In a prior post I pointed out that the oft-repeated claim that the five states that do not allow public school teachers to engage in collective bargaining have the lowest SAT and ACT scores in the country is false. In a related vein, Iowahawk digs into some of the data comparing Wisconsin and Texas, and makes the case that schools in the Lone Star State actually come out on top.
Does this mean collective bargaining has no positive effect on student performance? Not necessarily. A reader sent a copy of this Yale Law Journal note examining the effect of collective bargaining in New Mexico. It found that collective bargaining rules “increase the performance of high-achieving students while simultaneously lowering the performance of poorly achieving students.” That’s an interesting result, and should be compared with the experience of other states. Opponents of public sector unions note that in Virginia, test scores have steadily improved since collective bargaining for teachers was ended, but I am not aware of any academic analyses on this point.