Follow The Incentives

You’re hearing a lot of chatter about how teachers’ unions will now have a greater incentivize to play ball in the next round of Race to the Top to avoid being blamed for a state’s failure to get the money.

Sounds plausible, but unfortunately wrong on two counts.  First, they genuinely don’t like some of these reforms and will fight them.   And if you think they’re somehow shy about doing that publicly you just haven’t been paying attention.

Second, the incentives on elected teachers’ union leaders are not external, they’re internal.  The nation’s wonks and editorial boards don’t elect them, their members do.   And generally it’s the most activist and those with the strongest views who are most active — as in most organizations.   And if you think their leaders can just cross the membership without consequence then you just haven’t been paying attention!

That’s not to say there won’t be some progress in some states on reform before Round II just that it’s going to be complicated and most likely not dramatic overall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.