Commenting on the Government's plans to set up Free Schools, Christine Blower, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union said;
"The Government's commitment to 'free schools' will create chaos at local level. Groups setting up their own schools irrespective of local planning needs would be a retrograde step that will lead to planning gridlock and social division.”
And in low-tax, low-spending Texas, the kids are not all right. The high school graduation rate, at just 61.3 percent, puts Texas 43rd out of 50 in state rankings. Nationally, the state ranks fifth in child poverty; it leads in the percentage of children without health insurance. And only 78 percent of Texas children are in excellent or very good health, significantly below the national average.
“...white students in Texas perform better than white students in Wisconsin, black students in Texas perform better than black students in Wisconsin, Hispanic students in Texas perform better than Hispanic students in Wisconsin. In 18 separate ethnicity-controlled comparisons, the only one where Wisconsin students performed better than their peers in Texas was 4th grade science for Hispanic students (statistically insignificant), and this was reversed by 8th grade. Further, Texas students exceeded the national average for their ethnic cohort in all 18 comparisons; Wisconsinites were below the national average in 8, above average in 8.”
“I find that teachers’ unions increase school inputs but reduce productivity sufficiently to have a negative overall effect on student performance.”
This paper examines the relationship between teacher unionization, student achievement and teachers’ pay using a cross-section of data from private schools in India. We use differences in student mark across subjects to identify within-pupil variation in achievement and find that union membership of the teacher appears to strongly reduce pupil achievement. We find no evidence this could be due to the unobservables not controlled for by this procedure. A school fixed effects equation of teacher pay shows that union membership substantially raises pay and in this case too we find that remaining unobservables are unlikely to explain this outcome. We thus have in this data clear evidence that unions raise cost and reduce student achievement.