Sep 09 2013

Mexico Teachers Protest Education Privatization

Mexico City was brought to a complete standstill last week as 20,000 teachers took to the streets to protest President Enrique Pena Nieto’s educational reforms. The power of their protests helped to influence the final draft of the measures designed to fix Mexico’s problematic educational system and Nieto is expected to sign the bill.

Critics of Mexico’s educational system say that while less than half of Mexican students graduate from high school, the powerful teacher’s unions have been buying and selling teaching jobs and siphoning off money meant for students. Nieto’s reforms are intended to address corruption and how people obtain teaching positions but it also pushes forth a more privatized educational agenda including establishing teacher evaluations through standardized testing – something US educators are quite familiar with.

Pressure from the teacher’s unions has helped amend the original bill but Nieto’s reformist agenda continues on its path to alter Mexican society. Nieto is also intent on privatizing Mexico’s national oil company Pemex, and altering the Mexican tax structure.

GUEST: Hector De La Cueva, Director of the Center for Labor Research and Union Consultation in Mexico City

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