Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What If Everything You Thought You Knew About Teachers Unions Turned Out to be Wrong? – EduShyster

What If Everything You Thought You Knew About Teachers Unions Turned Out to be Wrong? – EduShyster:

What If Everything You Thought You Knew About Teachers Unions Turned Out to be Wrong?

An economist finds that teachers unions raise teacher quality and increase kids’ educational attainment… 
EduShyster: It’s a well-known true fact that teachers unions make it much harder to get rid of bad teachers. But you conducted a study for the National Bureau of Economic Research that purports to find the opposite. In fact, you titled your study The Myth of Unions’ Overprotection of Bad Teachers. Tell us about what you found.
Eunice Han: What I found is that the facts are the opposite of what people think: that highly unionized districts actually fire more bad teachers.
EduShyster: That sound you just heard was of jaws collectively dropping. While we give readers a chance to re-combombulate themselves (and arm themselves anew with anecdotes), can you walk us through your argument? And feel free to use a formula. 
Han: It’s pretty simple, really. By demanding higher salaries for teachers, unions give school districts a strong incentive to dismiss ineffective teachers before they get tenure. Highly unionized districts dismiss more bad teachers because it costs more to keep them. Using three different kinds of survey data from the National Center for Education Statistics, I confirmed that unionized districts dismiss more low-quality teachers than those with weak unions formula2or no unions. Unionized districts also retain more high-quality teachers relative to district with weak unionism. No matter how and when I measured unionism I found that unions What If Everything You Thought You Knew About Teachers Unions Turned Out to be Wrong? – EduShyster:

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