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We are pleased to share with you PREAL’s Working Paper No. 63, “How to Build Consensus in Education,” which explores education reforms implemented in Chile over the past decade.
The author, Sergio Bitar, analyzes the processes that led to education reform based on his experience as Senator for eight years and as Minister of Education for three. He emphasizes how the agreements necessary to drive the changes were forged. Bitar describes the context in which the reforms were generated, including the political, social and technical organizations that made the changes possible.
He comments on the characteristics of and lessons learned from several reforms in which he participated directly, such as the extension of obligatory, free schooling to 12 years, implementing teacher evaluations, establishing open competitions for hiring principals, and giving schools additional funding for each poor student they enroll. He also proposes priorities for a new set of agreements aimed at improving the quality of education in Chile. Bitar concludes that it is important to build on what has already been achieved, work with all actors, and remember that in education years of effort are necessary to get results.