You are on page 1of 50


Traveling, learning along the way, and arriving Year 3. No. 9 / November, 2017-February, 2018
Published each four months with the aim of fostering the dialogue of the National Educational Evaluation System

The National System for the Evaluation of
Education (snee): paths to high-quality education

From the Institute Experiences
in the different
Sylvia Schmelkes
Carmen Reyes
Teresa Bracho Sinaloa
Francisco Miranda Durango
Enrique Muñoz Baja California Sur
Ciudad de México

Latin American
A tour of
Roberto Rodríguez
Otto Granados
Bonifacio Barba
Rodolfo Ramírez
Ana María Aceves
Gretta Hernández


Some thoughts
from outside
With translations into the Puebla-
Jeaniene Spink (Australia) Popoloca, Chiapas-Tojolabal and
Barbara Bruns (usa) Oaxaca-coast-Mixtec languages
The logbook
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico Year 3. No. 9 / November, 2017-February, 2018


2 The purpose of evaluation is
improvement: our roadmap
The members of the inee’s Board of
14 31 Territory: functionally structured
evaluations for innovation based
on the 2016-2020 Mid-term Plan
Governors SPECIAL REPORT: THE ROLE OF of the National System for the
TEACHERS IN EDUCATION Evaluation of Education
16 Carmen Reyes
Enrique Muñoz Goncen

3 Evaluation paths: stories that
should be told REPORT
34 Guidelines: a way
of using evaluation
17 Teacher evaluation in Mexico:
approach, results and proposals
Francisco Miranda López

4 Educational governance and for improvement DOSSIER: GOOD PRACTICES IN
federalism: a challenging agenda EDUCATIONAL EVALUATION

22 Teachers’ experiences of high-
quality education 40 Learning and experiencing:
building citizenship though

8 From evaluation to high-quality
education: specific ways to achieve
Gretta Penélope Hernández education
José Bonifacio Barba
Sylvia Schmelkes del Valle WITHOUT A PASSPORT

VOICES FROM THE CONFERENCE 25 Beyond evaluation: strengthening
identity and teacher training
Ricardo Cuenca 43 The Saber* tests of the Colombian
Institute for the Evaluation of

11 Commitment and continuity: the
participation of the state of Sinaloa
in the 2016-2020 Mid-Term Plan
Education (Spanish abbreviation:
Icfes) and their use in the
Colombian education system
of the National System for the
Evaluation of Education 28 Educational evaluation as seen by
teachers in Mexico, Colombia and
[*Acronym of ‘Systems Approach
for Better Education Results’]

Visit the Gazette digital version in the inee web at:

National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico, Year 3, No. 9,
inee inee Youtube
November, 2017-February, 2018, is a publication of the National Institute for
Educational Evaluation by the Educational Policy and Regulations Unit, under
the care of the General Direction for the Coordination of the National Educa-
tional Evaluation System. Twitter pnee's Microsite:
Barranca del Muerto No. 341, Col. San José Insurgentes, Del. Benito Juárez,
C.P. 03900, City, México. Tel. (+01 55) 5482 0900. inee Facebook
Coments: Lizbeth Torres, Responsible editor
( /


The purpose The ground covered by the inee so far of high-quality education, defined as the
The Institute was created on the 8th of Au- combination of conditions enabling stu-
of evaluation is gust, 2002, for the purpose of providing dents to achieve optimal learning outcomes,
improvement: our the education authorities with suitable
tools for evaluating the different aspects of
and making it possible to foster ongoing im-
provement in teaching materials and meth-
roadmap their education systems. It operated as a ods, school organization and educational
decentralized body of the Ministry of Pub- infrastructure, while guaranteeing the avail-
lic Education until May of 2012, thereafter ability of suitable teachers and school prin-
The members of the inee’s functioning as a decentralized non-sectorial cipals.
Board of Governors entity until its strategic conversion, in 2013,
into a self-governing agency with its own le- Coordinating the snee:
gal standing and assets. progress and challenges
Eleven years after its establishment, dur- Within this normative framework, one of
When deciding on the subject matter for ing this new phase of its existence, the inee the inee’s main tasks is that of coordinating
this ninth edition of the Gazette of the Na- was endowed with new powers to: (i) evalu- the snee so as to convert it into a tool that
tional Policy for the Evaluation of Educa- ate the quality, performance and results of will enable all those who form part of the
tion in Mexico, reflecting on the fact that the National Education System (Spanish sen to have access to the information that
we have spent three years discussing topics acronym: sen); (ii) coordinate the snee; (iii) they need in order to take informed deci-
that we have considered important for deci- issue evaluation guidelines; (iv) disseminate sions aimed at improving education via re-
sion-making, we concluded that we should information; and (v) design and issue direc- search and the use of evaluation results.
now take look at the strategies that the Na- tives, all of which tasks constitute pertinent As a first step, we designed the Nation-
tional Institute for the Evaluation of Educa- actions aimed at supporting evaluation. al Policy for the Evaluation of Education
tion (Spanish acronym: inee) has designed (Spanish acronym: snee), which orients ed-
within the context of its new empowerment High-quality education ucational evaluation in our country and has
to coordinate the National System for the The amendment of Article 3 of the Mexican facilitated cooperation between the inee
Evaluation of Education (Spanish acronym: Constitution set a new course for Mexico’s and the federal and local education authori-
snee). educational policies. The three secondary ties. Hence, since 2016, 170 projects for the
In this regard, this third-anniversary statutes —i.e. the General Education Law, evaluation and improvement of education
edition of the Gazette reveals the progress the General Law Governing the Professional have been proposed that currently form part
achieved, the challenges faced, and the paths Teaching Service and the Law Governing the of the Mid-Term Program of the snee (Span-
mapped out, in the endeavor to make high- National Institute for the Evaluation of Edu- ish acronym: pmp snee 2016-2020), further-
quality education a reality for more Mexican cation— constituted the groundwork where- ing the aims and main tenets of the pnee,
children and youths. by the State could guarantee the availability and adhere to the path for the improvement
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

