Why Teachers Unions Shouldn’t Run Education

Blog, Education, Ben Eisen

Congratulations to Gary Mason for a fine piece in today’s Globe, correctly asserting that the elected government of British Columbia rather than the B.C. Teachers’ Federation should run the province’s education system. The union and the government are currently in a fight over standardized testing, and Mason correctly argues that it shouldn’t be the union’s call whether or not  these tests are administered.

This touches on the broader subject of the impact that teachers unions have on education policy. Rodney Clifton wrote an interesting paper for the Frontier Centre on that very subject in 2008, which is worth reading in light of the standardized testing controversy taking place in BC. From the abstract:

This paper argues that the “primary goals of teachers’ unions are different from, and often incompatible with, those of effective schools.” The paper concludes that “before adopting proposals made by teachers’ unions, governments need to remember that teachers’ unions place the interests of their members first.”

Read the whole thing here.