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Conflicting Missions?: Teachers Unions and Educational Reform Hardcover – April 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815753047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815753049
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,244,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"For the reader interested in the intersections, possibilities, and future for teachers unions and school reform, 'Conflicting Missions? Teachers Unions and Educational Reform' offers insightful analysis of the conflicts and proposals for unions and educational reform." — Harvard Educational Review, 4/1/2001

"The authors provide a balanced view and avoid portraying unions as the answer to or the cause of problems in public education." — Princeton University, 1/1/2001

"This book rewarded me with a wealth of knowledge on the current state of collective bargaining in American education.... This book is worth reading for the wealth of detail on the current status of collective bargaining in public education." —Donald E. Frey, Wake Forest University, Economics of Education Review 21 (2002)

About the Author

Tom Loveless is director of the Brown Center on Education Policy and senior fellow in the Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of the annual Brown Center Reports on American Education.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Henry Cate III on December 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a well written book. It explores the connection between the teacher unions and efforts to improve education. In all the talk about problems in American Education there have been a wide variety of assertions and opinions about the role and affect of the teacher unions on improving education. The book explores the connection in depth.

There are nine chapters, each written by a different author, or set of authors, which explore different issues.

A couple of chapters address how unions bargain and the affect on public schools. The chapter on collective bargaining in the Milwaukee Public Schools had an interesting point about how teachers really have two sets of pay raises. Contractually teachers get automatic pay raises for their years of service and professional degrees. So a teacher with a Masters degree who has worked five years will get a specific automatic pay raise when starting to work the sixth year. And then every so often the teacher unions will threaten a strike and say the teachers need a pay raise, and then a new contract is generated. The public is only aware of this second set of pay raises.

The other chapters look at a variety of issues. One chapter explores what might result from efforts by the teacher unions to gain control of professional licensing at a national level. Currently professional licensing is handled by state government. The conclusion is there would be no improvement in the quality of teaching. There was a chapter on the NEA and school choice, which said that though much of the NEA is against school choice, there are some people within the NEA which tolerate or even support school choice.
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