of education plotted by the inee, which con-
sists of: (i) promoting educational-improve-
ment projects; (ii) designing strategies for
using and disseminating evaluation results; Evaluation paths:
and (iii) designing interventions.
The said projects are backed by a series stories that should
of processes, instruments and actions aimed
at facilitating their implementation, which is
be told
where the different areas of the inee come in.
In order to coordinate the snee and the
tasks related thereto, the inee has strength-
ened its structure so as to develop valid, reli-
able evaluations, follow-up on, and dissemi-
E very text should tell its reader a story,
and that is what the Gazette does. For
three years now, it has not only been a tool
nate, educational benchmarks, design and for facilitating discussion among those play-
validate evaluation methods, parameters, ing a part in the Educational Reform, but
instruments, procedures and guidelines, has also recounted people’s experiences of
and promote strategies for the use and dis- education in its different aspects and areas,
semination of results, and build a national via articles in which education authorities,
evaluation culture, while at the same time teachers, school principals, Mexican and
issuing guidelines for improving education foreign specialists, members of civil society
and promoting the development of local and representatives of international agen-
evaluations that take stock of the conditions cies have shared their views on this impor-
in each of Mexico’s 32 states, and also liais- tant stage in Mexican education.
ing with the latter’s institutions and helping Since 2011, there has been an increasing
them to increase their capacities. concern in Mexico with achieving a high-
One of the main challenges that we face quality education system that satisfies the
in this great endeavor is that of changing current generation’s developmental needs.
people’s concept of educational evaluation. Evaluation has become one of the keys to
While the latter should be seen as a useful improvement and, hence, the National Ed-
tool for producing information and becom- ucational Evaluation System (Spanish ac-
ing familiar with the different realities of ronym: snee) has been updated under the
the sen, it also serves many other purposes, supervision of the National Institute for the
since the use of evaluation and the dissemi- Evaluation of Education (Spanish acronym:
nation of its results are key actions that need inee).
to be strengthened in order to come up with Against this backdrop, this 9th edition of
relevant proposals for improvement that fo- the Gazette is endeavoring to tell the story
cus on the shortfalls in our education sys- of the paths that have been plotted in order
tem. All of these things must form a clear to achieve the great aim of achieving high-
part of the evaluation culture that we are quality education, how they have been fol-
striving to create. lowed, which people are playing a part in
Since these things are part of our brief, this task, how evaluation is being used to
but not all of it, we are continuing to con- bring about improvement, and which chal-
solidate ourselves, to which end we welcome lenges it faces.
the views of different specialists and are Since all of these experiences need to
keen to learn from the experiences of other be recounted, in this edition, the members
countries, and other protagonists within our of the inee’s Board of Governors give us an
country, in their endeavor to build enduring overview of the things that the said agency
systems. has done in order to coordinate educational
The goal is clear, the paths have been evaluation, and, in the Roadmap section,
plotted, and we are on our way. two areas of the inee talk about the ways in
which evaluation is being used to achieve
improvement thanks to the innovations
that have been achieved and the guidelines
that have been issued. Also, the Minister of
Public Education and Culture of the state of
Sinaloa tells us how the different states con-
ceive of evaluation, and explains why it was


decided to move forward with the State-lev- Educational governance
el Program for the Evaluation and Improve-
ment of Education within the framework of and federalism: a
the Mid-term snee program, while, for his
part, Roberto Rodríguez, an academic, de-
challenging agenda
scribes the challenges in the area of gover-
nance that must be overcome by the current We require models of governance
National Education System (Spanish acro- that meet current social, economic
nym: sen). and policy needs. One of the goals
The Special Report focuses on one of that countries such as Mexico should
the components of the sen that has most pursue is the replacement of its
impact on the quality of education and one
centralized system of government
of the first evaluation paths set forth in the
Reform. In it, Otto Granados, Teresa Bra-
by a decentralized one that is more
cho and Rodolfo Ramírez analyze the initial pluralistic and attainable, and this
proposals regarding teacher evaluation, the includes redesigning the education
results achieved, and the challenges still to system in order that it may achieve
be faced, while, based on his experience at the goal of guaranteeing high-quality
the international level, Ricardo Cuenca talks education.
about the need to go beyond evaluation
and opt for strengthening teacher identify
and teacher training. The said Report is also Roberto Rodríguez Gómez
supplemented with an account of classroom Institute for Social Research, Autonomous
experiences and comments on evaluation by National University of Mexico
teachers from Mexico, Colombia and Ar-
In Other Perspectives, Bonifacio Barba,
Jeaniene Spink and Barbara Bruns talk
about the things that need to be taken stock Some aspects of the analysis
of in order to strengthen educational policy Contemporary democratic régimes are all
and evaluation in their country, while the facing the problem of how to meet the grow-
Without a Passport section describes the ing demands of society for access to —and
successful evaluation strategies that have participation in— the distribution of wealth
been implemented in Brazil, Uruguay and while, at the same time, meeting goals for
Colombia. economic growth and fulfilling commit-
In this way, just has it has done over the ments to achieve effective, transparent
last three years, the Gazette gives a first- management. Much of the academic debate
hand account of the paths plotted in order about governability has hinged around this
to improve education, and reports the views issue, which, among other things, rears its
and opinions of the key players, thus using head in the ongoing discussion about the
the printed word to help consolidate this necessary conditions for —and practices
new stage in Mexican education. pertaining to— democracy.
We welcome our readers to this ninth The relationship between authorities
edition of the Gazette, thank them for ac- and citizens in the specifics and generalities
companying us on this journey, and invite of the decision-making process determines
them to go on helping us to write our story. the limits of institutionalized democracy
As a solution to this problem, the conven-
tional republican model of democracy offers
citizens representation via political parties
and the separation of powers, though this
system is becoming increasingly threadbare
as non-governmental organizations spring
up alongside national governments and the
State, which is why alternative governance-
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

