Chad Aldeman

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    Chad Aldeman is an Associate Partner at Bellwether Education Partners.


Blog Posts/Multimedia

Schooling Isn’t Learning, the Rewards to Better Schools Are Enormous, and Other Observations from Eric Hanushek

An interview about accountability, attainment, and more


Sorry, Folks, ESEA Reauthorization Just Got Much Harder

Some folks are claiming that news that House Speaker John Boehner will step down at the end of October makes an ESEA reauthorization more likely this fall. That’s just crazy talk.


Would Pension Plans Be Fine If They Were (Magically) Fully Funded?

Teachers suffer from low salaries while they work in exchange for the promise of better retirement savings when they leave, but for most teachers, that promise never becomes a reality.


Politicians Couldn’t Agree on a “Common” Yardstick for Schools. Statisticians Created One Anyway.

SchoolGrades uses the results of state tests to create a comparable, A-F grading system for all public elementary and middle schools in the U.S.


Scott Walker’s Act 10 Caused an Uproar, But Things Are Mostly Back to Normal

In the midst of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s controversial 2011 budget bill, many warned that the state’s public employees, including teachers, would retire in droves.


Can Teachers Really Teach Anywhere?

Teachers are much more likely to move within a state than to cross state lines.


Teacher Retention Rates Are Up, Not Down

The data simply don’t support the notion that teachers are leaving schools in droves in response to recent education reforms.


Teacher Shortage? Blame the Economy

A new study finds that when recessions hit, both men and women are less likely to want to become teachers and instead turn to fields like accounting and engineering.


Graduation Rates Are Insufficient as an Accountability Measure

Graduation rates don’t tell us very much about whether students are prepared for life after graduation.


Eye-Opening Stats About High School and College Dropouts

American adults in the 1940s had about the same odds of being a high school graduate as today’s Americans have of being a college graduate.


Why Aren’t NAEP Scores for High School Students Going Up?

And how do we kickstart achievement for high school students?


Great News: Fewer Students Attending High School Dropout Factories

Something amazing is going on with high school graduation rates.


4 Things North Carolina Can Teach Us About the Market for New Teachers

North Carolina has a new “Educator Quality Dashboard” with some fascinating data on teacher preparation in the state.


Teacher Experience Levels Vary By State

Data suggest that some states should be investing much more heavily in teacher recruitment and retention efforts.


Teacher Retention and the Economy: An Example from Colorado

Big trends in the economy like unemployment rates and wages have at least as big an impact on teacher mobility as specific education policy changes.


Eight Ways Teachers Can Maximize Their Pensions

If you read this list and think it doesn’t quite square with why you went into teaching, your pension plan may not be working in your best interests (or the best interest of schools and students).


Simpson’s Paradox Hides NAEP Gains (Again)

The achievement scores of black, Hispanic, and low-income students have increased dramatically.


President Obama and the Politics of Pensions

As evidence mounts showing how poorly structured pension plans fail to meet the needs of today’s workforce, let’s hope more politicians make it a trend.


Campbell’s Law, Cheating, and Atlanta’s NAEP Score Gains

Although 11 educators were convicted of cheating on state tests, the city made remarkable improvements on low-stakes measures of educational progress such as NAEP.


A Wonky But Important Argument for Annual Statewide Testing

A move away from annual testing would leave many subgroups and more than 1 million students functionally “invisible” to state accountability systems.


Will the Common Core Lead to More Schools Labeled Failing? Not Really.

Since the Obama Administration has quietly transitioned to a normative accountability system, where schools are compared to each other rather than to some pre-determined “proficiency” benchmark, it doesn’t matter if all students appear to perform worse this year.


Grade-Span Accountability Is A Bad Idea: Just Ask CAP and the AFT

Rather than having regular check-ups on student progress, with relatively low stakes on those results, we’d have much higher stakes attached to a smaller number of test scores.


The Not-So-Secret Recipe for ESEA Reauthorization

As the edu-intelligentsia anxiously anticipates another attempt at updating the law, it’s worth revisiting how we got our last reauthorization.


Pension Theory Versus Pension Reality

In the fantasy world that the National Institute on Retirement Security has created, state pension plans do a bang-up job of delivering benefits to workers. That’s just not the reality of the world we live in.


Illinois Turns Its Back to the Future

A court ruling is potentially very problematic for new teachers and those who aren’t yet teaching.


Teachers’ Unions Support Local Collective Bargaining…Except When it Comes to Their Pensions

Teachers might prefer a different arrangement than current state pension plans, but they don’t really have a voice in those decisions.


The Teacher Equity Problem Is Real. The Proposed Solutions Are Not.

If teachers are the most-important in-school factor for student growth, we certainly don’t act like it.


Colorado’s Unreal Teacher Retirement Plan

Teachers are forced to forego their own retirement savings in order to pay down a debt accrued over many years. It harms their future retirement security and, by forcing districts into painful budget decisions, it harms the quality of education delivered to Colorado’s students.


Teachers Would Prefer Cash

A common perception about how we pay public sector workers is fundamentally flawed.


The Stock Market Has Recovered. Why Haven’t Pensions?

Pension plans have not made much of a dent in their long-term unfunded debt. How could this be?


Charter School Teachers Subsidize State Pension Plans

Charter schools and their teachers pay the same high employer and employee contribution rates as all other schools, but higher turnover rates mean their teachers will get much less in return.


A Quick Note to Dana Goldstein About Pensions

No one is seriously advocating for reducing the pensions of any individual teachers or retirees.


Diagnosing the Right Pension Problems

When the public is led to believe financial issues are the only problems with today’s pension plans, financial issues will be the only problems legislators seek to address.


Is Arne Duncan’s Teacher Evaluation Moratorium Unnecessary?

Despite state policy changes, many districts still don’t factor student growth into teacher evaluation ratings in a meaningful way.


The Evolution of Teacher Pensions

Over the years, legislators increased pension benefits significantly, but they have not distributed those increases evenly to all teachers.


The Politics of Teacher Evaluation Formulas

As states revamp their teacher evaluation systems, they continue to search for that magic number: the percentage of a teacher evaluation rating that should be based on student academic performance.


Americans Stink at Math (But We’re Much Better Now)

Elizabeth Green’s story for Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, “Why Do Americans Stink at Math?” is a must-read. But for all the time Green spends documenting the ways Americans stink at math, she never mentions that we’ve gotten much better.


Five Thoughts on the New Yorker Cheating Story

Rachel Aviv’s article about a cheating scandal involving teachers at one middle school in Atlanta is very well-written, but the sources of the pressure on Atlanta teachers and principals to improve and the threat behind it are more complex than NCLB alone.


Teacher Pensions, Recruitment, and Retention

Are state pension plans a recruitment or retention incentive for teachers? It’s complicated, but many of the claims about the value of pensions don’t stand up to scrutiny.

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