The Great Debate

Here’s a transcript of this PBS debate about teachers unions everyone is chattering about (pdf). The resolution was, “Don’t blame teachers unions for our failing schools.”  Debaters included Randi Weingarten, Terry Moe, Rod Paige, and others.  Based on the audience survey those debating against the resolution did move the undecideds.

Update: Don’t want to read the whole thing?  Newsweek has an abridged transcript.

5 Replies to “The Great Debate”

  1. It’s interesting how much the audience moved. It seems like they must have bought into the framing that they just had to believe unions were a problem at times. Paige’s arguments were ridiculous as were the other former union guys. Basically a whole bunch of unsourced anecdotes. It probably didn’t help the pro union side that the woman who asked the question about unions just protecting due process was better at pointing out the flaws in the logic of the other side than any of those on stage.

  2. i was stunned at the lack of knowledge folks on the pro-union side had about the peer-reviewed research on unions and educational outcomes. for randi to keep citing the south and student performance makes one wonder if she’s never heard of multivariate regression analysis. talk about weak intellectual chops.

    terry was the only one on the stage that was familiar with hoxby’s highly-sophisticated research using two-state least squares modeling to show that unionization, once controlling for other factors, actually is associated with a lower graduation rate within schools.

    i loved how terry pointed this out after the teacher on the union side claimed with such gusto…”there is absolutely no research showing…” like she’s ever picked up anything more technical on research than time magazine.

  3. roger–maybe she should have said, “there is no RELIABLE research that shows . . .” since Hoxby continues to be a shill for the CEOs running education now.

  4. are you kidding? Caroline Hoxby has impeccable credentials. She’s one of the brightest economists in higher education today. Tenured at Harvard and now Stanford? A pioneer in using instrumental variables in the discipline.

    Do you even know what an instrumental variable is, Bill Bob? This so-called “shill” has more intellectual gravitas in her fingernail than you probably have in your entire being. Get real. Oh yeah… that so-called “shill” was given tenure by the bastion of right-wing big business loving moguls known as Harvard. Please, spare me. Everyone knows that academe is far to the left. Her success speaks for itself. Rather than name call, why don’t you explain the methodological flaws in Hoxby’s research. Though I’d be shocked if you could even define what an instrumental variable is. Why don’t we start there, hotshot.

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