focused models have appeared. (Crozier, es where mandatory cooperation between product of negotiations between the mem-
Huntington and Watanuki, 1975; Hirst, government entities and civic organiza- bers of the said networks. (Rhoades, 2007;
1988; Bekkers and Edwards, 2007). tions prevails over effectiveness. Various Vázquez, 2010).
The modern governance model is based authors have pointed out that governance The processes pertaining to increased
on the principles of governance and public mechanisms can be monopolized by cartels governance and “new public management”
management, actively supported by groups that represent dominant economic and so- have multiple points of convergence (Cabre-
and organizations that are not an integral cial sectors and used to weaken democracy ro, 2005), since they both have the same aim
part of the government and operate inde- rather than strengthening it. (Hughes, 2011; of coming up with ways to foster democratic
pendently of the government structure or Santos, 2007). governability.
the party system. The growing role played The approach that sees governance as Moreover, it is worth noting that the
by special-interest groups in the processes a means of broadening the foundations of instruments associated with such process-
of government comprises a wide range of government via the participation of the pri- es tend to expand their sphere of action,
practices that range from the implementa- vate and social sectors in decision-making is “extending it from the field of public ad-
tion of opinion polls about given policies, supplemented by the models of government ministration to the rest of the government
reforms, innovations and other change- management that focus on “new public entities, the ngo’s, the autonomous public
related processes, to more or less regulated management”. This approach, developed in agencies, and, in some cases, the private
involvement in decision- making. (oecd, Europe and the usa in the 1980’s, stresses sector that has links with the government”
2004; Aguilar, 2014). the need to apply the lessons learned from (Zadek, 2006; Zimmermann, et al., 2008).
While governability is deemed to be the the business world about organization and In the view of some authors, the prolifera-
main purpose of political activity, gover- management so as to achieve more efficient tion and strengthening of these models (i.e.
nance is one of the ways of achieving it, since and effective management of public policy the governance one and the new-public-
the latter legitimizes government actions by and better government organization. management one) has given rise to a new
garnering more social backing, renders pub- In the view of the oecd, the concrete period of government ‘regulationism’ — i.e.
lic administration more efficient, supports applications of this concept hinge around: a trend towards a form of government that
the design of policies and programs with in- (1) developing competencies and making is based on the development of mechanisms
creased knowledge and expertise, and helps those in charge more flexible; (2) fostering for the exercising of joint control by all the
the government to make decisions. the ability to guarantee results, control and participants. (Marjone 1997; Lodge, 2004;
One of the more notable things linked accountability; (3) encouraging competi- May, 2007).
to public governance is the development of tion and offering more choice; (4) offering The governance and new-management
mechanisms for overseeing and controlling a service that meets the public’s needs; (5) processes have proved to be adaptable to
government actions and fostering trans- improving the management of human re- different public-management systems and
parency and public accountability. (Peters sources; (6) optimizing the use of the in- levels, and even to individual organizations.
2001; Malena, 2004). Thus understood, formation sciences; (7) raising the quality In this regard, reflection on the problems
governance has proved to be a useful tool of regulations, and; (8) reinforcing central posed by governability and the options for
for systematizing and guiding government management. exercising governance over institutions con-
processes at both the national and the su- As a result of this endeavor to transform centrated in structures or systems, as is the
pranational levels. Given the worldwide ten- government by using methods developed in case of the education system, obliges us to
dency to form and operate blocks, alliances the business world, the public sector is feel- consider different factors – i.e. the relation-
and other multinational systems that are ing the pressure of having to implement a ship between the State and the different pro-
mainly commercial in nature —though they reform that is based on market principles. fessional-training institutions, the internal
also affect the labor sector, personal mobil- (Osborne y Gaebler, 1993; oecd, 1995). governance of the said institutions, and the
ity and cooperation in areas of shared inter- The contemporary reforms of govern- actions of special-interest groups in their or-
est, among other things— , transnational ment management —above all, of govern- ganization and guidance.
or global governance is seen as comprising ment planning and policy design— have By “governance of the education system”,
things such as the regulation of internation- led to the setting up of various fully autono- we mean adaptation to specific ways of re-
al trade, the development of sets of legally mous, or relatively autonomous, authorities lating to the government agenda, and also
binding international norms, the imple- and organizations charged with providing the adoption of solutions for administering
mentation of treaties and agreements on a advice and forging links to support govern- institutions.
wide range of things, including globalization ment actions, as well as overseeing and con-
mechanisms, as well as systems for coop- trolling them. The challenges posed by the exercise of
eration, management, negotiation and the The different institutional links, both governance over the education system
settlement of conflicts and controversies, to formal and informal, that exist between As occurred in other areas of social orga-
mention just a few. (Koenig-Archibugi and government and non-government protago- nization, the recent evolution of national
Zürn, 2006; Risse, 2006). nists and hinge on shared interests having to education systems has involved the simul-
Although offers advantages in theory, do with the design and implementation of taneous, and often parallel, dynamics of
it runs the risk of becoming bureaucratic policies, tend to give rise to governance net- diversification, differentiation and conver-
and inefficient in practice, above all in cas- works that result in public policies being the gence. While there are different reasons for

this phenomenon, the growing importance from the central authority, coordination is most important change, and the one that
of education for the economy and for social often based on the relationship between the has the biggest practical effect, concerns
development is seen as a common underly- central authority and its local office, in such the decision-making process, which is con-
ing factor. a way that it is not with the autonomous in- centrated at the top levels of the central au-
Education systems are currently subject stitutions themselves, but, rather, with the thority and should be replaced by a process
to the different demands of the economy, of bodies that represent the central authori- whereby decisions are taken by different
government and of society. Education is ex- ties, that negotiations take place about the political entities and diverse organizations
pected to foster economic growth, social de- amounts and modalities of the subsidies throughout the country.
velopment and cohesion, training in citizen- provided, the policies and programs to be In this regard, improving governance
ship, cultural integration and environmental pursued, and the extent to which the said in- means democratizing the important deci-
protection, to mention just a few things. stitutions are held accountable, among other sions. In other words, the new governance
Hence, it is not surprising that the control, things. models require that we change both the tra-
supervision and coordination of education Such relationships tend to be based ditional forms of governance, and also the
systems have become priorities of the public on trade-offs whereby, for example, more conventional decision-making chains and
policies relating to the said sector. funding is provided in exchange for com- processes, failing which the said new models
In the first place, it is acknowledged that mitments to adopt and implement certain serve as mechanisms for government com-
the possibilities of achieving systematic co- policies or programs. The negotiation of this munication, systems for the formal exercise
ordination vary in accordance not only with type of incentive requires a mode of coor- of accountability, or, in the best of cases,
the degree of centralization, but also with dination that eschews bargaining between means of settling conflicts and controver-
the extent of government control over the the two sides as the sole or main means of sies.
institutions. Furthermore, countries with implementing the initiatives that the gov- In the face of these challenges, if we
federal systems face the problem of achiev- ernment wishes to promote. want to improve the governability of our ed-
ing coordination between the national and ucation system, we must begin by acknowl-
the regional or state-level systems — i.e. The case of Mexico edging its complexity and its heterogeneous
of knowing how to foster quantitative and In Mexico, despite the progress achieved, nature, as well as taking stock of the many
qualitative standards in the different sys- the ongoing processes of decentralization different ways in which the different institu-
tems and institutions, which criteria and and federalization generate a lot of tension tions respond to the particular needs that
procedures to adopt in order to rationalize and give rise to sui-generis problems, stem- exist in the environments where they oper-
the distribution of government resources ming from the particular nature of each ate. We also need to promote public poli-
and funding among the said systems and institution, that need to be solved. One of cies that the different institutions can adapt
institutions, and which types of institution the most serious problems is the lack of a without losing their identity, set shared aims
can more efficiently ensure the existence of federally focused coordination mechanism the pursuance of which is grounded in the
a chain of supervision that makes it possible that governs the system. Though the govern- common perception that they are appropri-
to govern the overall system. It is these and ment authorities acknowledge the existence ate, adopt common rules whose observance
other similar problems that policies pertain- of this developmental option, it nevertheless is based on the shared conviction that they
ing to coordination via governance seek to retains control over the types of curriculum are fair, exploit and effectively channel the
solve. to be used by the entities that it coordinates, processes of innovation and change that oc-
In addition to the aforementioned is- and, indeed, tends to exercise ever greater cur within our institutions, and, last but not
sues, one must take stock of the general ten- control in this regard. least, forge links that facilitate cooperation
sion between the State and the educational The policies on quality that have been among the different institutions.
institutions that is generated by the policies adopted are of a centralist kind, being exclu- The size, diversity and complexity our
in question due to the said institutions’ per- sively regulated and governed by the federal current education system militate against
ception that they risk losing their autonomy authorities, and there is also a clear lack of the pursuit of centralized policies beyond
as a result of interference in their running, any regulation governing either the respec- those that aim to achieve the coordination
either real or perceived, by the govern- tive powers of the federal government and and regulation that are essential. Rather, one
ment entities that form part of the putative the different states overall, or the compo- encouraging possibility that exists in the
or existing coordination system. As a rule, nents thereof. Equally significant is the per- context of the said system —of course, one
the greater the autonomy of the institutions ceived tension between educational federal- that is not without its risks— is the adoption
affected vis-à-vis the State, the greater the ism and the impact of the centralized public of a federalist approach in order to consoli-
tension. This type of problem is often solved policies on the different institutions. date the state-level education systems and
by the adoption of coordination systems In very hierarchical systems such as the render the state-level governments more
that are both weaker and more complex Mexican public-education one, the adop- capable of properly building and managing
than those in which the government agency tion of new governance models, either at the them.
exercises direct control over the institution. institutional level or at that of the system, By developing the necessary competen-
In contexts where the local authorities obliges the authorities imposing the said cies, we can increase our chances of finding
or institutions enjoy a high degree of inde- new models to change the power structures new solutions to the problems of coverage,
pendence, either under law or in practice, and the decision-making procedures. The relevance, quality and fairness that afflict
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

