Teachers unions: The great diversion

By Dale Hansen, The Detroit News

It seems that you can’t have a conversation about improving education without someone blaming the teachers union for the all of the problems with public education. Are teachers unions perfect? No. Are they the problem with American education? No.

First it should be noted that only 38%of the nation’s educators belong to a union . Given that nearly two-thirds of public school teachers are non-union it seems like a stretch to blame the unions for the failings of public education. Also, if the teachers unions were at fault for the downfall of public education, there should be some research that provides evidence for such a claim. The data, however, shows that there is little to no difference in test scores of students taught by union teachers versus non-union teachers.

Given the lack of data to support the attack on teachers unions, the next argument you often hear is that teacher tenure is ruining public education. This belief was fueled by the following quote from the documentary Waiting for Superman:


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