Last updated on: 9/23/2014 | Author:

Catherine Rampell Biography

Opinion Columnist at the Washington Post
Pro to the question "Should Teachers Get Tenure?"

“Making it easier to fire bad teachers isn’t going to magically cause the educational achievement gap to disappear. You need to be able to attract and retain more good teachers, too…

Improving the quality of teachers who work with poor kids seems more about insufficient inflow of the talented than insufficient outflow of the untalented. One study, based on a policy change in Chicago, found that even when dismissal rules are relaxed, many principals still choose not to fire anyone — including at the worst-performing schools — perhaps at least partly because of the challenge of finding decent replacements…

Weakening job security in the absence of other reforms may even discourage good people from entering or sticking with the profession.

That’s because job security is one of the key forms of compensation that we still offer to educators as their salaries have gotten less competitive over time…

Reducing job security may sound like a cheap way to improve teacher quality. But without some of the costlier changes necessary to make the most difficult teaching jobs more appealing to the most desirable workers, it seems unlikely to be the silver bullet school reformers are hoping for.”

“Eliminating Teacher Tenure Won’t Improve Education,”, June 12, 2014

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Opinion Columnist, Washington Post, Mar. 2014-present
  • Economics Reporter, New York Times, 2008-Jan. 28, 2014
  • Guest Columnist, Sunday New York Times Magazine
  • Regular Guest, “The Wrap,” Marketplace, NPR
  • Recipient, Weidenbaum Award for Evidence-based Journalism
  • Finalist, Gerald Loeb Award
  • Contributor, Chronicle of Higher Education
  • Founding Editor, Economix Blog
  • Former Theater Critic, New York Times
  • Former Intern, Washington Post
  • Graduated, Princeton University, 2007
  • Grew up in South Florida
  • Twitter handle: @crampell
  • Member, Phi Beta Kappa
Quoted in:
Pro & Con Quotes: Should Teachers Get Tenure?