On Flypaper I learned about a comprehensive study that ranked the strength of state teacher unions. How Strong Are U.S. Teacher Unions? A State-By-State Comparison, ranks all fifty states and the District of Columbia according to the power and influence of their state-level unions. The study included an overall ranking and more specific data for the five areas that were studied. Below is the summary of scores in each of the areas that resulted in Washington being ranked 10th overall.
Since I have no context for comparing state associations I don't know what strong means, but number ten is in the Strongest Tier. One of the surprises for me was the low ranking (32nd) for Involvement In Politics as my perception has always been that WEA is deeply involved in the state's political landscape. Looking at the categories in this section shows that campaign donations in comparison to other donors is a big component of the rank, but what dropped them down is the percentage of delegates to the Democratic and Republican conventions where they rank 48th. Contrast this rank with one in the Perceived Influence where WEA was ranked as the most or second most influential in response to the following question. How do you rank the influence of teacher unions on education policy compared with other influential entities? I can't help but wonder if this rank would be the same if the study were conducted after next Tuesday and if the charter initiative were to pass.
Below are the ratings for categories in each area. I wonder how the "reformers" and policy makers will use this data to influence future public education policy and direction.