Wall Street Journal | Scott Walker’s Education Dividend

The Wall Street Journal takes a look at our most recent report, Keeping Score, and notes how reforms collective bargaining reforms (2011 Act 10) led to increased student achievement.

The Governor’s biggest achievement in eight years in office has been curbing the power of government unions by limiting collective bargaining to wages and requiring public employees to contribute more to their pensions and health care. Superintendents could also attract better teachers by paying for performance.

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 public schools and student performance are better now because of the reforms, according to a new study by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.

The study examined state math scores before and after the reforms were implemented. Reading scores weren’t considered because the state changed language arts tests after the reforms took effect. Math proficiency increased by an average of 2.1% across school districts after districts implemented the reforms. Improvements were found in the state’s small town, rural and suburban districts, but curiously scores in urban schools didn’t budge.

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