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An HGSE News Press Release

February 1, 2001
Brian Powell, (812) 855-7624
Karen Olander, (617) 384-7249

Teacher Unions Boost Student Achievement According to a New Study in the Harvard Educational Review

Harvard Graduate School of Education

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The presence of teacher unions is positively correlated with higher student achievement on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and the American College Test (ACT), according to a new study presented in the Harvard Educational Review (Winter 2000).

In "Do Teacher Unions Hinder Educational Performance? Lessons Learned from State SAT and ACT Scores," researchers Brian Powell, Lala Carr Steelman, and Robert M. Carini compared states that are strongly teacher unionized with those that are not and found a clear link between teacher unions and higher state performance on certain standardized tests. This pattern holds even when other factors such as family income, parental education, gender, geographic region, and race are considered.

"Teacher unions have been demonized by their critics and canonized by their advocates for years," says Powell. "Many people assume teacher unions adversely affect students' performance, but this assumption hasn't, for the most part, been tested. Our study seriously challenges this assumption."

About the Harvard Educational Review
The Harvard Educational Review, published by the Harvard Education Publishing Group, is a leading journal on educational research read by researchers, educators, and administrators around the world. The Review has published many groundbreaking articles in the field of education and is known for its insightful, well-balanced approach to educational research. For more information, visit the Review web site.

For More Information
Brian Powell can be reached at (812) 855-7624 and for interviews.

To request a copy of the article, please call (617) 495-3432.

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