NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Public Links Unions To Incompetent Teachers

May 17, 2001

Much of the American public thinks unions stand in the way of getting rid of teachers who are truly incompetent. That's according to a recent Lou Harris poll sponsored by the Ford Foundation and Washington Mutual, in which nearly three-quarters of respondents agreed the unions are a roadblock to removing incompetent teachers.

  • Moreover, fewer than two in 10 of the 2,501 adults polled think teachers in their communities are highly qualified -- and more than one-third think teachers nationally are only minimally competent or unqualified.
  • Eight in 10 support removing unskilled teachers from the classroom if they are given extra training but fail to measure up.
  • A broad majority cited improving teacher quality as the key to reform -- over other such measures as vouchers, charter schools or high-stakes testing.

Source: Andrea Billups, "Unions Defend Bad Teachers, Poll Says," Washington Times, May 17, 2001.


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