Teachers, Their Unions and the American Education Reform Agenda
I don't always agree with Marc Tucker but he knows a heckuva lot about how other countries organize their education systems and, as it turns out, that knowledge extends to how their teacher unions have evolved, what roles those unions play, and how their bargaining processes work. His new paper offers an enlightening—and even provocative—comparison of the labor-management relationships in public education in the U.S. and Northern Europe, emphasizing how American teacher unionism and collective bargaining manifest an adversarial relationship, while the approach in Northern Europe is better described as a “social partnership.” Illustrating this distinction, Tucker draws on examples from Germany, Finland, and the United States. He concludes with at least three-fourths of an important point when he describes the need to reform American collective bargaining without utterly alienating teachers at a time when we need their cooperation in sundry other education reforms.
Marc Tucker, “Teachers, Their Unions and the American Education Reform Agenda,” (Washington, D.C.: National Center on Education and the Economy, March 2011).
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