Fordham Produces Much-Needed Reference Work on Union Strength

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute released a study today titled “How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions?” Don’t be daunted by its 381-page length (although I was at first). It’s not meant to be beach reading; it is a stellar collection of research for you to reference whenever you need a fundamental question answered about NEA and AFT affiliates in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In the service of full disclosure, I had a very small role in reviewing the work in progress and offering my views of the metrics used. Teacher union officers have already called the study “laughable” and “silly,” which are just the type of laughable and silly responses you would expect.

Take the opportunity to download the full report and keep it on your computer for future reference. There’s a profile for each state union affiliate along with a short narrative describing the current climate for teachers’ unions in that state. It also contains a lot of basic information concerning each state’s collective bargaining and agency fee laws, which, for one thing, will save me a lot of work when some of you ask me the same questions in the coming months.

Highly recommended.

I’ll have my own report on teacher union “strength” later today, but it is based on an entirely different set of measurements. Stay tuned.