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Vox Sentences: A message from Denver’s teachers

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Denver’s teachers go on strike; a video shows a reportedly dead Uighur musician alive.

Denver teachers strike for the first time in 25 years

Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images
  • 2,631 teachers went on strike in Denver on Monday after negotiations between the Denver Classroom Teachers Association and Denver Public Schools over baseline salaries failed. [Denver Post / Elizabeth Hernandez, Elise Schmelzer, Jessica Seaman, and Saja Hindi]
  • Denver’s teachers are some of the lowest-paid in the nation, earning about $44,000 in some cases. DCTA is demanding better baseline salaries to end a system of awarding bonuses based on performance evaluations or for teachers working in high-poverty schools. [NYT / Julie Turkewitz and Dana Goldstein]
  • 4,714 preschool students didn’t go to school on Monday, but all other classes were held. Keeping schools open could cost as much as $400,000 per day, according to Polis, because most classrooms are staffed by administrators and substitute teachers. 71,000 students will be affected across 147 schools. [NPR / Matthew S. Schwartz]
  • The bonus system, known as ProComp, was designed to encourage good teachers to work in underfunded schools or hard-to-staff positions. Critics say the system is unpredictable, confusing, and arbitrary because the bonuses are awarded based on criteria such as collective student test scores. [Denver Post / Elizabeth Hernandez]
  • Denver’s strikes are the most recent in a string of teacher strikes in places including Arizona, West Virginia, and Los Angeles. [Associated Press]

China releases a video of a not-so-dead man

  • Is a Turkic musician detained in China alive or dead? The imprisonment of Uighur artist Abdurehim Heyit led to pushback from Turkey, a Muslim-majority country, on China’s mass detention of Uighur Muslims. [WSJ / Eva Dou and Shan Li]
  • Turkey was surprised to see Heyit safe and alive in a video provided by Chinese media after reports said Heyit was dead, and the Turkish Foreign Ministry openly condemned China’s internment of Uighurs. Turkish officials now fear economic reprisals from China. [BBC News]
  • Heyit had reportedly been arrested for a song he performed and sent to an internment camp. Uighur writers and intellectuals especially have been detained in “teaching and training centers” in Xinjiang, China, by the thousands in an effort to destroy their ethnic identity. [NYT / Amy Qin]
  • The transgressions that can get ethnic Uighurs reported to the police or sent to “political education” camps are many, and often minor, such as growing a beard or having a relative who has traveled to a Muslim country. [BuzzFeed / Megha Rajagopalan]
  • China claims the internment program is meant to target terrorism. Few Muslim nations have spoken out to protest China’s treatment of the Uighurs, but Turkey’s President Erdogan has positioned himself as a protector of Turkic people. [Washington Post / Gerry Shih]


  • The story of one victim’s family nearly one year after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killed 17 students and staff in Parkland, Florida. [NPR / Melissa Block]
  • Sen. Kamala Harris is a presidential hopeful known as a “progressive prosecutor.” But the Democratic candidate faces skepticism from the left, especially for her approach to reform in the criminal justice system. [NYT / Kate Zernike]
  • Reports of a reduction in average tax refunds are “misleading,” according to a Monday tweet by the Treasury Department. Tax filing season began just as IRS workers returned to work at the end of a 35-day government shutdown. [The Hill / Michael Burke]
  • 2018 was deemed “the year of the woman” by the media, but a rise in feminist movements around the world was covered by mostly male reporters. [Atlantic / Gabby Deutch]
  • A new report found that in India, the world’s second-largest maker of fashion garments, millions of workers are exposed to dangerous working conditions for long hours and are paid less than minimum wage. [NYT / Elizabeth Paton]


“I’m a leader. I’ve been in some very difficult situations. Life and death situations, taking care of sick children. And right now, Virginia needs someone that can heal. There’s no better person to do that than a doctor.” [Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam in an interview with CBS This Morning]

Listen to this: The Ezra Klein Show

Ezra Klein Show

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