Policy Evaluation as Subversive Activity

My new piece on that FP Blog takes one more look at that 2006 research into Misión Robinson. I’m totally fascinated by that paper, and only wish I’d seen it much sooner. The contrast between its plodding, sober, evidence-based appraisal of Misión Robinson and chavismo’s breathless propaganda lies about it strikes me as all anyone…

Reif, laptops, and how we spend our education money

The Venezuelan government has been spending millions on little laptops for children in public schools. The computers, known as Canaimitas, use open software, come with a Linux-based operating system, and allow the user to browse the Web. But according to the latest research, they are an enormous waste of money. The paper tells a devastating…

Our education is down, but kids like Álvaro can lift it up

UNICEF just published its annual report on the state of childhood around the globe. Venezuela fails to shine. The huge education gap between the rich and poor puts us in the same league as countries like Benin, Pakistan and Tajikistan. A big difference is that underprivileged boys in our country are facing much tougher chances than girls.…

Scorched schools

Henrique Capriles Radonski has made education a key element of both his work as Governor of Miranda and his upcoming campaign for President. During an opening of a new school in the town of Cupira, he said: “Every new school that we build or recover, multiply the chances of progress for our children and grand-children……

How the copper is beaten in UCV-Maracay

The Amphitheater at UCV-Maracay Gustavo’s post on German university professors’ salaries led to a great comments section debate, including some real gems from some lurkers, such as this one: I’m a professor at the UCV’s Maracay Campus and can attest to at least some advances in the quality of the teaching staff. It’s now very hard for a…

Sukhois over Petare

(A shortened version of this post was published in Foreign Policy’s Democracy Labs blog) “I’m glad you’re here,” says Carmen. “I don’t know if you know this, but a few weeks ago, the guy who delivers the school lunches witnessed four people getting gunned down at seven in the morning – right here, just as…

PISA-tarios

In case you did not know, the government of Miranda recently applied the PISA educational quality test to students in its schools. Longtime reader and commenter Kepler has just informed me that the results from the test are in. His post on the subject is well worth a look.