I wrote about the perils of centralized authority and control for an NGO in my other blog. While decentraliztion is messy and full of reduncacies, it´s also more flexible and responsive to local needs. Centralization can also be exclusionary, as can decentralization. The happy medium is hard to achieve.

Update: I have been thinking about this topic even more as I am becoming more involved with ALA.  As a new member, and a participant in the EL World Cafe, I kept hearing over and over from younger members that they wanted it to be easier to join, that it seems the large ALA organization is this huge organization with redundancies galore.  But are those redundancies necessarily a bad thing?  One one hand, you could argue is it a responsible use of member’s funds and for getting anything done, but on the other, it might make it easier for people to join.

Public education in Mexico

I just recently watched the movie, Granito de arena, a documentary about the Mexican teacher’s union.  This, from the back cover: “For over 20 years, economic globalization has been dismantling public education in Mexico. But always in the constant shadow of popular resistance. This is the story of that resistance – the story of a grassroots, non-violent movement of public schoolteachers who took Mexico by surprise and who have endured brutal repression in their 25-year struggle to defend public education.”

It made me consider what education does for the individual and the community. And it made me consider more what a violation it is to deny, distort, or control it counter to the community needs. While a national educational policy is vital in order to ensure access to education for all, it should be governed democratically, so that community concerns are met. And this is mainly what the movie is about, though the union is also reacting to specific policies and actions of the Mexican government.