An interesting report out of Mexico concerning corruption charges against the head of the Mexican teacher’s union has appeared at Al Jazeera. The report, found below, indicates that the government has arrested and charged Elba Esther Gordillo, the leader of the Mexican teacher’s union with embezzlement and other charges. Known as La Maestra or ‘The Teacher’, Gordillo headed the National Union of Education Workers or SNTE, which is estimated to have 1.5 million members (http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestoryamericas/2013/03/20133273815849909.html).
Whether the accusation is true or untrue is not known. What is known is that Mexico, following the rest of the so-called Western World, is embarking on similar Race to the Top policies that seek to destroy teacher unions and privatize the public educational sector. These include such ‘business friendly reforms’, such as:
- Seeking to introduce merit-based hiring and promotion, instead of appointments by the union
- Forcing teachers to undergo regular assessments
- Creating a census that will be held to identify the number of schools, teachers and students in the country (no doubt for privatization and closure)
- Extending learning hours in some 40,000 public schools ((again, much like the US and Britain, for testing purposes)
- Instituting, under the auspices of ‘reform’ the lay-off of thousands of teachers
- Pushing the privatization of education in Mexico
Sound familiar? It should, for it is happening all over the world. It is part of neo-liberalism’s move to colonize the public school ‘industry’ for profit seeking opportunities. From Canada to Mexico the same policies are being set in stone.
Interestingly the so-called reforms were enacted one day before Gordillo’s arrest.
Mexico’s corrupt President Pena Nieto says hiring will be based only on merit, instead of the old system under which teaching positions could be sold or inherited.
The ruling PRI clashed with Esther Gordillo back in 2006. The pro-business 0position legislators say Pena Nieto also needs to move against other powerful union bosses to ensure lasting privatization they call ‘reform’. .
At the Al Jazeera site for this article, there is a Youtube where Christopher Wilson, an associate at the Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson Center weighs in on the new reforms. And just what is the Woodrow Wilson Center and who are they tied to:
The support of foundation partners has been essential to the Wilson Center’s success since it was founded in 1968. In 2011, grants from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation advanced policy research on such topical issues as: U.S.-Mexico migration, American economic competitiveness, and building state capacity in the developing world. The year also recorded the forging of new relationships with The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Richard Lounsbery Foundation, and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation. The Center is appreciative of the partnerships it has built with these and other institutions, and thanks them for their continuing investment (http://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/wilson_center_2012_annual_report.pdf)
Of course these “investment partners” are not the simply relegated to the above. The Lumina Foundation, once the USA Group connected with Sallie Mae whose board is made up of mostly former USA Group members, is among the ‘luminary investors’ (http://www.luminafoundation.org/about_us/financials.html). .
The Lumina Foundation is the kitchen cabinet of the US Department of Education and is a major player, along with Bill Gates behind Obama’s destruction of the community college system in California and elsewhere. They are now an ‘advocacy philanthropy group’ embarked on privatizing community colleges with the help of accrediting agencies such as the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (http://www.accjc.org/) which work as the privatizers wrecking balls by putting colleges on ‘black lists’ until they turnaround their colleges’ mission to create a two tiered system of education for privatization purposes as well as ‘student learning outcomes’ based on school-work ideology. Lumina’s president is Jamie Merisotis.
Jamie Merisotis serves on the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars Advisory Council.
Merisotis is also a member of the executive committee of the London-based European Access Network. He also is a member of the board of trustees of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and previously served as president of the college’s alumni association. He serves on several Indiana-based boards and commissions including the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, the leading voice for regional economic development in the Indianapolis metropolitan area, as well as the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, and the Indiana University Public Policy Institute Advisory Board. Merisotis’ previous board service included chairman of the board for Scholarship America, the nation’s largest private-sector scholarship and educational-support organization; vice chairman of the board of directors for the Washington Internship Institute; and member of the board of directors of the National College Access Network (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_P._Merisotis).
Is this all a coincidence or a union busting business plan as we see in America and elsewhere? You be the judge.