The teachers of Oaxaca in Mexico have been some of the most determined fighters in the country against education 'reforms' being forced through by the government of Pena Nieto. They have been able to develop curricula in the state, in collaboration with local communities, based on respect for local cultures and languages. In contrast the government's measures would see a standardised curriculum based on testing, performance related pay and attacks on teacher tenure. Moreover the curricula would be in Spanish and English, in circumstances where there are 68 officially recognised indigenous languages in the country. 

Now the government has decided to take on the Oaxaca teachers by taking over the main education administrative institutions in the state so that they can force through their 'reforms.' In a sinister development, reports say that security forces in the state have been strengthened, which given the history of violence of the state, not least in the abduction and probable massacre of the 43 young student teachers from Ayotzinapa, is very worrying.

The press, both globally and in Mexico have consistently framed the struggle of the teachers in Mexico as being motivated by self-interest. Nothing could be further from the truth. In one example, the teachers in Oaxaca make clear that they are in favour of evaluation, but of one which is collaborative, working with colleagues and communities, not a top-down system manufactured by a private corporation and sanctioned by the state.

The teachers of Oaxaca along with their colleagues in many other states of Mexico, including the capital Mexico City are an inspiration to all of us who are fighting for democratic, public education and against corporate reform. They deserve all our solidarity.