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ERIC Number: ED503855
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 96
Arguments and Evidence: The Debate over Collective Bargaining's Role in Public Education. Education Policy Brief. Volume 6, Number 8, Fall 2008
Burroughs, Nathan
Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, Indiana University
The role of collective bargaining in K-12 education invokes sharply different perspectives and debate. Teachers and administrators bring profoundly different points of view to the discussion, creating a division which significantly colors conversations on school reform. School administrators and many educational reformers have generally been critical of the role of teacher's unions in public education, contending that teacher collective bargaining agreements have blocked education reforms and increased the costs of running schools without resulting in greater educational performance. They argue that the mission of teacher's unions is not student achievement, but benefits for its membership. Other critics suggest that teacher's unions are wedded to an outdated model of education and that collective bargaining agreements must change to reflect new social and economic realities. Defenders of teacher's unions respond that the costs associated with collective bargaining agreements come with substantial benefits, that higher teacher salaries and benefits and smaller class sizes have led to improved teacher quality and student achievement, lower levels of attrition and turnover, and that it is unclear whether, controlling for other factors, non-unionized schools deliver greater educational performance. The authors of this report discuss both sides of the debate to critically examine the empirical evidence on the direct and indirect effects of collective bargaining on public education. Four Policy Perspectives are included: (1) Teacher Collective Bargaining and Positive Student Achievement (Sally Sloan); (2) Collective Bargaining (John Ellis); (3) Why Indiana Teachers Join ISTA (Nate Schnellenberger and Warren Williams); and (4) Teacher Collective Bargaining: Assessment and Expectation (Frank A. Bush). Six web resources are included. (Contains 8 endnotes, 3 figures and 2 tables.)
Center for Evaluation and Education Policy. 509 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47401-3654. Tel: 800-511-6575; Tel: 812-855-4438; Fax: 812-856-5890; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Indiana University, Center for Evaluation and Education Policy
Identifiers - Location: Indiana