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Posts by Alex Solano

How are governments, the media, and civil society responding to the 2012 PISA results in Latin America?

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By Alexandra Solano, with Scott Odell and T’Nia Crutchfield

The results of the 2012 PISA examination were released on December 3, 2013, immediately prompting reactions. Several actors, including PREAL, reported on the main takeaways for Latin America. Governments released statements, gave interviews, and offered press briefings. Read more


Mexico’s President Sends a Message

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Recently elected Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto has sent a clear message that he intends to have the state take back control of education policy. The message appears to be directed to Elba Esther Gordillo, the 23-year leader of the teachers’ union (SNTE), which is Latin America’s largest and strongest union, and suggests that his administration will not give in to her, as have others in the past. Whether he will be successful remains to be seen. Read more

Baby Steps to Evaluate Teachers’ Skills: The State of Teachers in Mexico, Part Two

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This post is the second in a series of articles by PREAL Report Card Associate Alexandra Solano on the teaching profession in Mexico. In Part I, “Failed Effort or Historic Achievement? The State of Teachers in Mexico,” Solano discussed Mexico’s new universal teacher evaluation program.

On July 22, Mexico published the results of its fifth National Skills, Knowledge and Teaching Competencies Exam (Examen Nacional de Habilidades, Conocimientos y Competencias Docentes). Results of the exam–taken by current teachers and recent graduates applying for new, full- or part-time, competitively-announced positions in public pre-K-12 schools –were disappointing for several reasons.

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Failed Effort or Historic Achievement? The State of Teachers in Mexico, Part 1

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After prolonged opposition, teachers and principals from primary schools were finally tested this past July in Mexico, kicking off phase one of the Universal Assessment (Evaluación Universal). The assessment sought for the first time in the country’s history to evaluate all teachers – both public and private, from preschool through high school (in later years). But while the plan sounded good in theory, only 50% of teachers actually showed up on test day. Read more

Event: Access to Quality Education in Fragile States – The Case of Haiti

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PREAL’s co-director, Jeffrey Puryear, recently spoke at an event at the World Bank in Washington DC, entitled “Access to Quality Education in Fragile States – The Case of Haiti”. Read more

¡De Panzazo! A Documentary on education in Mexico

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On February 24, the civil society group Mexicanos Primero will release the documentary ¡De Panzazo! (By the skin of our teeth would be a similar saying in English), directed by journalist Carlos Loret de Mola and documentary filmmaker Juan Carlos Rulfo, in 200 movie theaters in 18 Mexican cities. Read more

The Hard Evidence on Soft Skills

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In December, Professor James J. Heckman gave a lecture at the World Bank in Washington, DC, entitled “Hard Evidence on Soft Skills”, in which he asserted that an emphasis on hard skills (such as knowledge in math, science and reading) at the expense of soft skills (such as character and personality traits) has unfortunate implications for education policy. Read more

PISA Scores for 10 new Education Systems Announced

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The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) just released the document “PISA 2009 Plus Results: Performance of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science for 10 additional participants,” which presents results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) for countries that participated after the initial round of examinations. Read more