education in Mexico. Furthermore, the re-
alities of our country, as it pursues greater
democracy, oblige us to open up more chan-
nels for action, which, perforce, imply up-
dating our Constitution.
At the international level, there is a
renewed awareness of the importance of
adopting new development priorities, in-
cluding ones pertaining to further growth
and job creation, the strengthening of re-
gional systems —in our case, the state-level
one— which connect the available educa-
tional programs with the creation of solid
linking structures, the formulation of local
development policies, and the setting up of
comprehensive training, research and tech-
nical-development systems.
We are talking about a new decentral-
ization paradigm that does not limit itself
to adequately distributing educational pro-
grams, but also sets out to lay the founda-
tions for the creation of potential regional
systems, assesses the particular economic
potential of the different local environ-
ments, and fosters new economic and social
conditions that enable the latter to develop
and be productive in today’s globalized,
knowledge-based environment. Lodge, Martin (2004). “Accountability and trans- Risse, Thomas (2006), “Transnational Gover-
parency in regulation: Critiques, doctrines, nance and Legitimacy” in: Arthur Benz and
References and instruments”, in Jacint Jordana and David Yannis Papadopoulos (eds.) (2006), Gover-
Aguilar Villanueva, Luis (2014). “La nueva Levi-Faur. D. (eds.), Politics of Regulation: In- nance and Democracy: Comparing National,
gobernanza pública”, Keynote Lecture: La stitutions and Regulatory Reforms for the Age European and International Experiences,
Gobernanza de los Asuntos Públicos, Centro of Governance, Cheltenham, Edward Elger London, Routledge.
de Gobernanza Pública y Corporativa, Uni- Publishing, pp. 124-144. Santos, Boaventura de Sousa (2007). “Más allá de
versidad del Turabo, Puerto Rico. Available Malena, Carmen (2004). “Social Accountability: la gobernanza neoliberal: El Foro Social Mun-
for consultation at: An Introduction to the Concept and Emerg- dial como legalidad y política cosmopolitas
ut_pr/gobernanza/pdfs/catedra-2014/La- ing Practice” in Development Papers: Partici- subalternas”, in Boauventura de Sousa Santos
Nueva-Gobernanza-Publica.PR.UT.pdf pation and Civic Engagement, no. 76, Wash- & César Rodríguez Garavito (eds.), El derecho
Cabrero, Enrique (2005). “Between new public ington dc, The World Bank. y la globalización desde abajo: Hacia una le-
management and new public governance: May, Peter J. (2007). “Regulatory regimes and ac- galidad cosmopolita, Barcelona, Anthropos,
The case of Mexican municipalities” in Inter- countability” in Regulation & Governance, pp, 31-60.
national Public Management Review, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 8-26. Vázquez Cárdenas, Ana Victoria (2010). El en-
no. 1, pp. 76-99. oecd (1995). Governance in Transition. Public foque de la gobernanza en el estudio de la
Crozier, Michel, et al. (1975). “The Crisis of De- Management Reforms in oecd Countries, transformación de las políticas públicas: limi-
mocracy” in Report on the Governability of Paris, oecd. taciones, retos y oportunidades” in Estudios
Democracies to the Trilateral Commission, oecd (2004). Principles of Corporate Governance, de Derecho, vol. LXVII, no. 149, pp. 244-260.
New York, New York University Press. Paris, oecd. Zadek, Simon (2006). “The Logic of Collaborative
Hirst, Paul (1988). “Representative Democracy Osborne, David and Gaebler, Ted (1993). Rein- Governance: Corporate Responsibility, Ac-
and Its Limits” in The Political Quarterly, vol. venting Government: How the Entrepreneur- countability, and the Social Contract” in Cor-
59, no. 2, pp. 199-213. ial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector, porate Social Responsibility Initiative, Work-
Hughes, Owen (2010). “Does governance exist?” New York, Penguin Books. ing Paper 17, Cambridge, Harvard University.
in Stephen P. Osborne (ed.), The New Public Peters, B. Guy (2001). The Future of Governing, Zimmermann, Jochen, et. al. (2008). Global Gov-
Governance? London, Routledge, pp. 87-104. University Press of Kansas, Lawrence. ernance in Accounting. Rebalancing Public
Koenig-Archibugi, Mathias and Zürn, Michael Rhodes, Roderick Arthur William (2007). “Un- Power and Private Commitment. London,
(2006). New Modes of Governance in the derstanding Governance. Ten years on” in Palgrave Macmillan.
Global System, London, Basingstoke: Pal- Organization Studies, vol. 28, no. 8, pp. 1243-
grave-Macmillan. 1264.


