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Teach for America’s hidden curriculum

The job of the American public school teacher has never been so thankless. In states across America, cutting teacher salaries and pensions has become the most popular method for fixing budget deficits. New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie’s deep cuts, for instance, force teachers to contribute a much higher percentage of their salaries to their pensions, while doubling or even tripling their health care contributions and eliminating cost-of-living adjustments. Republican Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio took their austerity measures a step further by abolishing collective bargaining rights for teachers. Such legislation is possible because the image of teachers has never been so degraded, especially of unionized teachers, whom Christie routinely refers to as “thugs” and “bullies.”

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