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Eddie Picks Up Slack on Media Misses, Including Teacher Pension Costs

I love lists, I love education, and I love to tell people about things. So it should be no surprise that my attention was caught by yesterday’s news release from Stanford: “Hoover Institution Education Experts Identify News Media Hits and Misses in 2012 Education Coverage.” The Koret Task Force on Education named five stories that were well-covered and five that were neglected. First, the hits:

  1. Charter schools
  2. Teachers’ unions
  3. Special education
  4. Pre-Kindergarten education
  5. No Child Left Behind

Next, the misses:

  1. The cost of teachers’ pensions
  2. Common Core academic standards
  3. International comparisons of student achievement
  4. Online or digital learning
  5. Louisiana’s education reforms

Guess it’s probably no mystery that yours truly didn’t encompass anywhere near the whole of the Task Force’s analysis. Because all the “misses” received some due attention here. I covered #5 a number of times in 2012, most recently less than two weeks ago. One of our major themes here is item #4, including this important posting from October. Coincidentally, #3 was the theme of yesterday’s contribution. As to #2, my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow just last week interviewed Dr. Bill Evers — the coordinator of Koret’s education media project — about it.

And what about #1? It’s been several weeks since I made the case to stop yelling at TABOR and start fixing Colorado’s PERA.

But even better, I’m thrilled to be able to bring readers’ attention to a brand new report by the National Council on Teacher Quality called No One Benefits: How teacher pension systems are failing BOTH teachers and taxpayers. This report doesn’t offer a lot in the way of brand-new, startling findings, but it does bring them together fairly comprehensively to show the path both to fiscal sustainability and a more effectively aligned teaching profession.

The need for PERA reform is still very real, and the new NCTQ publication provides an important contribution to that debate. Guess that means I also love solutions, too.