Study confirms Act 10 has been good for rewarding teachers
Wisconsin has seen major successes under the Walker model. Act 10, which limited collective bargaining to base wages and let school districts negotiate pay with individual teachers, has been the most impactful of all. Democrats and unions staunchly opposed the law, ultimately leading to the epic 2012 recall election, which brought Walker and his policies to the national stage.
A study, Unions, Salaries, and the Market for Teachers: Evidence from Wisconsin, by Stanford University economics researcher Barbara Biasi found public school districts are now able to compete for better teachers with better pay while capping the salaries of low-performing teachers. Her study examined the share of teachers who moved from a salary schedule which rewarded teachers based on seniority, to a “individual-salary” schedule, which is based on teacher performance. The study found a 34 percent increase in the quality of teachers moving to the individual-salary districts. Simultaneously, there was a 17 percent decrease in the quality of teachers exiting individual-salary districts. Teacher workforce improvements in these districts increased student achievement. A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel special report on Act 10 published in 2016 found the methods of firing and disciplining public school teachers is more efficient, courtesy of Act 10.
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