Mexico president sets aside education reform

4/17/2019 – The Washington Post

Marco Ugarte/Associated Press

MEXICO CITY — President Andrés Manuel López Obrador ordered his Cabinet ministers Tuesday to ignore the education reforms put in place by the previous administration while congress tries to work out replacement legislation.

López Obrador sent a memorandum saying the reforms he promised to repeal upon taking office should no longer guide government actions. He said congress is trying to reach consensus with teacher unions and parents on new legislation.

His instructions also said the treasury ministry will control the teachers’ payroll.

The constitutional changes passed under President Enrique Peña Nieto aimed to modernize Mexico’s public schools and take control from the powerful teachers’ unions.

The overhaul called for examinations and evaluations for teachers, and it ended union control of hiring and promotions of teachers. It also sought to end the practice of teachers selling their posts to others.

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New Publication | Building on Early Success: Next Steps in U.S.-Mexico Educational Cooperation

By Angela Robertson and Duncan Wood

USA and MexicoLaunched in 2014, the U.S.-Mexico Bilateral Forum on Higher Education, Innovation, and Research (FOBESII) seeks to “expand opportunities for educational exchanges, scientific research partnerships, and cross-border innovation to help both countries develop a 21st century workforce for both our mutual economic prosperity and sustainable social development.” It aims to promote binational cooperation in higher education and research, especially regarding important areas for innovation in the United States and Mexico, by promoting programs for student mobility, academic exchange, research, and innovation in areas of common interest to contribute to the competitiveness of the region.

Cultural and educational exchanges help to create connections between the people and institutions of the United States and Mexico via exchange programs, scholarships, grants, and joint research.  Increasing educational exchanges and strengthening workforce development and innovation, particularly in STEM areas, will allow the United States and Mexico, and North America as a whole, to compete in global markets. Thus, FOBESII has the potential to build a more prosperous future for both the United States and Mexico.

Nonetheless, this short paper argues that, while FOBESII has done much to expand educational exchanges, increase joint research, and promote innovation, it has yet to achieve its stated goals and continues to face serious challenges. We argue that to overcome these challenges, future initiatives must focus on advancing private sector engagement, workforce development, and improving public communication and outreach. FOBESII continues to be a relevant and important initiative, but it is in urgent need of restructuring and redirection if it is to make a significant contribution to bilateral affairs and regional competitiveness.

Read the paper…

College Board Releases a Guide to Help Undocumented Students Pay for College

NPR/StateImpact, 06/05/2012

The College Board has released a guide to help undocumented students apply to college and get scholarships — since undocumented students cannot receive state or federal financial aid or get students loans.

The guide, called the ‘Repository of Resources for Undocumented Students,” primarily tells students how to access in-state tuition rates in 11 of the 14 states that allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition fees for public schools.

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Vying for Campus President, Illegal Immigrant Gets a Gamut of Responses

The New York Times, 3/12/12

Jose Luis Zelaya stood with a crowd of other students waiting to hear the news. It was election day at Texas A&M University here, and he was running for student body president.

A victory for Mr. Zelaya, a 24-year-old graduate student from Honduras, would make history at Texas A&M: He would become its first Hispanic student body president — and the first illegal immigrant to hold the position. Mr. Zelaya came to the United States at age 14, fleeing an abusive father and gang violence and hoping to reunite with his mother and sister in Houston.

Last year, at a campus rally organized by supporters of the proposed Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who go to college, he spoke of being undocumented, and described his journey from cleaning windshields at stoplights and sleeping under a bridge in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula to attending the sixth-largest university in the United States.

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At UTEP, Success Is Not All About Graduation Rates

The New York Times, 3/5/12

In the farthest corner of West Texas — nestled between the Franklin Mountains and the United States-Mexico border, hundreds of miles from any other public university in the state — the University of Texas at El Paso and its fortress-like buildings occupy one of the state’s most exotic campus settings.

The perspective of its president, Diana Natalicio, is similarly distinct as she seeks to redefine what determines a university’s success. She eschews commonly accepted higher-education measures like graduation rates, which show that just one out of 10 freshmen entering UTEP graduate within four years.

She said UTEP, which has more than 18,000 undergraduate students and accepts nearly 97 percent of its applicants, aimed to demonstrate that a university “could actually achieve both access and excellence.”

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Congress approves obligatory baccalaureate in Mexico (In Spanish)

CNN Mexico, 9/13/11

El Congreso de México dio su aprobación definitiva a una reforma constitucional que establece la obligatoriedad de la educación media superior, con lo que solo falta el visto bueno de las legislaturas estatales y la promulgación del presidente Felipe Calderón para que entre en vigor.

Durante su sesión de este jueves, la Cámara de Diputados avaló —por 357 votos a favor— los cambios a los artículos 3 y 31 de la Constitución, con los que el Estado tendrá la obligación de garantizar el acceso al bachillerato, y los padres y tutores, de enviar a sus hijos a cursar ese nivel educativo en planteles públicos o privados.

La reforma había sido aprobada por los diputados en diciembre de 2010. El Senado la avaló con algunas modificaciones en septiembre pasado y, por procedimiento legislativo, la Cámara baja debía realizar una revisión final.

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University Chancellors Ask Calderon to Change Strategy (in Spanish)

El Universal, 4/29/2010

Students and chancellors of public and private universities of the region expressed their concern about increasing insecurity on their campuses to President Calderon.  They asked that the struggle against organized crime not center on police and military combat, but that it confront the issue with an integral strategy.

Yesterday, the chancellors of the institutions affiliated with the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education (ANUIES) held a meeting in Monterrey with the President, offering to provide training for police forces in their insitutions.

The issue of insecurity at universities took center stage after the death of two students from the ITESM–Jorge Antonio Mercado Alonso y Francisco Javier Arredondo Verdugo–and, two days ago, of a student from the UNAM, also in Monterrey.

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OECD Releases Education at a Glance; Despite Improvements, Deficiencies Remain (in Spanish)

OECD, 9/08/09

Mexico City (September 8, 2009).- The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its Education at a Glance highlighting the importance of investing in higher education for the development of countries.

In Mexico, more than 80 percent of children younger than 4 years old are enrolled in preschool, according to the report.

The number of people who have attained higher education has increased 4.5 percent per year since 1998, and in Mexico, 4.4 percent.

As a proportion of total public expenditure, the 2006 average amongst OECD members for education was 13.3 percent, ranging from the lowest in Germany, Italy, and Japan with 10 percent, and the highest in Mexico at 22 percent.

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Full report available here…

Longtime Residents Not Allowed In-State Tuition

New York Times, 3/8/2009

Some high school teachers worry about grooming students for admission to elite universities. Judah Lakin worries about getting his students’ immigration papers so that they can afford college.

Illegal immigrants do not qualify for federal financial aid, and those living in Rhode Island, as in 39 other states, do not qualify for in-state tuition at public universities. Since out-of-state tuition is about three times as high as in-state, many young immigrants forgo higher education.

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Editorial: It’s education, not immigration

La Opinión, 1/7/2009

Access to college is key for a society to move forward. It is an investment in our youth, and in our state, which provides lower cost tuition to students who attend for several years—and then graduate from—California’s high schools.

This is the basis, in broad strokes, of state law AB540, which allows undocumented students to pay in-state tuition if they agree to normalize their immigration status as soon as they are able, and to meet the attendance and graduation requirements mentioned above.

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