From evaluation to Curriculum review
Evaluations of students’ achievement in
scope (i.e. social relations within the school,
teachers’ committees and joint decision mak-
high-quality education: school have two basic yardsticks: tests such ing, and participation by parents and the
as the ones pertaining to the National Plan community).
specific ways to achieve for the Evaluation of Learnings (Spanish ac- Since the school is the determiner of what
results ronym: Planea), and ones that form part of
the Program for International Student As-
happens in the classrooms -where the teach-
ing takes place-, improving its functioning
sessment (pisa) or the ones designed by the helps to create the right conditions for un-
Many years ago, I wrote: “Educational International Association for the Evaluation trammeled teaching-learning to take place.
evaluation doesn’t determine the of Educational Achievement (iea).
quality of education, but, without The results of the said evaluations ques- Innovation in the classroom
it, there can be no high-quality tion the curriculum and should lead to its Every teacher should continuously innovate
education” (Schmelkes, 1994). revision, since, if the competencies or aims in order to get better results. Although not
set forth in it are not developing the said all innovations lead to improvement, there
For this to be achieved, we need
competencies in every student, it can be as- can be no improvement without innovation,
measurements — i.e. actions that link sumed that there is something wrong with for which there are all kinds of input, such
results to strategies. its design. Hence, one of the purposes of as exchanging teaching experiences, ob-
educational evaluation is curriculum review. serving good practices, reading specialized
Sylvia Schmelkes del Valle literature, and, without a doubt, analyzing
Member of the inee's Governors Board Academic planning by the school the results of learning-achievement evalua- The purpose of a school is that all its stu- tions, both external ones and ones carried
dents learn the things that the curriculum out by teachers themselves. For example,
and the school authorities define as aims. teachers can benefit from information
The paradox of educational evaluation The results of tests of learning outcomes about the learning outcomes that are rarely
Some people think that the existence of eval- should enable each teacher to plan his/her achieved by Mexican children in general,
uation suffices for quality to increase, but that classes in a coherent, cumulative way in or schools like their own, so as to compare
is not the case. Some people criticize evalu- order to improve learning outcomes in the them with their own results. Such informa-
ation because they believe that those who areas with the worst evaluation ratings. This tion also makes it possible to find out what
implement it suppose that, in itself, raises implies reflecting on the results, identifying should be learned, and this enables teach-
quality. However, those who carry out evalu- the contexts in order to overcome physical ers to make plans in order to achieve these
ations know that this is not the case. and material obstacles, determining the on- aims. If the data are census-generated, as in
Evaluation is essential, because, without going-training needs of the teachers, chang- the case of the Planea school evaluation,
it, we would not have any idea of the extent ing the atmosphere in both the school and the data from the teacher’s school or group
of the problems in our country’s education the classroom, and modifying lesson plan- can be compared with the overall state-level
system. Neither would we have any way of ning, all of which make it possible to design results, or with those of similar schools, in
showing the inequalities of the said system a monitoring process that helps the school order to define the set aim more clearly.
—ones that should not exist under any cir- to better achieve its main aim. Also, we have evaluation information
cumstances—, or of ascertaining the effec- Each year, the National Institute for the that teachers themselves produce about
tiveness or impact of those programs that Evaluation of Education (Spanish acronym: their students, and this is all the more useful
seek to raise the quality of education and inee) carries out evaluations at a different for being compiled on a daily basis. It’s im-
make it more equitable. school level, analyzing infrastructure, equip- portant to be aware of learning shortfalls in
The ability to size up problems, discover ment, and matters related to staff, institution- the group that need to be remedied.
shortfalls, and evaluate educational pro- al life, parent participation and interpersonal
grams is a basic prerequisite for fostering relations. Analysis of the results of these eval- Initial and ongoing training
evidence-based public policy. Without eval- uations by the school principal and the dif- Such training is, undoubtedly, the most
uation results, researchers have, no basis on ferent school committees yields interesting important way to ensure that the results of
which to make hypotheses about the causes reflections based on self-diagnosis, the over- evaluations —both of students and of teach-
of the problems that evaluation discovers all results and the individual results of the ers— lead to improvement. Student results
and measures. schools that contribute to the said all-round show us where teachers should reinforce
However, no matter how indispensable results (the sample defines the different types their training. This is true both for tests
it is, evaluation does not suffice to improve of school as domains). This process, in its based on the national curriculum and for
education. To do that, measurements, of turn, enables the school to create working international ones. For example, pisa mea-
which I present some examples below, are plans and plot improvement paths, at least sures competencies that entail the use of
needed. with regard to those things that fall within its acquired knowledge in order to understand
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

and solve problems, in areas where Mexi-
can students systematically perform worse
than those from many other countries. This
means that we need to improve teacher
training in the fostering of skills such as
analysis, synthesis, deduction, induction, in-
ferencing, hypothetical thinking and critical
Another example is the last Planea test,
in which two thirds of all the students in the
third grade of upper-secondary school had
difficulty in solving problems that require al-
gebraic thinking, while students in the sixth
grade of primary school who took the said
examination in 2015 had difficulty in solving
math problems involving fractions or pro-
portions. These results would be expected to
lead to changes in the teacher-training cur-
riculum so as to ensure that future teachers
are better trained in mathematics, problem
solving, and, above all, in the methodology
for teaching these things.
In the case of upper-secondary educa-
tion, the Planea results lead us to ask our-
selves how we can ensure that our teachers,
the vast majority of whom are university
graduates without any teacher training,
can learn to teach in a professional manner.
Other countries demand that their teach-
ers have special training in teaching, and,
in Mexico, the task of providing such train-
ing could be entrusted to the universities in
those areas where one of the career options
for graduates is teaching.
In short, test results should determine
what training teachers take, with study
options that prepare them to apply and
strengthen their knowledge about their sub-
ject, the curriculum and teaching methodol-
ogy. The said results should also determine
what needs to be done to improve the train-
ing of teachers who have no prior teacher
Moreover, teacher-evaluation results very
amply supplement the information already vide useful information about teachers’ short- In-house training: the Technical-
available. Entrance evaluations are extremely comings in the classroom to enable these Assistance Service for Schools
useful in enabling the education system to people to comply with the profile defined by Classroom-taught and online courses, and
redesign initial and ongoing teacher training, the Ministry of Public Education (Spanish ac- courses that combine the aforesaid two mo-
while evaluations for promotion to the posi- ronym: sep) in 2014, which didn’t exist when dalities, enable teachers to acquire specific
tion of school-principal can help to orient they were trained. Similar things can be said subject knowledge, as well as providing them
training in school management, which should about the evaluations that assess the perfor- with didactic support. However, changing
be obligatory for those people wishing to take mance of school principals, an area in which teaching practices requires critical, con-
the competitive examinations for these jobs. one might hope to see the information being structive support from tutors and technical-
What’s more, performance evaluations pro- used more widely and more creatively. pedagogical advisers. Performance evalua-

