Journal of Labor Research

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 351-367

First online:

Teachers’ unions and excellence in education: An analysis of the decline in SAT scores

  • Michael M. KurthAffiliated withMcNeese State University

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Controversy surrounds the recent finding that college entrance exams are lower today than they were twenty years ago, but little empirical evidence has been offered in the debate. This paper uses cross-sectional regression analysis to examine the decline in SAT scores between 1972 and 1983. Three explanations are tested: the changing social environment, the financial resources devoted to education, and the emergence of militant teacher unions. The results show teacher unionism to be the most significant factor in the decline in scores.