Tag Archives: teacher strikes

I Want to be Out of School for Christmas, but Not for a Teacher Strike

It’s a few days before Christmas, and school is out. Students and teachers are supposed to be home, getting ready for the best holiday of the year. But what about when students and teachers are home when they’re not supposed to be? No, I’m not talking about those fun snow days. I’m talking about teacher strikes. The Wall Street Journal has an editorial today about one state where the problem of teacher strikes is rampant: Teachers unions routinely claim that the interests of students are their top priority. So we would be interested to hear how the Pennsylvania affiliate of the National Education Association explains the proliferation of teacher walkouts in the middle of the school year. According to a recent study by the Allegheny Institute, Pennsylvania is once again the worst state in the country for teacher strikes. No less than 42% of all teacher walkouts nationwide occur in the Keystone State, leaving kids sidelined and parents scrambling to juggle work and family, potentially on as little as 48 hours notice required by state law. The strikes take place despite the state’s ranking in the top 20% nationwide for teacher salaries in 2006-2007 — the most recent data available […]


New NCTQ Report Rightly Calls for More Research on Teacher Union Impacts

Okay, I think it’s a long and boring paper, but Ben in the Education Policy Center says the new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality is very important. What it boils down to is there are a lot of rules, mostly written by well-meaning people, that end up negatively affecting how well kids learn in the classroom. The NCTQ report Invisible Ink in Collective Bargaining proves the realization that more damage is often done by lawmakers at the state level than by the private union negotiations at the local level. The report’s authors say there are three major reasons this “preeminence of state authority” is so poorly misunderstood: The old media doesn’t much either understand or pay attention to the issues that govern education–namely, “few have focused on the outsized influence of the teachers union in the statehouse.” Neither school district or union officials have a vested interest in bringing public attention to their private bargaining sessions. Short of threats to strike, the media doesn’t get how the issues that are negotiated locally have an impact on education’s bottom line. Few scholars have researched the impact of collective bargaining on — or “the origin and history of state […]