Schools were shuttered across West Virginia for nine days when the state’s teachers went on strike. Their demands were met yesterday when the state government passed a 5 percent wage increase.
When it comes to teacher salaries, West Virginia ranks 48th in the nation, according to the National Education Association. The teachers say that skyrocketing healthcare costs make stagnating wages even more difficult to bear. Now, Oklahoma may follow in West Virginia’s path. Public school teachers there are preparing to strike for higher pay and better classroom conditions.
Across the nation, America’s teachers are paid far less than teachers in countries like Germany, Switzerland, Korea, Japan and Belgium. Public school teachers in the U.S. report feeling more overworked and less respected than in other countries.
To discuss the state of American education in compared to other developed countries, we’ll talk with Linda Darling-Hammond, professor emeritus of education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, president and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute, and education advisor to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. She is also author of the book Empowered Educators.