tion provides input for such support, since the provision of material and teaching re- not redound in high-quality education, one
the project drawn up by the teacher gives a sources to the different types of school, the can assert that higher-quality, more equi-
clear idea of his/her ability to handle his/her opportunities afforded to school-zone staff table education is unlikely to be achieved
particular students in his/her particular con- to maintain a dialogue about pedagogical without educational evaluation. Interven-
text. Also, it provides information about how matters with the schools for which they are tions are necessary in order to link evalua-
skillful s/he is at lesson planning and design- responsible. Also, I refer to the real oppor- tion results to concrete actions so as to build
ing relevant activities, the way s/he evaluates tunities for teachers and school principals to the necessary bridges between evaluation
his/her students, and also of his/her abil- have access to ongoing training, and the ex- and improvement.
ity to choose meaningful learning evidence tent to which schools adapt in order to serve Some of the most important interven-
and reflect on his/her teaching practices in a vulnerable groups. For example, disabled tions are mentioned in this article, the first
self-critical way. The adviser should supple- students and students in need of special ed- one being the forging of links between eval-
ment this information with observations that ucation, children who work, street urchins uation and educational research, the results
do not form part of the evaluation, in order or indigenous children who have a differ- of which enable us to make hypotheses and
to plan and design classes together with the ent culture and/or speak another language propose solutions to problems. The knowl-
teacher, observe his/her classroom perfor- besides Spanish, all of whom have different edge stemming from educational research,
mance, provide him/her with feedback, foster educational needs and rights. part of whose input comes from evaluation,
reflection about his/her teaching practices, These conditions must and can be constitutes the main means of building the
encourage the exchange of experiences and changed if there is evidence available from aforesaid bridges between evaluation and
comments, and suggest relevant readings. evaluations and research that explains the improvement.
The said adviser should concern him/herself problems and determines their extent, ori- I hope that I have succeeded in making it
not only with the teacher’s ability to plan his/ enting policy decisions in order to tackle the clear that the interventions to which I have
her class and teach it effectively, but also with obstacles that prevent education from be- referred require not only political and indi-
making sure that all the students are engaged coming the tool, par excellence, for achiev- vidual will, but also the creation of specific
in processes that enable them to learn. ing social equality. structural conditions, so that they can suc-
Evaluations of educational programs and ceed.
Professional teacher development policies have precisely this purpose of mak- What remains to be done is to ensure
The evaluation results can serve as input for ing those responsible for top-level policy- that the interventions can work, and this
the teacher, helping him/her to plot a path making aware of the problems and convinc- can only be achieved by means of appropri-
for his/her professional growth, which can ing them to make take necessary decisions. ate policies. It would be regrettable if our
take many forms. One such path consists The results of the evaluations of educational emphasis on evaluation -as one of the links
in exploiting the areas of opportunity men- policy carried out by the inee have been in the improvement chain- leads us to ne-
tioned in the individual reports. Though de- embodied in Guidelines in compliance with glect the other bridges that need to be built
cisions about how to grow are indubitably the latter organization’s legal mandate to between evaluation and improvement, and
personal ones, nonetheless, based on the “disseminate information and, based on it, causes us to fail to take advantage of the op-
evidence stemming from his/her evaluation issue educational-policy Guidelines” for the portunities offered by the knowledge that
indicating the desired profile, the teacher purpose of guiding the educational planning we are acquiring about the problems that
can decide to undertake formal study, in carried out by the authorities. our education system currently faces. The
the form of courses or group seminars, in This latest evaluation, pertaining to building of the aforesaid other bridges is the
order to formalize and systematize his/her Educational Policy Guidelines, is one of the key to making good on the universal right to
reflections about his/her teaching practic- most important ones, forming part of the high-quality education.
es. Professional development starts when new educational-governance plan stem-
one begins teaching, and should continue ming from the establishment of the inee as References
throughout one’s teaching life. This is one of an Autonomous Institute under the Consti- Schmelkes, S. 1994. “La Evaluación y la Calidad
the keys to improving students’ results. tution, and constituting an innovation that Educativa: Hacia una Relación Virtuosa”, in
is very important for the future of Mexican Diversidad en la Educación. Mexico: sep-
Educational policy and Guidelines education. The Guidelines are drawn up in upn.
Some of the conditions governing the func- adherence to the best public-policy-design
tioning of schools and of teachers in the practices, based on the evaluation results,
classroom are determined by the education up-to-date knowledge, both Mexican and
system as a whole and by the educational international practices, analysis of the dif-
policies pursued by the current federal and ferent policies that have been put in place
local government administrations. to tackle the problem in question, and con-
While a lot of things can be changed by sultations with those who will be working to
initiatives coming from the classroom, there implement them and their end beneficiaries.
is a ceiling in the schools and zones that at-
tempts the change if certain things doesn´t Closing remarks
change. I talk about budget apportionment, While it is true that evaluation alone does
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico


Commitment and federal elections fully into line, choosing
its governor for the next four years and ten
continuity: the months (rather than the customary six-year
participation of the term), its mayors and city-council heads for
the next year and nine months, and its local
state of Sinaloa in congressmen for the next two years.
This new short-lasting administration
the 2016-2020 Mid- took on the challenge of implementing the
Term Plan* of the peeme, on which the previous administra-
tion had already started to work, in four
National System for years and ten months.
What could be done in the face of a pan-
the Evaluation of orama in which the state’s unique political re-
Education** alities were compounded by the need to take
stock of the results of the examinations per-
[*Spanish acronym: pmp; **Spanish taining to the Program for International Stu-
acronym: snee] dent Assessment (English acronym: pisa), the
National Plan for the Evaluation of Learning
Outcomes (Spanish acronym: Planea), and
other standardized examinations? Which ac-
tions could make a difference in four years?

In the interview transcribed below, The plan
Dr. José Enrique Villa Rivera, Villa Rivera acknowledges that it will be im-
Minister of Public Education and possible to achieve all of the above during
Culture of the state of Sinaloa, talks his short tenure, but says that his ministry
about the challenges that are posed has come up with a plan that focuses on
in his state by the education reform, three key lines of action, which consist in:
describes the steps taken to ensure
1. investing to improve school infrastruc-
the continuation of the State-level ture.
Program for the Evaluation and 2. increasing the quality of the education
Improvement of Education (Spanish provided to children and youths.
acronym: peeme), and suggests 3. supporting teacher’s professional de-
what should be done to improve velopment via updating and training
education. schemes.

