Turning Out Teachers: The Causes and Consequences of Teacher Political Activism
Michael Hartney

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



University of Notre Dame

Primary Discipline

Political Science
My dissertation attempts to disentangle the causes and consequences of teacher political activism in the U.S. I seek to reorient teacher union research away from its narrow focus on whether or not policy-making occurs in a bargaining or non-bargaining jurisdiction, and instead move us toward a more comprehensive research agenda on the teachers unions an agenda that pays attention to well-established theories about political participation. Ultimately, my project distinguishes itself by 1) developing a theoretical model of teacher political influence; and, 2) testing that model with real world data. I find that teacher political activism is a far better predictor of union influence than the existence of collective bargaining rights/agreements in states and school districts. Given the recent flurry of activity aimed at eliminating collective bargaining, this research provides important context for the way in which interest group politics shapes education reform efforts.
About Michael Hartney

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