New Mexico’s collective bargaining for teachers increases achievement gap

Sometimes news stories slip through the cracks. Imagine my surprise when I ran across this story which detailed a study from Yale that looked at New Mexico teachers, collective bargaining, and the student achievement gap.

As the study points out, New Mexico has been on both sides of the collective bargaining issue as it comes to teachers with Gary Johnson having gotten rid of it for part of his term. Well, as it turns out, the researchers found that collective bargaining led to “an increase in students’ SAT scores and a decrease in high school graduation rates.”

Collective bargaining causes the best teachers to push to get into the best (easiest to teach at) schools, thus increasing the advantage among students attending those schools. We at the Rio Grande Foundation have our own ideas about reducing the achievement gap (including opening the teaching field up to new people through alternative certification and merit pay), but it is nonetheless interesting to see how teachers respond to the “incentives” of collective bargaining.

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