In order to achieve these aims, he and
his team carried out a detailed analysis of

D r. Villa Rivera believes that Sinaloa,
whose government is continuing the
endeavor to design the State-level Program
the peeme and its Evaluation and Educa-
tional-Improvement projects, on which the
previous administration had already begun
for the Evaluation and Improvement of working, in order to adapt them and link
Education, has become a pace-setting state, them to the sectorial educational policy ects so as to make it possible to later define
since, faced with the challenge of imple- formulated by the new state administration. the improvements to be made to the compo-
menting the said program, it has redoubled Subsequently, they created a State-level De- nents, processes and aims of the state-level
its efforts, established clear aims, and deter- velopment Plan and thus ensuring the exis- education system. The aims of the respective
mined which actions should be taken vis-à- tence of a comprehensive project. plans are to evaluate:
vis the New Educational Model. Hence, the following six Educational
Evaluation and Improvement Projects 1. the processes whereby diagnostic stud-
The context and the current situation (Spanish acronym: proemes) came to form ies of students are carried out in order to
In 2016, the state of Sinaloa held some part of the peeme, which Villa Rivera defines meet their needs and take their interests,
unique elections aimed at bringing local and as a policy that orients the evaluation proj- learning styles and rhythms into account

so as to enable them to achieve signifi- and values that enable them to function in e. providing eight portable computers,
cant learning outcomes, complementing society and successfully navigate the higher and a high-volume multifunctional
this process with an early-warning sys- levels of education, since one of the most color printer for the aforesaid activi-
tem and the development of socioemo- common complaints is that they graduate ties.
tional skills. from secondary-level education with a lot of f. setting aside a specific physical area
2. the available study options at the sec- shortcomings. in the Santa Fe External Education
ondary level by means of learning man- Given the above, and since there are Unit.
agement so as to increase school intake, important gaps between Sinaloa and oth- g. asking the Sinaloa Ministry of Ad-
augment coverage and retention, and er states, we have specifically focused on ministration and Finance to provide
reduce failure and dropout rates. achieving improvements in the following the financial resources needed for
3. the information and benchmark system areas while also developing socioemotional 2018 via the Annual Operational
pertaining to quality, inclusion and equity, skills and values: (a) the teaching of reading Program and the Budgeting Pro-
as part of a joint effort to achieve high- and writing; (b) the teaching of mathemat- gram.
quality education that is inclusive and ef- ics, and (c); the teaching of science. h. keeping close track of developments
fective by designing and implementing a Currently, while defining the base —i.e. in the other states vis-à-vis the Edu-
comprehensive system that helps to im- the starting point that enables comparative cational Reform, since the current
prove school management so as to provide levels to be established over four years— administration things that we can
attention to vulnerable communities. we’ve taken concrete steps to improve these learn a lot from them, observing
4. the processes for the detection, system- benchmarks in the mid-term, and are en- how they solve their problems and
atization, dissemination, use and im- deavoring to: achieve their aims.
provement of information systems in 1. improve the teaching of reading and
upper-secondary education, in keeping writing, to which end Sinaloa has com- In our search for financing for the afore-
with the State-level Development Plan, mitted itself to training teachers both in said activities, we’ve considered asking the
by means of a cutting-edge unified in- teacher-training colleges and in other federal Ministry of Education for funding or
formation system with key benchmarks institutions. applying for international loans.
so as to achieve timely improvements in 2. maintain our state’s clear commitment Finally, the public presentation of the
the management of schools and teach- to evaluation, since we consider that it peeme, and the signing of cooperation
ing at the said level. enables us to ascertain the current level agreements with universities and research
5. the processes for providing counselling of our education and plot out an im- centers within the framework of the snee,
and support to principals and teachers in provement path are still pending.
upper-secondary schools, in line with the 3. work hand-in-hand with the inee, which,
concern expressed in the State-level Plan being the entity that evaluates our teach- Institutional cooperation
for broadening coverage while increas- ers and tells us where we stand, helps us Villa Rivera asserts that the peeme coor-
ing quality and relevance, and promoting to develop improvement strategies. dinator for Sinaloa, who is the liaison with
the training and updating of teachers and 4. seek out sufficient human, material and the inee, was confirmed in his post so as to
school principals via a school-manage- financial resources. Though we don’t ensure the continuity of the peeme, since
ment system (Technical-Support Service have all the resources we would like to the forging and maintenance of a close link
for Schools [Spanish acronym: sate]) have, we’ve taken all the necessary steps with the inee has made it possible to struc-
that operates near to schools. to optimize the peeme, for example by: ture activities and have access to informa-
6. ways of retaining upper-secondary stu- a. having the said plan officially ap- tion that can be shared with all the teachers,
dents at risk of dropping out via a com- proved by the inee. school principals, supervisors and sector
prehensive early-warning system with b. appointing a liaison for the National heads who form part of the state-level edu-
key benchmarks and effective mecha- Project for the Evaluation and Im- cational infrastructure, thus enabling the
nisms for anticipating and tackling risk provement of Multi-level Schools school councils to establish the results and
factors that result in dropout, by means (Spanish acronym: pronaeme). goals that they must achieve.
of policies and strategies at the different c. forming a state-level technical team “Those of us who are working on the 32
levels in the classroom, the school and that currently consists of nine aca- peemes that form part of the 2016-2020 pmp
the subsystem. demics who are exclusively devoted snee will follow the logical path, evaluat-
to carrying out the aforesaid tasks. ing, producing and disseminating informa-
Concrete actions Setting up this team on a permanent tion and planning interventions aimed at
Dr. Villa Rivera asserts that the state of basis, for the sole purpose of car- improving student learning outcomes and
Sinaloa interprets quality education as: rying out research and analysis as the education system in general. We have to
“Education that is effective and inclu- a basis for reflection, has become a achieve better results.
sive — i.e. that which produces good learn- crucial factor. In this regard, I believe that the federal
ing outcomes that permit young people to d. setting up specific academic work- and state-level education authorities have
become successful members of society, en- ing groups to develop the evaluation done the right things, given that the Educa-
dowing them with knowledge, competencies projects. tional Reform has barely got underway and
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

will only yield positive mid-term results to the “Evaluation helps us to plan. We have administration regardless of who wins the
extent that each state takes concrete actions”. to know where we stand. How can we make state’s elections in 2021. In the face of this
He also opines that the inee should be- a proposal about improvement without in- challenge, the authorities in Sinaloa have
come even more involved in fostering con- formation? Evaluation is important for this decided to empower those people who will
sensus and mutual feedback between the reason, but so are the use and dissemination continue in their posts under the next ad-
sep and the states, so that homogeneous of its results, which must reach all the key ministration – i.e. school principals, super-
progress is achieved in all of the latter: people involved, from the teachers on up. visors and sector heads. They are working
“Progress in closing the gaps that we’ve Moreover, the results must be expressed in with these key players in order to implant
identified in the pmp snee —gaps where a way that makes it possible to understand the evaluation culture in such a way that
we´re going to make specific interven- and use them”. they learn how to use the information that is
tions— should be systematic throughout the produced and become increasingly involved
country”. Future challenges in the interventions that are carried out in
With regard to teacher evaluation, the The biggest challenge faced by Sinaloa is their schools. On this point, Dr. Villa Rivera
Minister affirms that it’s here to stay, but re- that of ensuring that the improvements comments:
quires effective support, for which purpose that the current administration is striv- “We’re changing things so that super-
each state’s peeme evaluation is crucial. ing to achieve are carried over to the next visors, who are the people closest to the
schools, stop doing managerial work and
devote their energies to these fundamental
In this way, he explains, Sinaloa wants to
The prospects for improving education adhere closely to the inee’s guidelines and
Below, some of the ministers of education of the states that make up the education- its representatives’ recommendations, since
al zones formed within the framework of the Educational Reform —i.e. the North- it considers this the best way to improve its
western, Western, Central and South-Southwestern regions— share their opinions results over the coming four years in order
about the prospects of improving education based on the 2016-2020 pmp snee. to boost the performance of its children and
youths in future evaluations.
Northeastern Region
“One of the aims of the pmp snee 2016-2020 should be to design and carry out
interventions and produce valid information about the components, processes and
results of the National Education System — a process that is only just starting”. The reader can find more information
Rubén Calderón Luján, Minister of Education of the state of Durango about the snee at:

