The poor quality of Mexican schools keeps the economy weak, writes Liam Julian on Education Gadfly.
. . .the nation’s K-12 schools are models of bureaucratic incompetence and corruption. They are also in thrall to the all-powerful National Education Workers Union, which has done much to devalue and degrade classroom instruction for Mexican children.
For example, the teachers union has advocated keeping the elementary school day limited to a paltry four hours of instruction. It has opposed any overhaul of an 80-year-old middle school curriculum that perceptive government officials say is in desperate need of modernizing.
Teachers bribe the union so their job applications are expedited. Once hired, they won’t be fired — even if they cut class to work another job.
Add to this graft the schools’ incompetent, centralized control and the results are predictable: a 2005-06 World Economic Forum report placed the quality of Mexican education 81st out of 117 countries. Only 25 percent of the nation’s students graduate from high school.
A poorly educated workforce keeps the economy from growing, Julian writes, encouraging underemployed Mexicans to go north for opportunity.