Analysis: On a per-student basis, school staffing levels are hitting all-time highs
It’s a weird time to be having a national conversation about teacher shortages. Thanks in part to the surge of federal relief funds, schools have ambitious hiring plans — but they have been unable to bring on as many people as they would like. As of last month, job openings remain elevated well above normal levels. And yet,...
By Chad Aldeman | September 21, 2022
Education researcher creates free summer reading program for parents
Reading is freedom. It opens up the world. In my day job as an education researcher, I know that too many kids never learn to read well. Kids who don’t learn to read fluently by 3rd grade will struggle as the material gets more complex. That fact hit home this spring when I noticed my 8-year-old son had...
By Chad Aldeman | July 18, 2022
Analysis: What are districts using their federal relief money for? How fast are they spending it? How much is left? New interactive database has answers
A year ago, school districts wrote plans for how they were going to use their share of the $122 billion in American Rescue Plan money. Fast forward to today, and information is starting to emerge about how schools are actually spending their windfalls. Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools in Massachusetts has already spent all of its nearly $400,000...
By Chad Aldeman | June 2, 2022
Analysis: As San Diego schools use temporary relief funds to accelerate teacher pay and hiring, is the district locking itself into painful cuts down the road?
Thanks to a surprisingly strong state budget and a $15 billion infusion courtesy of the federal government, school districts across California are now flush with cash. But if district leaders aren’t careful now, they could trigger a round of painful cuts in the very near future. Consider the case of San Diego Unified (SDU). Student...
By Chad Aldeman | August 23, 2021
In the ‘Crosshairs’: Beleaguered School Superintendents Face COVID Wave of Firings
Facing Regional Shortages, U.S. Schools Now Employing 160,000 ‘Underqualified’ Teachers
L.A. vs. the Wonks: District’s 8th-Grade Reading Miracle on NAEP Draws Scrutiny
State of Play: Girls’ Athletics Rising — With or Without Trans Kids on the Team
16 Under 16: Meet The 74’s 2022 Class of STEM Achievers
Analysis: 10 lessons from past educational disruptions, and how they can help students make up lost learning after COVID-19
Compared to a normal year, students learned less in 2020, were more likely to fail their classes and were less likely to be in school at all. Is this all just temporary? As we move further into 2021, will everything start returning back to normal? Based on the research on past educational disruptions, the answers...
By Chad Aldeman | May 4, 2021
Analysis: Lessons from Spanish Flu — Babies born in 1919 had worse educational, life outcomes than those born just before or after. Could that happen with COVID-19?
I have some bad news: The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to linger for decades. One mechanism is through education. As my series on educational disruptions has shown, children who miss school time suffer academic losses in the short run, and those effects are noticeable decades later in the form of worse economic outcomes and other...
By Chad Aldeman | March 23, 2021
Analysis: Remote or in person? Underspending or running deficits? What school reopening decisions mean for district budgets
How are school district budgets faring this year? That depends. Many districts are struggling financially. They have spent large sums of money dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic — buying technology, purchasing cleaning supplies, hiring more substitute teachers and attempting to address student learning loss and disengagement. This story, of districts in distress, is an easy...
By Chad Aldeman | March 15, 2021
Aldeman: 3 differences between California’s teacher pension system and social security that have a huge impact on retirees — new report
Teachers may not miss what isn’t there. In California and 14 other states, plus the District of Columbia, public school teachers do not participate in Social Security. They won’t find any deductions for Social Security taxes on their pay stubs. Unlike teachers in other states who get both Social Security and a retirement plan, they...
By Chad Aldeman | December 17, 2019
Analysis: California’s universities offer much better retirement plans than its K-12 districts. Why we need to offer our teachers more mobility, flexibility and fairness
Why do states give employees at public colleges and universities better retirement plans than they give their employees in K-12 schools? The root of this disconnect started a century ago, when Andrew Carnegie created the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America to provide guaranteed retirement income and life insurance, mainly to college professors who...
By Chad Aldeman | October 28, 2019
Commentary: LAUSD may owe $13.6 billion for health care & pensions — and the strike made things worse. Obamacare is a way out
When then-President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, the law immediately made some employee benefits offered by state and local governments redundant at best or regressive at worst. This issue is playing out in a painful way in Los Angeles. Teachers in the second-largest school district are now back at work after...
By Chad Aldeman | February 3, 2019