Published Online: January 23, 2013
Published in Print: January 23, 2013, as Sweeping Ed. Reform Approved in Mexico

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Sweeping Ed. Reform Approved in Mexico

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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 Peña Nieto.

The law, which is backed by Mr. Peña 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 plan, which has multiparty 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 pocketbook.

The overhaul was Mr. Peña Nieto's first major proposal since taking office Dec. 1 and is considered a political blow to Ms. Gordillo, who has played the role of kingmaker for many Mexican politicians. She was conspicuously absent from the announcement.

Vol. 32, Issue 18, Page 5

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