Author

Chad Aldeman

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    Author Bio:
    Chad Aldeman is a senior policy analyst at Bellwether Education Partners.


Articles

Blog Posts/Multimedia

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.

09/02/2014

The Evolution of Teacher Pensions

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

08/04/2014

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.

07/29/2014

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.

07/25/2014

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.

07/21/2014

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.

07/09/2014

Are Maryland Teachers Leaving Because of the Common Core or New Teacher Evaluation Requirements? Probably Not.

There are a number of factors that may affect teacher retention in any given year. We should be wary about trying to pin down any one reason.

06/09/2014

Teacher Benefits Still Eating Away at District Spending

Instead of hiring more teachers or paying them more money, districts are devoting an increasing share of finite resources to employee benefits.

06/04/2014

Another Hidden Penalty On Teachers

In the median state, teachers must wait 24 years before their pension is finally worth more than their own contributions.

05/30/2014

Early Retirement Trade-Offs

Faced with a budget crisis, Illinois offered teachers a generous early retirement package. Large numbers of older, more experienced teachers took the offer, Here’s what happened next.

05/22/2014

California’s Pension Debt Will Eat Everything In Its Path

California discovered a $2.4 billion budget surplus from what it projected in January, but that money won’t be going to any new, exciting program.

05/19/2014

Different Standards for Different Students?! We’ve Had Them for Years

Under a provision in the federal No Child Left Behind Act called “safe harbor,” states must set different standards for different groups.

05/14/2014

States Penalize New Workers

States have responded to their pension funding gaps by cutting retirement benefits for new hires and increasing the amount of time workers need to serve before qualifying for a pension, raising the normal retirement age, and reducing benefit formulas.

05/08/2014

Randi Weingarten Talks About Pensions, But Doesn’t Really Want to Have a Conversation About Them

Teachers need leaders willing to have courageous conversations about how to modernize and improve retirement security for all of our nation’s teachers.

05/01/2014

The Warning Michigan Schools Should Be Giving Teachers

High mobility rates and a 10-year service requirement for teachers to qualify ensure that less than half of Michigan’s new teachers will remain long enough to earn a pension

04/29/2014

Is TFA to Blame for the Rise in Teacher Attrition?

No, or at least not very much

04/14/2014

The Pension IOU

Teachers should insist that all forms of compensation—including retirement benefits—are paid for upfront and that benefit promises are matched by real contributions.

04/08/2014

How Generous Are Public Pensions?

For the average full-career state worker, traditional defined benefit plans are working quite well.

04/02/2014

Washington State’s Waiver May Be in Jeopardy

Most states are living up to the promises in their waiver, but Washington over-promised in this case, and failure to fix it may force them back under No Child Left Behind.

02/21/2014

The Unpredictability of (New York) Teacher Pensions

The unpredictable nature of pension contibutions has a real consequence on school district budgets and, therefore, on teachers.

02/14/2014

Two Graphs on Urban Teachers and Their (Lack of) Pensions

The majority of teachers in these cities do not remain in the same district long enough to qualify for even a minimal pension, and only a very tiny fraction of teachers stay long enough to receive a pension that would be sufficient for a stable retirement.

02/11/2014

California Pension Reform: An Interview With San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed

Will states and cities facing skyrocketing costs find a way to protect the retirement benefits that people have already earned while making changes to the way benefits are earned in the future?

02/04/2014

Teacher Pensions Don’t Boost Retention

Empirically, pensions appear to have no effect on early- or mid-career teachers.

01/27/2014

Half of New York City’s Teachers Won’t Qualify for a Retirement Benefit

Pension plans need to estimate how much money they’ll need in order to pay the benefits they’ve promised in the future. They also need to estimate how many employees will qualify for a benefit in the first place.

01/23/2014

Illinois Pension Reform: An Interview With State Senator Daniel Biss

Illinois recently passed pension reform legislation with robust bipartisan support. Here’s how and why it happened.

01/19/2014

Pension Reform vs. the ‘California Rule’

Cities and states faced with rising pension costs have begun to search for the most effective way to balance retirement promises made to workers with the need for fiscal sustainability and employer flexibility.

01/13/2014

According to Its Pension System, D.C. Teacher Turnover Hasn’t Increased

If you follow news about the District of Columbia Public Schools closely, you could be forgiven if you thought teacher turnover had increased since the schools were handed over to mayoral control in 2007.

01/07/2014

What You Should Know about TFA and the Value of Experience

Teach for America is not doing harm to our nation’s schools or our low-income students. In fact, TFA seems to be out-performing not just other beginning teachers but veteran teachers as well.

09/17/2013

How to Raise Teacher Salaries in Two Easy Steps

The majority of teachers stand to significantly benefit from two cost-neutral pension reforms

09/13/2013

President Obama’s Not-So-Secret School Accountability Plan

Way back in March of 2010, President Obama released his blueprint for reauthorizing NCLB. Three years later, we’re still operating as if the blueprint never happened, as if three years of policymaking hasn’t happened.

09/03/2013

Perspective on the Common Core

We have a lot more commonality in standards and assessments than we did five years ago

07/29/2013

Teacher Benefits Are Eating Away at Salaries

Instead of hiring even more teachers or paying them more money, districts are devoting an increasing share of finite resources to employee benefits.

05/28/2013

Timing the Common Core

The next time you read a proposal about halting the Common Core, keep in mind all the time and money that’s already been spent.

05/02/2013

There Are Ineffective Teachers (and Principals, Superintendents, Librarians, Janitors, etc.)

If an employer can’t differentiate between their employees, they’re likely to treat them all as interchangeable widgets when it comes time to decide on how to help them improve, how much to pay them, or which ones should be retained.

04/03/2013
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