Look for the union label: A statistical analysis of Race to the Top results
Andy Smarick, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Fordham Institute, had a hunch that teacher union backing — that would be "stakeholder support" in official terms — played a key role in the failure of states like Florida and Louisiana to win a Race to the Top grant.
So he plotted out all the numbers in the reviewers' score sheets on a graph and validated his hypothesis.
"(A)fter the one outlier (Illinois) is removed, 40 percent of the difference between my rankings and ED’s is explained by the level of union support," he writes.
The upshot, as University of Arkansas education reform prof Jay P. Greene sees it: "If people know that union opposition scuttles a state’s chances, then no state will apply in the future unless they have union support. This means that the unions will dictate what reforms will be pursued, which means that there will be virtually no reform."