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Study: Union effect on education inclusive

Bloomington, Ind. -- The effect of collective bargaining on student achievement is inconclusive, a study released Wednesday by Indiana University's School of Education said.

That doesn't mean opinions are scarce. "Both sides seem to be behaving such that there's no question about a positive or negative effect of collective bargaining," said the study's author Nathan Burroughs, a visiting research associate at the university's Center for Evaluation and Education Policy.

The study tackles the question raised in contention by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Spellings said teacher's unions were blocking reform, which provoked an aggressive response from Weingarten, a university news release said.

But, Burroughs, said next to the issue of collective bargaining, "the effects of parental education or socioeconomic status tend to have a much greater influence."

When trying to ascertain the influence of collective bargaining, "you're talking about a very small piece of the pie," Burroughs said

Copyright 2008 by United Press International.