'It was the strike heard ‘round the country.
West Virginia’s public school teachers had endured years of low pay, inadequate insurance, giant class sizes, and increasingly unlivable conditions—including attempts to force them to record private details of their health daily on a wellness app. Their governor, billionaire coal baron Jim Justice, pledged to allow them no more than an annual 1% raise—effectively a pay cut considering inflation—in a state where teacher salaries ranked 48th lowest out of 50 states. In February 2018, they finally revolted: In a tense, four-day work stoppage, they managed to wrest a 5% pay increase from the state. Teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky have now revolted in similar protests.
It’s the latest battle in a contest between two countervailing forces: one bent on reengineering America for the benefit of the wealthy, the other struggling to preserve dignity and security for ordinary people.
If the story turns out the way the Jim Justices desire, the children of a first-world country will henceforth be groomed for a third-world life.
Gordon Lafer, Associate Professor at the Labor Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon, and Peter Temin, Professor Emeritus of Economics at MIT, help illuminate why this is happening, who is behind it, and what’s at stake as the educational system that once united Americans and prepared them for a life of social and economic mobility is wiped out of existence.'
Read more: The Corporate Plan to Groom U.S. Kids for Servitude by Wiping Out Public Schools
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