Teachers strikes often generate headlines where they’re taking place, but their influence can extend beyond local communities and affect political discourse in surprising ways, according to a new study by Brown University’s Melissa Arnold Lyon and Matthew A. Kraft. The researchers looked at 550 local strikes in the past few years, some of them part of the coordinated “Red for Ed” work stoppages in 2018, and the political advertisements that followed them. FutureEd associate director Phyllis Jordan spoke with Lyon about the new research.
You've looked at the connection between teacher strikes and political ads for Congressional candidates. What did you find?
We found that strikes dramatically increase the prevalence of education mentions in political ads, and we found that the increases are almost exclusively in positive ads.