Deforming reforms: beyond the teachers’ strike
Despite a minor factual error by news-reader Dharna Noor (the people killed in Nochixtlan weren’t teachers by profession), this is without a doubt, the best explanation of the issues involved in what is behind the troubles in Oaxaca, and what the larger meaning is for Mexico.
A few take-aways:
- When we talk about a “Teachers’ Union” we are actually talking about a “Education Workers’ Union”. Much of the negative spin about the union is that key members don’t work in a classroom. Support staff, human resource workers, administrators, curriculum designers, etc. are all “education workers”.
- The issues go far beyond school reforms, and the education reforms are only the tip of the iceberg. As noted near the end of the second video, doctors (and other health workers) have said they’ll be joining the strikes, countering “reforms” within their own public sector.
- The “spin” has been that teachers (and other public sector workers) are just incompetents afraid of losing their jobs. The counter-argument is that they are not given the tools to do their jobs (schools in Oaxaca without bathrooms or running water is one of the simplest examples of what I mean).
- The state is trying to impose (and has been since the Salinas administration) “one-size-fits-all” changes to the social and economic system, from the top down, with no input by the “stakeholders” who are affected by these changes, nor who necessarily want them.
There will be (more) blood.