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ERIC Number: EJ763328
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1539-9664
Table Talk: The Case for Collaboration
Kaboolian, Linda
Education Next, v6 n3 p14-17 Sum 2006
According to Joe A. Stone of the University of Oregon, average students do better in classrooms with unionized teachers, but less able and more able students do not. While this particular assumption lacks empirical clarity, many administrators and school board members feel that it would be much easier to reform public education if teacher unions would just go away. No matter what the administrators and school boards do, teacher unions and collective bargaining are here to stay, not simply because of the political clout that unions carry among elected officials or because the courts have determined that the Constitution protects union organization, but because teachers want the benefits of union membership. When asked about collective bargaining, 87 percent of veterans and 73 percent of new teachers agree that "without collective bargaining, working conditions and salaries of teachers would be much worse." In this article, the author questions how unions can justify protecting teachers when outcomes for students are at stake. She also discusses that unions are important for the implementation of discipline among teachers. In the absence of union representation, conflicts among teachers and employers would just become a costly legal headaches for districts. As such, the author contends that the only constructive alternative to these power struggles is an expansion of collective bargaining to include joint responsibility for achievement outcomes, along with balanced, shared roles in governance. In this framework, the author explains that the parties are likely to identify mutual interests or accommodating agendas (such as what conditions are good for both kids and teachers) rather than focusing on the zero-sum outcomes that collective bargaining too often pursues.
Hoover Institution. Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Tel: 800-935-2882; Fax: 650-723-8626; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Oregon