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Test the Teacher? Educators Balk at Mexico's New Education Reforms

Lauren Villagran - The Christian Science Monitor
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March 2, 2013

Students dressed for the cold weather are reflected in a puddle of water at a school in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in January. Mexico enacted an education reform that took effect this week – a reform staunchly opposed by the powerful teachers’ union. (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

Imagine a school where a teacher who doesn’t show up for class, or doesn’t hold a degree, or fails or refuses a mandatory evaluation can’t be fired. Imagine a school that routinely hires and promotes teachers on the basis of favors rather than merit.

Those are some of the practices Mexico hopes to change with an education reform that took effect this week – a reform staunchly opposed by the powerful teachers’ union, but sone supporters say could greatly improve the competitiveness of schools and boost Mexico’s place in the global economy.

“Education is a great engine of transformation, social mobility, competitiveness, productivity, and social development,” says Monica Tapia of the Citizen Coalition for Education, a nonprofit dedicated to reforming the system. “Mexico spends so many of its resources on education. But we’re not achieving learning.”

The reform strips the education union – arguably the most powerful in Latin America – of its influence over the hiring of teachers. It provides for a system of merit-based pay and promotions, subjects Mexico’s estimated 1 million teachers to evaluations, and requires exams of those entering the profession. All with greater oversight by the federal government.

Read the whole story at The Christian Science Monitor

  Check out Public Schools in Puerto Vallarta

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