Weingarten vs. Aldeman on pensions is Bambi meets Godzilla

Last week, we highlighted an excellent article by Chad Aldeman and Kelly Robson of Bellwether Education Partners, which focused on how teacher pension plans fail to incentivize teachers to stay in the profession.

We found the article informative, logical, and meticulously researched. Not everyone agreed. Most notably, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten took mighty umbrage at just about everything in the report. She issued a blistering three-page press release in which she disparaged the report and its authors as appearing “to have reverse engineered its findings to align with the views of its corporate funders.”

Weingarten dismantles the article’s arguments point by point, in a tone that is at once haughty and outraged. There’s just one, tiny problem with her arguments, however: they’re almost completely wrong.

In a deft and devastating counterattack, Aldeman took to the Bellwether blog to annotate Weingarten’s release with a point by point counter-rebuttal. As Bellwether noted wryly in its daily newsletter:

“If you come after Chad you probably want to have your facts straight first, but you probably already knew this. Somehow the AFT staff didn’t.”

As Aldeman writes in the lead-in to his rebuttal:

There is an old adage that if a lawyer has the facts on their side, they should pound the facts. If they have the law on their side, they pound the law. And if they have neither, then they should pound the table. Weingarten, an attorney by training, is pounding the table here.

We suggest that for maximum amusement, you read the original article, then Weingarten’s press release. Then go back and click on the yellow highlighted bits (the lion’s share of the release) to read Aldeman’s rebuttals.


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