Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Peña Nieto administration sues four Mexican states over education reforms

Oaxaca's governor quickly signals he'll comply

Guadalajara -
Mexico's federal government today filed a complaint with the nation's highest tribunal, demanding that the states of Chiapas, Michoacán, Oaxaca and Sonora be forced to comply with education reforms passed by heavy congressional majorities in September 2013.

The mandamus action, submitted to Mexico's Supreme Judicial Court, alleges that officials in those states have failed and refused to bring state education codes into compliance with the new standards, and in some instances have substantially rewritten the standards to their own liking.

Planned reforms to Mexico's decrepit primary and secondary education systems were the very first announced by the Institutional Revolutionary Party administration after it took office on Dec. 1, 2012. They passed the lower legislative chamber, the Cámara de Diputados, by a vote of 390-69 on Sept. 2, and they cleared the Senate 24 hours later on a vote of 102-22. The reforms prohibit the buying, selling and bequeathing of teaching positions, and will require all new hires to pass a preparedness and competency evaluation. Even vested teachers will be subject to periodic retesting. Those who are unable to meet education standards after three tries will be transferred to administrative positions.

The reforms, which will take effect in the 2015-2016 school year, were bitterly resisted by a teachers union, the Coordinadora Nacional de los Trabajadores de la Educación (CNTE), which showed no hesitancy to use street violence while demonstrating its opposition. Radical teachers' syndicate returns to Mexico City streets, attacking police. CNTE called strikes all over Mexico, but particularly in the Pacific coast states of Oaxaca and Chiapas. Children missed many weeks of class as a result, while teachers were busy occupying the center of Mexico City, causing millions of dollars in losses to local businessmen. PRI government shows no resolve against thug teachers.

Although the education reforms stand no chance of being repealed, teachers in several states continue efforts to avoid complying with them, such as setting up their own evaluation panels in violation of a federal law which assigns that task exclusively to a federal agency, the Instituto Nacional para la Evaluación de la Educación (INEE).

Oaxaca Governor Gabino Cué wasted no time in responding to the lawsuit. Appearing in a national television interview tonight, he acknowledged that CNTE, which holds a stranglehold over education in his state, remains firmly opposed to the reforms. Cué promised that Oxaca would bring its laws into conformity with the federal ones, by drafting an entirely new code to regulate the teaching profession. Officials in Oaxaca had approved a CNTE request to allow union delegates rather than professional educators to evaluate member teachers, which is one of the reasons the government sued the state today. Oaxaca education at the mercy of omnipotent syndicate.

The administration is carefully examining state education codes in Mexico's 28 other jurisdictions, to ensure compliance with federal mandates. "The government intends to see that the congressional will with respect to education reform is fully carried out," a spokesman said today.

Sept. 3 - Mexican Human Rights Comm'n. holds Oaxaca Gov. Gabino Cué responsible for state education disaster
May 15 - On Mexican National Teachers' Day, the sweet racket carved out by their powerful unions is exposed

An anti-reform demonstration by Guadalajara teachers last year fizzled

2013 education reforms
Aug. 19 - Continued teacher strikes idle almost a million students in Oaxaca
Aug. 29 - Teachers' union calls for nationwide strike
Aug. 31 - Oaxaca freezes pay of striking teachers
Sept. 2 - Mexico's House of Deputies passes education reforms
Sept. 3 - Mexico's Senate passes education reform bill, as labor unions threaten civil disobedience
Sept. 4 - Oaxaca governor holds tough and refuses to pay dissident teachers
Sept. 4 - Teachers' union ups the ante, calling indefinite strike in Chiapas
Sept. 6 - School closings spread to Yucatán, but Peña Nieto says "there's no turning back"
Sept. 12 - Yucatán teachers fold, agree to return to the schoolhouse
Sept. 25 - "Peña Nieto completely under the control of Obama," says MORENA official
Oct. 4 - Mexico City rioters caused millions in damages; PRI, PAN and PRD call for new laws
Oct. 15 - Oaxaca's governor caves to school teachers
Oct. 31 - Teachers return to Guadalajara streets, protesting alleged education privatization

© MGR 2014. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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