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Myths and Realities About Teacher Absenteeism: The Case of Buenos Aires

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By Silvia Montoya*

On any given day in the city of Buenos Aires, approximately one in every ten teachers is absent. This percentage is greater than the observed figures in first world countries, while inferior to the figures reported in other developing countries and in other provinces in Argentina.

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Where is all the Professional Talent in Latin America?

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By Federico Sucre

A new report finds that Latin America leads the world in talent shortages, and that the problem is getting worse. According to ManpowerGroup, five of the top ten countries that have had difficulty filling jobs in 2014 are from Latin America – Peru, Brazil, Panama, Argentina, and Colombia (See Figure 1). By contrast, in 2013 the only country in the region that made it to the top ten was Brazil. Read more

The Legal Battle Over Teacher Tenure

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By Jeffrey Puryear

A recent California court decision on teacher tenure, dismissal and seniority may have signaled a greater role for civil society and the courts in the battles over education reform in the United States. Read more

A Little Less Evaluation, A Little More Feedback, Please…

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By Alejandro Ganimian

The following article by Alejandro Ganimian was originally written for WISE, a website that offers a daily selection of cutting-edge news, fresh insights and innovative trends in education. WISE has given The Inter-American Dialogue permission to reproduce the piece on the PREAL blog. To read the original article, click here. Read more

The Paradox of Education in Chile

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By Ariel Fiszbein and Emiliana Vegas

In an article published by El País, Ariel Fiszbein and Emiliana Vegas argue that Chile is currently undergoing a profound debate on the future of its education system. Despite being the most advanced country in Latin America with respect to education, Chile wants to be a developed country and is not satisfied with only comparing results with its neighbors. Its role models are the most developed countries who are fellow members of the OECD group. In this group, the Chilean education system leaves much to be desired. Read more

How Lack of Skills Can Derail Mexico’s Energy Reform

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By Jason Fargo*

Firms across Latin America are complaining about the difficulties of recruiting workers with the technical skills their business demands. The existence of significant (and growing) skills gaps is a recurrent theme in a range of surveys and reports. Lack of adequate skills is becoming a bottleneck for growth in technologically complex industries, harming efforts by governments to increase investment in strategic sectors of their economies. The energy sector is a case in point. Read more

Ideas for improving secondary education and employability of young people in Mexico

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An interview with Mónica Tapia-Álvarez

Following the publication of a report on the creation of inter-sectoral agreements to help improve secondary education and employability of young people in Mexico, Federico Sucre (Program Assistant for Education at the Inter-American Dialogue) interviewed Mónica Tapia-Álvarez (Director of Synergos Mexico), one of the three authors of the report. Read more

PREAL Publications: Managing Classroom Dynamics to Support Learning

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By Tamara Ortega Goodspeed

The World Bank is launching a new book on teacher policy in Latin America today in Lima at a regional forum on teacher excellence co-hosted with Pontificia Universidad Católica in Peru. The book, Great Teachers: How to Raise Student Learning in Latin America and the Caribbean by Barbara Bruns and Javier Luque, analyzes key elements of teacher policy in the region and their impact on student learning. Read more

Education Reform in Chile: Challenges and Opportunities

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By Federico Sucre

During my first week as a Program Assistant for Education at the Inter-American Dialogue, I had the privilege to help organize and attend an event about the recent education policy proposals in Chile. This is truly a hot topic at the moment. Since 2011 Chile has been rocked by powerful student protests that call for free higher education for all, an end to for-profit schools, and greater education quality and equity, among other requests. In response to the protests, President Michelle Bachelet submitted a proposal to Congress in May hailed as “Chile’s most significant education reform in 50 years.” Read more

OECD Teacher Survey Results: Hints for Latin America

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By Belén Cumsille R.*

On June 25th, the OECD released results from the 2013 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), which collects information on secondary school teachers’ perceptions of the teaching profession and their work environment. The 2013 TALIS surveyed more than 100,000 teachers and principals in 34 countries across the globe, including three in Latin America: Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. The results highlight emerging trends and provide hints for future reforms. Read more


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