September 25, 2013
Smart Planet, 9/25/2013
Investors worldwide saw in Mexico a new global economic darling when the reform-minded administration of Enrique Pena Nieto returned the country’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, to power on December 1. Optimism over structural reforms including education, telecommunications and energy, and taxation underpinned the widespread predictions that Mexico was the new Brazil. Such lofty expectations have been scrapped, at least for this year, as external and internal factors have held Mexico back.
September 18, 2013
Miami Herald, 9/18/2013
In simultaneous moves that went almost unnoticed in the rest of the world, Mexico and Brazil passed historic education reforms last week that, if carried out as planned, could help propel Latin America’s biggest countries to the First World in coming decades.
The key question is whether the Mexican and Brazilian people will keep up the pressure on their governments to improve the quality of their educational systems, because politicians will only enforce rules that are opposed by teachers unions if they feel social pressure to do so. Mexico and Brazil’s new education laws are historic, but the battle to achieve world-class education systems is just beginning.
September 13, 2013
Los Angeles Times, 9/13/2013
Possible good news for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto: A leader of a striking teachers union whose campouts and roadblocks have wreaked havoc on this chaotic capital for weeks suggested Thursday that the group would probably clear out of the historic main square to allow the president to issue the famous “Cry of Independence” there Sunday evening.
Francisco Bravo, the leader of a branch of the striking National Coordinator of Education Workers, or CNTE, said in a radio interview that “all signs indicate that we’re leaving” the massive tent city that the group erected weeks ago in the Zocalo, or central square, according to the news service Milenio.
September 9, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 9/9/2013
President Enrique Peña Nieto, who is trying to push through a series of economic and social overhauls, was buoyed on Sunday by a lower-than-expected turnout of demonstrators protesting his strategy.
The protesters, led by former presidential candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador, marched in an organized effort to stop the president’s planned energy-sector overhaul and to defend Mexican nationalism. But the populist managed to draw only about 40,000 people, say Mexico City police—far fewer than he predicted and what he has marshaled in the past.
September 9, 2013
Los Angeles Times, 9/9/2013
In recent weeks, thousands of members of a feisty teachers union have descended upon Mexico City, blocking streets to protest an education reform measure that includes a controversial new scheme for evaluating teachers. Last weekend, they were joined by thousands more people who oppose Peña Nieto’s plan to open the state-owned oil company, a longtime source of national pride, to foreign investment.
September 6, 2013
The Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.
What the English-language press had to say…
This week the press largely covered the approval of the Education Reform in the midst of the teachers’ protests. Mexico’s Senate overwhelmingly passed a reform of the notoriously dysfunctional public school system early Wednesday, handing President Enrique Pena Nieto an important victory in his push to remake some of his country’s worst-run institutions.
The New York Times noted that despite being considered a major step toward instituting evaluations of public schoolteachers and ending their practice of buying and inheriting their posts, analysts allege violent protests by teachers had led Congress to include provisions in the new legislation that might undermine the overhaul. The pressure resulted in concessions that “diluted key aspects” of the original plan like the provision that mandatory evaluations would remain confidential.
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September 6, 2013
The Associated Press via The Washington Post, 9/6/2013
Teachers angry over the passage of a national education reform partially blocked the main approach to Mexico City’s airport Thursday, forcing many passengers to leave their cars and rush through the streets on foot to catch flights.
Hundreds of police guarded the airport to prevent the members of a dissident teachers union from blocking other entrances. Airport management advised passengers to take alternate routes to the airport, including the subway.