Mexico: How the teachers’ union became so unpopular
Hostage-taking, gridlock-provoking, and rock-throwing were only the beginning:
Public disapproval also derives from the growing awareness that the teaching profession is a union racket, not a public service. Much of the credit for this awakening goes to the free press, which has been doggedly exposing corruption for more than a decade. Stories like the one in 2008 about a teachers union leader who was getting ready to award 59 brand new Hummers to top union officials have shocked the nation. Mexicans have also learned that tens of thousands of “teachers” on school payrolls are actually working as professional union activists. These full-time political operatives are trained at Mexico’s teachers’ university where they are indoctrinated in hard-left ideology and are guaranteed a job upon graduation.
The reform is only a start,
Plenty of pitfalls remain. Mexicans are still waiting for a transparency law that would force unions to make their financing public. And opponents of transparency managed to remove the requirement that teacher performance evaluations be made public. The education-advocacy nongovernmental organization Mexicanos Primero points out that this makes it “practically impossible” for citizens to verify whether the teacher is doing the job.
A first big step in the right direction.