What is Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan? He offers increased funding, but only if his reforms on teacher evaluation and so-called merit pay are also adopted. But the reality is that using students' results on standardized tests to measure the effectiveness of teachers -- also known as Value Added Assessment (VAM) -- is simply not supported by research on the matter.
There is no question of the cancerous effects of groups like PennCAN and the Commonwealth Foundation. It may be years before we know the full range of the damage they have inflicted on our children and schools or how long it will take to repair that damage. One thing, however, is clear: Philadelphia teachers and students deserve our interest and support.
Is there a correlation between the drop in unions and the drop in defined benefits plans? It certainly seems like it. As defined benefit plans are going away, so is the safety net for older Americans. Most bankruptcy filers are under age 54, but there is a steady rise in bankruptcies of people over age 55.