The Rio Grande Foundation is not a fan of teachers unions or any public employee unions. We share President Franklin Roosevelt’s concern that unionizing public employees is very different from unionizing private sector employees.
But, a natural experiment that resulted in a study out of Yale University adds to the strength of our argument. As the screenshot below clearly states, “mandatory teacher bargaining laws increase the performance of high-achieving students while simultaneously lowering the performance of poorly achieving students.”
The logic is simple. In the absence of collective bargaining (unions) districts can use incentives to encourage the best teachers to go into tougher, low-income and minority schools. With unions negotiating on teachers’ behalf the best teachers choose to go to the best (easiest) schools.
It would seem that the issue of collective bargaining should at least be on the table as New Mexico works to improve outcomes for disadvantaged students, but you can count on the unions to work very hard in opposition to anything that weakens their power.