One of the many reasons I’m a fan of TBFI is that it conducts two types of policy research that are in short supply. The first, which I will talk about today, is in-the-weeds analyses of subjects that others have glossed over. (The second, studies on subjects we didn’t even realize were important, will be discussed in a future post.)
TBFI's latest in-the-weeds analysis is on teacher-union strength; it goes deeper and reveals far more than the conventional wisdom.
Lots of people talk about the value of tough standards; heck, the “transformative nature” of Common Core has become something between a ubiquitous talking point and Gospel for the reform community. But many of those proselytizing, unfortunately, can’t tell you a whit about what’s actually in these supposedly sacred texts.
Well, TBFI gets into the weeds of standards; they’ve been doing this for ages, even before Common Core was conceived and birthed (yes, it’s true, academic-content standards existed before CC!). In recent months, they’ve analyzed the rigor, meaning, and cost of CC, shedding much light on an important but under-investigated matter.
They’ve done similar digging in on the use of school funds and tech advancements—issues that, like CC, have been given a cursory and laudatory treatment by many. See here for my take on the ed-tech research.
The institute’s latest installment in this area is the very good report on state-level unions. The study goes deeper and reveals far more than the conventional wisdom, which holds—simplistically—that unions are omnipotent and dominate just about everywhere (except...