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The Rapid Victory of the West Virginia Teacher Strike Shows What Happens When Progressives Join the Fight Against School Privatization

#1

The Rapid Victory of the West Virginia Teacher Strike Shows What Happens When Progressives Join the Fight Against School Privatization

Jeff Bryant

West Virginia’s most recent statewide teacher walkout came and went so quickly there was too little time and attention to comprehend and appreciate the impact the teachers’ actions will likely have long-term on changing the narrative of the teacher movement and how politically progressive advocates and candidates relate to it.

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#2

Simple statistics tells you that somewhere there has to be a legitimate charter school. Unfortunately the minuscule chance of finding it is greatly overwhelmed by the inundation of the other types that are designed by noneducationally oriented money bags who either are looking to make a profit or who are interested in paying themselves and their family members exorbitant salaries for being administrators of some kind at those schools.

The profit motive means that expenses that don’t pay for themselves, like libraries, computer centers, counselors, specialists for handicapped students, and nurses, but which nevertheless are necessary for a complete education will be severely restricted if not cancelled altogether. The same goes for those people who rent their building to the charter school they created and then collect way out of line salaries for administering the charter school along with equally ridiculous salaries for their relatives on the board of directors.

If you are running a school, and if you prevent the parents of the kids from having a voice in how the school is run, aka school boards, then you are looking at absolute power and the inevitable consequence.

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#3

This action achieved its goals so quickly it didn’t even register on the nation’s consciousness… which might not be a good thing since the corporations are playing a long game. The profiteers are probably willing to settle protests against privatization quickly so the public fails to realize the true purpose of the strike. This will enable legislators to define the issue as “greedy teachers” seeking higher pay and not the teachers opposition to greedy businessmen seeking a foothold in the public sector.

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#4

The author totally excuses the trade union leadership. The wave of teachers’ struggles, begun by West Virginia teacher walkouts one year ago, has been systematically isolated and betrayed by union leaders, esp AFT president Randy Weingarten (salary $543,000) and NEA leader Lily Eskelsen García (salary $348,000). See **Teachers’ Anger explodes across the US: on wsws(dot)org on 2019/03/01.
** Despite the claims of Victory in West Virginia and Los Angeles, this is by no means the case - promises were made, which have so many caveats they can - and will - be revoked as soon as the strike subsides. And in California, the entire Democratic Party establishment, including then-Lt Governor Gavin Newsome, has led the destruction of public education funding.

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#5

The union presidents should not be making these ridiculous salaries- perhaps that is part of the problem. Unions are for working people and their rights not for the hoi poloi .

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