Gov. Scott Walker’s collective-bargaining reforms have been one of the most controversial educational reforms in America. However, a new study revels that his reforms have starting impacting in a considerable impact. Claims are being made that he has become a saviour of Wisconsin from becoming a fiscal basket case like Illinois that too with improvement in student learning.
Gov.Scott Walker was severely criticized for his reforms. For instance we all remember how Mary Bell, president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council teachers union, declared at the time that Mr. Walker “has taken an ax to our public schools” and that the reforms would result in “the destruction of public service and public education in this state.”
But as per recent reports and studies, the governor has been pretty successful in curbing the arbitrariness of government unions by limiting collective bargaining to wages. Moreover his efforts pushed public employees to contribute more to their pensions and health care.
As per the most recent study conducted by Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty “public schools and student performance are better now because of the reforms”
The study is based on the comparative analysis of math scores before and after reforms. Reading scores were omitted because state made changes in the language arts tests after the reforms took effect.
Results of the study suggests that Math proficiency increased by an average of 2.1% across state public schools after reforms. Improvements were witnessed at small town, rural and suburban districts though records of urban schools did not move in that manner.
If reasoned with the non-uniformity in response of reforms researchers concluded that it may be because of the administrators in Madison and Milwaukee resisted the reforms and hence execution may have not been to the fullest. The belief has been based on study done by Yale economist Barbara Biasi that found “high quality teachers—that is, those who improved student learning most—tended to move to districts where teachers could negotiate their pay while poor performing teachers stuck to regimented salaries”
As the Gov.Scott Walker have starting to reap favourable results it will be interesting to see how his strong opponent, State Superintendent Tony Evers, the Democratic candidate, who has already pledged to roll back collective-bargaining reforms and end a voucher program that helps 28,000 low-income students attend private school in Milwaukee, will take on the results of the reforms.
Going by the merit of the reforms it seems difficult how to raise taxes on the wealthy, manufacturers and farmers to juice spending for public schools no matter their performance will lure people against Gov.Scott Walker’s reforms that have saved the state billions of dollars and reduced property taxes.