teacher Teacher positions bought and sold.

Evidence suggests jobs still being sold

There are far more retirees than new openings for teachers

The number of job openings in the teaching profession remains obscure, despite education reforms, pointing to the possibility that teachers’ jobs continue to be sold: the number of retirees is greater than new positions reported to be available.

According to last year’s registry of job openings delivered to the Secretary of Public Education (SEP) from the last four months of 2013, in 2014 alone there were at least 12,115 positions which may have been assigned at the discretion of administrators.

State reports submitted to the SEP note that in those last four months about 38,360 places opened up due to retirement. Nevertheless, in July last year about 26,245 job opportunities were subject to competitive exams, leaving more than 12,000 positions filled by other means.

Fernando Ruiz, an investigator with the education advocacy organization Mexicanos Primero, explained that the numbers highlight a large number of vacancies that are not placed under public scrutiny. “Calculations show that 75% of job openings come from retirements, resignations or deaths. So, we find that there are openings that are floating and remain hidden in obscurity. We don’t know what they do with them and whether or not they are selling them.”

David Calderón, the director Mexicanos Primero, suggested that even though it can’t document the sale of posts with reliable figures, it’s clear that assigning positions without the completion of exams is prevalent. In some cases, those positions begin as temporary and are later converted into permanent employment.

Calderón said it’s “precisely because of the opacity we can’t document just how extensive the sale of positions is, but it’s clear it occurs. It’s probably less than before, but it hasn’t stopped and therefore the requirements of the law have not been met.”

He called the loophole serious “because it gives room for discretionary appointments and certainly leads to violations of the law. The fact that there is no timely information for third parties to be able to identify how many positions are opening up and how many are open for competition is very serious.”

Ángel Díaz Barriga, an educational investigative specialist at the National Autonomous University, says there continues to be a great deal of discretionary management of teaching positions.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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