Teachers’ unions may stop Mexican President Enrique Peña’s reform agenda with widespread new protests against his educational reforms. Peña wants to make teacher evaluations mandatory, and empower administrators to fire poorly performing teachers. As early as last week, Peña’s team was certain that these reforms would pass through the country’s legislature, but in light of the protests its passage appears less certain. The WSJ has more details on the clash:
The union blames Mexico’s poor state of education—which the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ranks near the bottom of its membership—on inadequate funds. It says Mr. Peña Nieto’s proposal effectively privatizes schools […]Critics of the union say that far from being concerned about the education of their students, many of teachers want to protect lifetime jobs that they say are sold or often passed from generation to generation.
It’s always dangerous to read US policy frameworks in other countries’ domestic disputes, but this teaching reform battle is looking a lot like the battles here. We hope these protests don’t succeed in derailing Peña’s overall agenda. As Citi Research said, “This could energize movements opposed to other reforms.” So far, Peña’s proposals—especially on shale and energy—have been much needed challenges to the stagnant status quo, but this week could very well make or break his whole presidency.[Image of President Nieto at 2010 WEF courtesy of the World Economic Forum]