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In Mexico, Teachers Fight Against Reforms Familiar to Those North of the Border

Stephanie McCrummen - The Washington Post
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August 29, 2013
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Police guard the entrance to the Senate chambers in Mexico City. The sign reads “Total rejection of education reform.” (Marco Ugarte/Associated Press)

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican government is trying to overhaul the nation’s public schools in a way that might ring familiar in the United States: changing how teachers are hired, fired and evaluated.

But if American teachers unions were resistant to the idea, some in Mexico are openly hostile.

Hundreds of ski-mask-wearing, rock-throwing, stick-wielding teachers have smashed windows and set fire to major political party offices in the southern state of Guerrero, and thousands are flooding Mexico City, blocking national TV networks, subway lines and, on Wednesday, swarming the roads around Los Piños, the Mexican White House.

In what has become a fairly common event here, at least 8,000 teachers have set up camp under a nylon sea of tents in Mexico City’s central Zocalo Square, where Gumaro Cruz Lopez, an elementary- school director from the southern state of Oaxaca, explained his fear that the changes will turn kids into globalized robots at the expense of indigenous culture, free thought and possibly homemade tacos.

Read the rest at The Washington Post

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