February 27, 2013
Dr. Paul Hill evaluates Governor John Kasich's education budget proposal.
Matthew M. Chingos , Martin R. West / February 21, 2013
In an era of budgetary belt tightening, state and local policy makers are finally awakening to the impact of teacher pension costs on their bottom lines. Recent reports demonstrate that such pension programs across the United States are burdened by almost $390 billion in unfunded liabilities. Yet, most states and municipalities have been taking the road of least resistance, tinkering around the edges rather than tackling systemic (but painful) pension reform. Is the solution to the pension crisis to offer teachers the option of a 401(k)-style plan (also known as a "defined contribution" or DC plan) instead of a traditional pension plan? Would this alternative appeal to teachers? When Teachers Choose Pension Plans: The Florida Story sets out to answer these questions.
Paul Gross , Douglas Buttrey , Ursula Goodenough , Noretta Koertge , Lawrence S. Lerner , Martha Schwartz , Richard Schwartz , William H. Schmidt , W. Stephen Wilson / February 4, 2013
The Thomas B. Fordham Institute has provided big-picture feedback and detailed, standard-specific commentary for the second draft of the Next Generation Science Standards—standards that done right, set a firm foundation upon which the rest of science education across the states will be constructed. In our comments on the first draft, we concluded that “the NGSS authors have much to do to ensure that the final draft is a true leap forward in science education.” In comments on Draft II, we address to what extent NGSS writers have moved closer to a set of K–12 science standards that even states with strong standards of their own would do well to adopt.
David A. Stuit / January 29, 2013
Many proponents of private school choice take for granted that schools won’t participate if government asks too much of them, especially if it demands that they be publicly accountable for student achievement. Were such school refusals to be widespread, the programs themselves could not serve many kids. But is this assumption justified? A new Fordham Institute study—to be released on January 29—provides empirical answers. Do regulations and accountability requirements deter private schools from participating in choice programs? How important are such requirements compared to other factors, such as voucher amounts? Are certain types of regulations stronger deterrents than others? Do certain types schools shy away from regulation more than others?