Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

Teachers Unions and Teaching Quality

Teachers union researcher Mike Antonucci yesterday posted some interesting findings surrounding the report written by eighteen award-winning teachers, calling for a fresh perspective on performance pay (click here for the full report). Antonucci takes a look at one of the report’s authors, Nancy Flanagan:

She is a recently retired 31-year teaching veteran, 1993 Michigan Teacher of the Year, and worked for two years with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and as a consultant with the Michigan Education Association.

Despite her awards and her long-standing professional relationship with the Michigan Education Association, Flanagan’s participation in a nuanced endorsement of performance pay has caused her union to roll up the welcome mat. As she told The Washington Post:

My state union, the Michigan Education Association, called to tell me that I will not be allowed to present at workshops and conferences in the future (something I’ve been doing for decade). I am officially persona non grata with the MEA.

If union foot-dragging on education reform weren’t clear enough from its shunning a Teacher of the Year, The Paducah Sun in Kentucky has more. A Sun editorial (subscription required) yesterday wrote up research by Illinois reporter Scott Reeder (whose Hidden Costs of Tenure website offers a treasure trove of information on how hard it is to get rid of a bad tenured teacher in his state) indicating that a common teachers union defense of tenure protection doesn’t hold up:

The teachers’ unions contend that the profession is self-selecting — that is, underqualified teachers leave the classroom before reaching tenure. But Reeder points to a North Carolina study that concluded: Teachers who left the profession early actually scored higher on teacher licensure exams than teachers who stayed in teaching. And a Harvard University College of Education study concluded: “Teachers with high IQs were more likely to leave teaching at the end of each year of service than those with low scores.”

Categories: Anti-Corporate CampaignsSEIU