In the News: How Farmers, Engineers, and Artists Are Becoming Substitute Teachers

Substitute teachers are almost always put in sink-or-swim situations. Parachute Teachers is trying to change the way substitutes work.

Teacher Retirement Plans Are Among the Worst in the Country

Public school teachers are enrolled in horribly back-loaded retirement plans. Most teachers won’t be served well by that arrangement.

Teaching Like a Champion: Blended Learning Edition

Teachers need resources like this to help them transition successfully to the student-centered learning practices that blended learning enables.

What Are the Options for States Dealing With Unfunded Pension Liabilities?

Collectively, states face $1.4 trillion in unfunded pension liabilities, and $500 billion of that is due to teacher pension debt.

The Myth and Reality of Heroic Teaching

Machines can’t imitate acts of heroic teaching, but with the help of performance-augmenting technologies, teachers will have an unprecedented ability to impact their students’ lives for the better.

Undue Process: Why Bad Teachers Rarely Get Fired

The research on “what matters” when it comes to a child’s academic success has been clear for decades: more than anything else that a school can control, the classroom teacher matters most.

Complement and ‘Commoditize’ Teachers, But Don’t Substitute For Them With Tech

We can’t expect teachers to reach every single student effectively at scale without somehow reconfiguring teachers’ existing workloads.

Teacher Observations Have Been a Waste of Time and Money

The system is spending time and effort rating teachers using criteria that do not have a basis in research.

Why Should Education Advocates Care About Pension Reform?

Here are my best arguments for why education advocates should invest their time and political capital in pensions, as opposed to everything else they might want to work on.

Are Teacher Turnover Rates Rising? Maybe Not

We may just be employing more teachers who fall into career stages with high turnover.

In the News: Math Teachers: Open Resources Come With Risks

The NCTM released a statement warning of the challenges math teachers can face when schools rely too heavily on open educational resources.

The False Dichotomy Between Memorization and Conceptual Understanding

Experts tend to forget just how much they’ve absorbed into long-term memory, so when they train novices, they tend to leave out a large amount of important information.

Pension Incentives and Teacher Retention

In St. Louis, a substantial boost to pension benefits did not boost teacher retention.

There’s A Huge Flaw in the ‘Teacher Shortage’ Data

Earlier this month the Learning Policy Institute (LPI) released a report with the worrying title, “A Coming Crisis in Teaching? Teacher Supply, Demand, and Shortages in the U.S.”

Getting Past the Broken “Teachers vs. Technology” Debate

Rather than seeing technology as either a threat to or poor substitute for teachers, we need to determine how best to use technology to enhance teachers’ capabilities.

Hiring Teachers After the School Year Starts Harms Students

Somewhere between 10 and 30 percent of all new teachers are hired after the school year begins.

Tackle Teacher Shortages with Online Learning

Online learning allows educators to reach students from anywhere in the country and experts to supplement traditional teaching,

What Does it Mean to ‘Raise the Bar’ for Entry Into the Teaching Profession?

Policymakers have few useful tools to screen out “bad” teachers from the profession. The current screening tools are doing little more than unnecessarily limiting the supply of new teachers.

The Many Ways Teacher Diversity May Benefit Students

At least three distinct theories have been proposed about how moving away from a majority-white teacher workforce would be beneficial for students of color.

Teacher Pension Systems Are Incompatible with Efforts to Improve the Teaching Profession

Colorado has done the right thing in making the teaching profession at least somewhat contingent on performance. The state should create a retirement system that matches that expectation.

The Illinois Teacher Labor Market Is Incredibly Fragmented

The fragmented teacher labor market has implications for how we think about improving teacher preparation, not to mention how school districts go about hiring new teachers.

Are Teacher Salaries Flat Because of Changing Workforce Demographics?

The shift from a veteran-dominated profession to one more heavily tilted toward newcomers implications for calculating average teacher salaries.

Retirement Plans Don’t Affect Teachers Until Teachers Are Ready to Retire

Advocates of today’s defined benefit teacher pension plans claim that these plans encourage workers to stick around and devote their lives to the profession, but there’s not much evidence that this is the case.

Why Teachers Need Portable Benefits

Traditional pension benefits aren’t portable. When a teacher moves to a new state, her previous service years don’t automatically rollover for free. Instead, she starts back at zero.

Some New Teacher Evaluation Systems Do Make a Difference

The new generation of teacher evaluations have the potential to strengthen instruction, make teaching more attractive work, and raise student achievement on a wide scale—if states and school districts stay the course on reform.

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