Thursday, May 12, 2011

Education in Mexico

Schooling the whole family

Teaching is improving, but slowly. Getting parents involved could speed things up

WITHIN the bright-blue and green walls of Emilio Carranza, a three-classroom primary school in a rural part of the state of Puebla, a lesson is engrossed in a book of “Ecological Experiments and Facts”. Hands shoot up with enthusiasm, undimmed even by a drill of singing the lengthy national and state anthems in the baking school yard. The school is an example of how Mexico has been using parents to help improve its education—long overdue in a country where high spending has failed to produce results to match.

By Latin American standards, Mexico’s schools are rather good. According to the PISA survey, an international test of 15-year-olds in reading, maths and science, Mexico has the region’s second-best educated children, after Chile. In maths it is improving faster than anywhere else in the 65-country study. The OECD says Mexico is “well on track” to meet maths and reading targets next year that Felipe Calderón set in 2007, near the start of his presidency.

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