The Five States Where Teachers Unions Are Illegal Have The Lowest Test Scores In America*

Update: A commenter points out this fact uses test scores from 1999. Based on 2007 test scores the trend is weaker: NC is 47th; TX is 45th; SC is 39th; GA is 26th; VA is 25th. These rankings come from a composite of ACT and SAT scores among high school graduates, which is a measure that accounts for different participation rates.


From Tom Staudter:

The Five States Where Teachers Unions Are Illegal Have The Lowest Test Scores In America

Here’s an impossibly good statistic for union defenders, dug up by Maureen Downey at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Only five states do not allow collective bargaining for educators, effectively prohibiting teacher unions.

Those states and their SAT/ACT rankings are as follows:

  • South Carolina – 50th
  • North Carolina – 49th
  • Georgia – 48th
  • Texas – 47th
  • Virginia – 44th

4 Comments to “UPDATE: 5 states where teachers unions are illegal have the lowest test scores in America”

  • The 2007 data is not any good either. It is not a list of average scores. Instead its focus is only on high achieving scorers. Unless you look at average scores, the data is meaningless.

  • Also, the ACT is much more prevalent in WI and the SAT is much more prevalent in other states. that kind of comparison isn’t all that applicable.

  • Correlation is not causation; teacher unions DO NOT produce better results. This has to do with the ethnic bias that has been demonstrated in the SAT & ACT. Basically, if you breakout the same states demographically, the non-union states actually perform better than the unionized states. And this does not even address the participation rate (Wisconsin is only 6% while Texas is 52%) which will also skews the results because of selection bias. But wait, maybe the unions skew the data on purpose – or these statisticians were trained by union teachers.

    If you want to see the issues with unionized education, then watch “Waiting for Superman”.

    And by the way, what is the trend in math & science test scores, graduation rates, successful college completion, and even the general test scores since the Department of Education was established. Now argue why the Federal government should even be allowed to set education standards or curriculum.

  • I saw “Waiting for Superman” and I’m not a teacher or union member. However, the hero of that movie was Michelle Rhee, a D.C. superintendent who oversaw the nation’s biggest cheating scandal.

    Of course test scores went up in Rhee’s district. It’s Campbell’s Law that they will. “The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” Ms. Rhee made sure that scores were tied to bonuses for everyone from the low level staff up to the superintendent. Therefore, it’s no surprise that she had to cover up cases where she found out that top administrators were condoning cheating.

    The results of Ms. Rhee’s experiment needed to be positive at all costs or she would be exposed. I’m shocked that people still cite Michelle Rhee’s “success story”!

    The problem with public schools is primarily the lack of a family support structure for poor students in inner cities. That’s why the Milwaukee voucher experiments were a failure. The most successful charter schools effectively become the parents for these children and keep them for long hours. Successful students have parents who read with their children, check on their homework, and keep them out of gangs.

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