The Atlantic

The Larger Concerns Behind the Teachers' Strikes

For educators in Oklahoma and other states, the demands go far beyond better pay.
Source: Nick Oxford / Reuters

One demand of the striking Oklahoma teachers has gotten a lot of attention: They want higher salaries. Superficially that demand may seem like a somewhat selfish concern—a question of their own bank accounts, not students’ needs. But the teachers’ complaints go far beyond compensation, and when viewed in the context of their other demands, it’s clear that the strike gets at the heart of some of the biggest issues facing America’s children: access to effective teachers, high-quality learning materials, and modern facilities.

Thousands of teachers to the picket lines on

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