Monday, June 20, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: Mexico: How Bad Can the Ed Debates Get?

CURMUDGUCATION: Mexico: How Bad Can the Ed Debates Get?:

Mexico: How Bad Can the Ed Debates Get?

Negotiation? Strike? I'm not sure we have any English words for a teacher protest that really rise to this occasion

I try to be careful with word choice. I've been reluctant to call the reformster-driven ed debates in this country a "war" or even an "assault" because when we inflate the nature of some conflict, we dilute the meaning of words, words that we may need when something that does more closely resemble an actual war, with fighting and shooting and killing. Which takes us to Mexico.

Reformsterism is, of course, not strictly a USA phenomenon. Lots of nations are experiencing the loving embrace of neo-liberalism and the attempts to create a test-centric school system that puts teachers in their place. But in Mexico, leaders have stopped acting like reformsters and started acting like gangsters.

Before I dig in, I do want to be clear on one point-- I have been trying to make sense of ed reform in the US for roughly 1800 posts over three years. I am now going to address Mexico in just one post. Corners will be cut in discussing what is clearly a complex situation. If this moves you to a high level of concern, I suggest you do what I'm doing-- start reading and then go find some more stuff and read that, too.

Mexico has everything other reformster-infected countries have-- but they have everything on steroids.

Educational crisis? Yup. Writing about Mexico repeatedly points at their PISA scores, and while I'm not deeply respectful of the PISA's diagnostic value, Mexico is almost dead last among members of the Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation nations. Mexico also has one of the highest dropout rates in OECD nations. And while their ed spending as a budget percentage is high among Latin American nations, it has the highest student-teacher ratio of OECD countries and spends less per pupil than any other country. I don't consider any of those data points critical measures of education excellence, but it's pretty hard to look at Mexico's whole picture and think, "Well, yeah, it could still be a great education system."

The country was pretty sure that Something had to be done. But the Something they picked was a pretty direct run at the teachers' union of Mexico, and that may not have been a great tactical 
CURMUDGUCATION: Mexico: How Bad Can the Ed Debates Get?:

Live Blogging Ed Reform Marriage Counseling Session

A few weeks ago, Robert Pondiscio wrote what seemed to me to be a fairly well-measured piece about the uneasy and possibly-unraveling collaboration between reformy conservatives and reformy liberals. I even wrote a vaguely thoughtful response. But lots of folks absolutely lost their heads, and the post and various responses to it bounced all over the reformy side of the blogoverse.

That seems to have led to a counseling session, brought to the web by an unprecedented team-up between the right-tilted Fordham Institute and the left-tilted Education Post. Mike Petrilli will be ringmaster in just a few minutes, hosting Derrell Bradford (50CAN), Valentina Korkes (Ed Post), Valley Varro (50CAN), and Lindsay Hill (Raikes Foundation). Because it's summer, and I love a challenge, I am going to attempt my first live-blogging of the event.

I'm really hoping for the moment when everyone says, "You know what? We're all just neo-liberals here. There's no reason we can't get along!" But that's probably not what's going to happen. Let's just see what happens when this kicks off at 4:30 EDT (assuming that I can get all my technology balanced on my desk.)


Well, the live link for the webcast doesn't seem to be happening yet.


Still not actually seeing anything, though twitter is abuzz. I always have to remind myself that only in Teacher World do things start exactly to the minute. If this were my class, I would be freaking out about now.


Well, we have 

Live Blogging Ed Reform Marriage Counseling Session

Latest News and Comment from Education