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    Entries in teachers (3)


    How to Beat Teacher Burnout: With More Education

    A continuing education program for teachers has the power to reduce attrition rates, but it's having trouble catching on.
    BY  APRIL 3, 2017

    When mathematician John Ewing started lobbying state governments to adopt a new model for keeping top teachers in the classroom, he anticipated all the usual pushback over funding and resources. One thing he didn’t anticipate was a resistance to the idea in general.

    In education right now, “the focus is on everything that’s not working," he says. By contrast, his model "invests in teachers that are doing a really good job.”

    In 2009, fellow mathematician and philanthropist Jim Simons called and asked Ewing to help him take over his fledgling nonprofit to provide continuing education for K-12 math teachers in New York City. But the organization, called Math for America (MfA), eventually evolved into a larger fellowship program aimed at cultivating and keeping top science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teachers in public schools.

    It’s an appealing concept at a time when keeping good teachers is becoming harder and harder.

    On average, one-third of teachers leave the profession within five years. Burnout is blamed for the short tenure. A recent report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that 46 percent of teachers say they feel daily stress on a level that’s shared by doctors and lawyers.

    When teachers are that stressed, the report notes, it not only compromises their health and quality of life but also adversely impacts their teaching performance. That, in turn, can harm students' academic performance and behavior. The report recommends mentoring programs, social emotional learning and mindfulness as proven ways to improve teacher well-being and student outcomes.

    That's where MfA comes in.

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    The Week in Public Finance: School Funding's Lost Decade, Teacher Pension Pressures and More

    BY  OCTOBER 21, 2016

    A Lost Decade for Public School Kids

    New data this week shows that nearly half of all states are providing less in per-pupil funding today than they were before the recession in 2008. Taking inflation into account, eight of the 23 states have cut funding per student by about 10 percent or more, according to a report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP).

    What's more, five of those eight -- Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin -- have cut education funding while also cutting income taxes, resulting in tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in lost revenue each year.

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    The Week in Public Finance: Contradictory Pension Reports, Brewing Pension Battles and Recession Worries

    A roundup of money (and other) news governments can use.
    BY  FEBRUARY 12, 2016

    Contradictory Pension Reports

    Two groups published studies this week looking at whether traditional pensions or 401(k) plans are better for teachers and came up with … exactly opposite conclusions.The University of California at Berkeley looked at the state’s teacher pension system (CalSTRS) and found that for the “vast majority” of California teachers (six out of seven), a defined-benefit pension provides more secure retirement income than a 401(k)-style plan.

    The study also concluded that pensions reduce teacher turnover, “which is better for students, reduces costly and time-consuming training, and increases teacher effectiveness.” It portrayed 401(k) and cash balance plans as bad for teachers because they place more risk on the retiree as their final benefit is not defined. Such plans also decrease the incentive for early and mid-career teachers to stay on the job, the report said.

    Separately, ran an analysis of teacher pensions in Illinois. It found that traditional pensions are not a good deal for teachers because they disproportionately favor those who stick around for 30 or 35 years, “at the expense of everyone else.

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