Tag Archives: Michael Podgursky

Welcome to the Profit of Education website. Continuing the conversation begun in the book Profit of Education, we discuss the latest economic evidence on education reform.

Value-added and evaluating teacher preparation programs

The quality of teacher training programs and schools of education is a hot topic. (It’s going to get hotter when the folks at NCTQ release their national rankings.) I’ve thought that one incredibly important piece of objective evidence in evaluating … Continue reading

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  1. Jane Close Conoley says:

    As in any professional training endeavor the outcomes we get in teacher training are affected by how/whom we select, the experiences we offer during preparation, the situations novice teachers find themselves in during their beginning years, and the ongoing support we offer novices and practicing educators. On the ground, employers notice differences among programs in terms of novice teacher readiness to take the helm of a classroom. Translating these into snapshots of student achievement, however, is difficult. If teacher skills account for about 40% of variance in student achievement and teacher preparation accounts for ??% in teacher skills the actual effects of program on a single measure is quite likely to be small.

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Giving away the pension funds

Sometimes it’s the politics rather than the economics…but it still takes economists to point out what’s going on. During much of the 1990s pension funds did right well, following along with the stock market boom. Rather than keep the money … Continue reading

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Pension picture

Cory Koedel and Michael Podgursky have a new picture that shows some of the unintended consequences of our weird teacher pension system. The longer a teacher works the higher her pension, but the longer she has to wait before starting … Continue reading

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Pensions, retirements, and teacher quality

The way teacher pensions are structured, teachers have a big incentive to stay in the system mid-career followed by a notable incentive to bail later in their career. (The reason for the latter is that you can’t start collecting your … Continue reading

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Movin’ around–or not

Here’s one for your “law of unintended consequences” file. Koedel, Grissom, Ni, and Podgursky show that the way we’ve set up pension funds limits educator movement across districts–and that it’s a big effect. There are two kinds of pension setups: defined … Continue reading

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Teacher pensions and teacher mobility-2

One of the reasons that many folks think that teacher pensions need to be revisited is because they often create truly odd incentives for deciding whether to teach another year rather than retiring or taking a different job. Here’s a picture … Continue reading

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Teacher pensions and teacher mobility-1

A quote from work by Robert Costrell and Michael Podgursky explains why traditional teacher pension arrangements are problematic in a mobile society. …teachers who split a thirty-year career between two pension plans often lose over half their net pension wealth compared with … Continue reading

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Salaries and fringe benefits

Joel Klein, NYC school chancellor, took me to task for focusing yesterday’s post on salaries without discussing fringe benefits. Fair enough. Worse, this is after my wife (labor economist Shelly Lundberg) has bugged me for a year to pay more … Continue reading

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  1. sjl says:

    One aspect of the Costrell and Podgursky study that is rather disturbing is the dramatic widening of the gap between employer pension contributions for public school teachers and private professionals between 2004 and 2008 (in their Figure 1). I’m not seeing any explanation for this in the article and, when combined with the underfunding of so many of these pension plans, it has potentially serious implications for future liabilities and the ability to fund straight-salary increases.

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