Mexican teachers strike to block reforms

Teachers in rural Mexico are striking to block education reforms pushed by President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Peña Nieto’s first major legislative victory after taking office in December was a constitutional amendment eliminating Mexico’s decades-old practice of buying and selling teaching jobs, and replacing it with a standardized national teaching test. That’s heresy to a radical splinter union of elementary and high school teachers in Guerrero, one of the country’s poorest and worst-educated states. The teachers claim the test is a plot to fire them en masse as a step toward privatizing education, although there is little evidence the government plans that.

Reform advocates say the dissidents simply fear losing control over the state education system and the income it provides, despite the need to reform a system that eats up more of the budget and produces worse results than virtually any other in the world’s largest economies.

Armed vigilante groups have blocked highways and shut down store entrances in support of the teachers.

The head of the teachers union, Elba Esther Gordillo, is in jail charged with embezzling $200 million.

Parents are “plan to start giving their own lessons in parks, public squares and even restaurants,” reports the Wall Street Journal.  However, the parents association is afraid of  “reprisals from striking teachers.”

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  1. Foobarista says:

    If we think things are bad here with unions, in Mexico they’ve made teaching jobs into something tradable like taxi medallions: they can be bought, sold, and inherited. Talk about tenure excesses 🙂

    PS: Joanne, your WSJ link isn’t formatted right and doesn’t work…

    • Thanks. I’ve fixed the link.

    • It really is gratifying to see this nasty, socialist institution under attack in nations other then the U.S. Wouldn’t it be grand to be alive when the idea of public education was discarded not just nationwide but species-wide?

  2. The impetus for the establishment of the current school system was the large influx of immigrants, often Eastern European, Italian and Irish, in the late 19th century. A stated purpose was to assimilate them, different in ethnicity and religion from their WASP predecessors, and turn them into Americans. That certainly isn’t happening now.

  3. Mexico is already a failed state; it’s only ‘developed’ and ‘Western’ in name only. And the U.S. won’t be far behind, if we don’t get our act together…