue. As the Chicago Teachers Union’s summary makes clear, every “step” in tContinue Reading »
A recent study tested whether showing University of California employees where they could access a database with the salaries of their co-workers would change how they felt about their own job. It did, but it an asymmetric way. Workers discovering that they earned more than their peers experienced no gains in job satisfaction, while those discovering they earned less than their co-workers hadContinue Reading »
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has released the 2010 version of its Education at a Glance. This is an annual report that benchmarks key education data across international countries. For coverage of previous years, see here or here. Selected findings from this year:American teachers work a lot of hours. Compared to their international peers, they spend moContinue Reading »
Late last week District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee reached a tentative agreement with Washington Teachers Union President George Parker and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on a long-awaited new contract for DCPS teachers (entire .pdf here). Among other things, the two-years-in-the-making agreement would establish a small performance pay plan aContinue Reading »
Research has shown time and again that experience matters in good teaching. What it hasn’t shown is that every experience matters equally. In fact, a teacher’s first few years on the job are by far the most important, and it has been demonstrated repeatedly that the vast majority of teaching improvement comes in the first few years on the job.
Unfortunately, districts have yeContinue Reading »
In the course of composing what sounds like the winning entry in a Thomas Friedman column parody contest, Thomas Friedman wrote the following in his new column:
“One of the smartest stimulus moves we could make would be to eliminate federal income taxes on all public schoolteachers so more talented people would choose these careers.”
Look, being a columnist for the NewContinue Reading »