Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Progress of reform

As a case study, the reform of education law in Mexico might be a window into the process of change. The new law has made it to a second stage. Implementation is now the issue.

Sweeping education reform approved in Mexico
A plan to overhaul Mexico's public education system has been ratified by 18 of the country's 31 states, allowing it to be enacted by President Enrique Pena Nieto, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The law, which is backed by Pena Nieto and was approved by Congress in December, calls for creation of a professional system for hiring, evaluating and promoting teachers without the "discretionary criteria" currently used in a system where teaching positions are often bought or inherited…

The plan, which has multi-party support, will move much of the control of the public education system to the federal government from the 1.5 million-member National Union of Education Workers, led for 23 years by Elba Esther Gordillo. Under the old law, she hires and fires teachers…

The overhaul was Pena Nieto's first major proposal since taking office Dec. 1 and is considered a political blow to Gordillo, who has played the role of kingmaker for many Mexican politicians. She was conspicuously absent from the announcement.

Pena Nieto is expected to sign the reform into law in about a week, Romero Hicks said.

See also: Heading into uncharted waters

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At 7:03 PM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

More on education reform in Mexico.

Lisa Schalla, in Puerto Vallarta sent this link from Mexico Voices about another aspect of reforming education in Mexico.

It's worth remembering that political change is not the only challenge.

Mexico Education Reform: The Challenge Is to Improve the Teachers Colleges

Carlos Muñoz Izquierdo, an expert on the national educational model and researcher emeritus at the Iberoamerican University (UIA)… notes that the big problem is 'basically one of teaching practice, such that it remains the primary challenge in achieving quality and equity in education. It leaves [education] being scarcely relevant and pertinent.'…

At 7:08 PM, Blogger Ken Wedding said...

More on education reform in Mexico.

At Mexico Voices, there's also an interview with Esther Gordillo, the head of the Mexico Teachers Union.

Interview of Esther Gordillo, Head of Mexico Teachers Union, on Education Reform

Teachers union leader, Elba Esther Gordillo, declared that removal of a single word from the education reform would allow the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) to withdraw its objection and adhere without reservations to the project.

"It's a word that is, in my opinion, perverse, that I think those who were at that [negotiating] table put in and that there was effort by the PAN [Party of the National Alliance; Calderón] that it might disappear, and from the PRD [Party of the Democratic Revolution; left] itself. The two parties and I believe even the PRI [Party of the Institutional Revolution; Peña Nieto] [resisted it]: Permanence. 

"Permanence perverts proper evaluation, it goes against the evaluation," she charged.
In a chat with Carlos Marín on his program "The Assault on Reason," Gordillo was referring to the educational reform that conditions retention [permanence] of teachers in the education system on the obligatory evaluation…


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