The Telegraph, the British daily newspaper, reported yesterday that University of Oxford gave students extra time to complete their exams in mathematics and computer science in summer of 2017, in an effort to mitigate the achievement gap between men and women. “Female [degree] candidates might be more likely to be adversely affected by time pressure,” explained the Board of Examiners.
Some years ago I volunteered to coach a high school chess club. Let me share some observations about the team members’ attitudes toward talent and ability. My point will be illustrated well by the two top players, who I’ll call Player A and Player B. From the beginning, both players were solidly ahead of the others in terms of playing strength.
The authors report that “Collective-bargaining laws strengthen teachers unions and give them greater influence over how school districts allocate their resources. A typical collective-bargaining agreement addresses a remarkably broad range of items: unions negotiate over salary schedules and benefits; hiring, evaluation, and firing policies; and rules detailing work and teaching hours, class assignments, class sizes, and nonteaching duties. By increasing union membership, collective-bargaining laws also heighten the influence of teachers unions in education politics at the state level…. Critics of teacher unionization argue that collective bargaining in public education has reduced school quality by shifting resources toward teachers and away from other educational inputs and by making it more difficult to fire low-performing teachers. Stronger unions may also have made it harder for states to adopt policies aimed at improving school quality through enhanced accountability or expanded school choice…. Our evidence points to the conclusion that collective bargaining in public education has been a bad deal for American students.”
Fortunately, in Virginia, public sector employees are prohibited from collective bargaining, absent specific statutory authorization. This study affirms that this is the right policy for our state.