Jan 17, 2013

Sweeping education reform approved in Mexico

HuffPost: January 16, 2013

MEXICO CITY — 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 goal of the reform is a quality education and for this there are two big things (needed): evaluating professional teachers and the body that will evaluate the system," said Sen. Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, president of the Senate's Education Commission who confirmed the reform's approval.

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, and she has been accused of using union funds as her personal pocket book. Read more. 

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