Wednesday, February 17, 2010

You sir, are a liar

And a sniveling one, at that. At a United Negro College Fund Minnesota Leaders’ Luncheon today, Governor Gutshot, Tim Pawlenty, repeated the canard that there is a “negative correlation” between student achievement and the strength of teachers’ unions.

Here are some data on the subject, however, according to the linked post at Hot Dish Politics:

According to Education Minnesota, in no particular order, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Michigan and California have strong unions and Texas, Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama are known for lacking strong unions – or any union at all.

According to the ACT test results from 2009, strong unioned Massachusetts was the highest achieving and Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and California were in the 20 top in average composite test scores. Weak unioned Mississippi was last, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Texas were all in the bottom 20 as was Michigan, which has a strong union.

The outlier is Michigan, but that is probably explained more by the consequences of the destruction of the automotive industry as anything else.

As Dave Jennings, a school superintendent in the Chaska area, and former acting head of the Minneapolis schools, said recently on MPR (no link; sorry), there is a group of people whose goal it is to destroy public education, not improve it. Tim Pawlenty is one of those people. Jennings was also a Republican Speaker of the Minnesota House in the 80s.

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