Northwestern Region More information about the 2016-2010
“The peeme is a contextualized-evaluation approach designed to suit the realities of pmp snee is available at: https://goo.
our states. We know that this process depends on keeping information flowing so as
to become aware of our mistakes and needs, and thus be able to find ways to satisfy
our region’s needs”. About the pmp snee:
Héctor Jiménez Márquez, Minister of Education of the state of Baja California Sur

Western Region For more information about the proname,
We’re taking big strides on this route set out in in the pmp snee and the peeme, and visit:
we’re not just doing this to improve our measurements, but, rather, to provide more
initial training to our teachers and adequate teaching to our children and youths.
José Alfredo Botello Montes, Minister of Education of the state of Querétaro

South-southwestern Region
Among other things, we need to provide teacher training, implement new strate-
gies for teaching mathematics and early literacy, and improve the physical condi-
tions in our schools in order to achieve high-quality education.
Ricardo Miguel Medina Farfán, Minister of Education of the state of Campeche

Central Region
We can use evidence to foster, systematize and evaluate good practices in order to
share them and ensure that they are adjusted to suit each state’s conditions.
Luis Ignacio Sánchez Gómez, head of the Educational Federal Authority
in Mexico City


The Launching of the Mid-term Program of the National
System for the Evaluation of Education*: towards the
implementation of the State-level Programs for the
Evaluation and Improvement of Education**

O n the 17th of October 2017, the Na-
tional Institute for the Evaluation of
Education [Spanish acronym: inee] pre-
Improvement of Education [Spanish acro-
nym: proemes] at the state, national and
international levels, designed to remedy
accordance with the National Plan for
the Evaluation of Learning Outcomes
[Spanish acronym: Planea].
sented the 2016-2020 Mid-term Program educational shortfalls and to evaluate the • The results of the evaluations of the
of the National System for the Evaluation following six basic aspects of the National Professional Teaching Service [Spanish
of Education [Spanish acronym: pmp snee Education System [Spanish acronym: sen]: acronym: sdp] will be used in 34 state-
2016-2020). This instrument sets forth the (1) student learning outcomes; (2) the per- level projects for evaluating teachers
core principles of the National Policy for the formance of teachers, school principals and school principals.
Evaluation of Education [Spanish acronym: and technical-pedagogical consultants; (3) • 43 projects related to educational-
pnee], includes 170 evaluation projects that school organization and learning manage- program availability and learning man-
contemplates the improvements to be made ment; (4) curriculums, materials and teach- agement will be closely linked to the
by the inee, the Ministry of Public Educa- ing methods; (5) the availability of educa- Evaluation of the Basic Conditions for
tion [Spanish acronym: sep] and Mexico’s 32 tional programs; and (6) policies, programs Teaching and Learning [Spanish acro-
local education authorities, and based on a and information systems. nym: ecea] and the Evaluation of Edu-
long-term plan, comprises three successive cational-program Availability [Spanish
stages that will take 4 years each to com- The 170 Proeme projects acronym: evoe].
plete: a launch stage, a consolidation stage • 22 projects related to the evaluation of
and a sustainability stage. 130 projects at the state level policies, programs and information sys-
The 32 states cooperated, designing their tems will adopt the methodology and
The 2016-2020 pmp snee peemes in order to meet their specific technical and normative criteria estab-
Since 2013, the inee has been working to needs, and each educational region will im- lished by the inee.
coordinate and link the evaluations to be plement an average of 26 proemes (See Fig.
carried out by all the members of the snee 2) as follows:
(See Fig. 1). Its efforts have resulted in the • 31 of the proemes concentrate on learn-
designing of Projects for the Evaluation and ing outcomes and are implemented in

*Spanish abbreviation: pmp snee; **Spanish abbreviation: peemes

Fig. 1: Diagram of the 2016-2020 pmp snee
2016-2020 pmp snee

2016: Definition of the Until 2030
of the pmp snee Ongoing the processes,
Evaluations coordinated
International evaluations components and results
32 State-level Educational by the sep and the inee
that make it possible to of the
2017-2020 Evaluation and and 1 National Project
the state of education in
Implementation Improvement Projects for the Evaluation and
Mexico with that of edu-
improvement of of the (proemes) Improvement of Multi-
cation in other countries Reduction of shortfalls
projects sen educational level schools (pronaeme)

Launch: 2016-2020 Consolidation: 2020-29014 Sustainability: 2024 onward

Fig. 2: proemes by educational region Fig. 3: 9 Types of Multi-level Project
(to be developed at the national level)

Northwest: 31 proemes (Baja California, Baja Califor- The 5 states of Aguascalientes, Mexico City, Chihuahua,
nia Sur, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Sonora). Nuevo León and Tamaulipas will not participate.
Northeast: 20 proemes (Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo
No. Aspects evaluated
León, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas).
1. Professional competencies of school supervisors and technical-pe-
West: 23 proemes (Agusascalientes, Colima, Guanajua-
dagogical consultants
to, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nayarit, Querétaro, Zacatecas).
2. Actual time devoted to teaching
Central: 26 proemes (Mexico City, the State of Mexi-
3. Effectiveness and effects of supervision
co, Hidalgo, Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala).
4. Applications of the curriculum
South-southwest: 30 proemes (Campeche, Chiapas,
5. Textbooks, teachers’ books and information-technology support
Gerrero, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz, Yu-
6. Teaching practices
7. Specialized training of teacher trainers
Source: General Direction for the Coordination of the snee, inee. 8. Infrastructure and equipment
9. Infraestructura y equipamiento

34 projects at the national level • The International Study of Civic Educa-
• 11 coordinated by the sep and 14 by the tion and Citizenship
inee. • The Teaching and Learning Internation- All the publications pertaining to the pmp
• As part of the National Project for the al Survey (talis): the talis survey and snee and the pronaeme can be download-
ed at:
Evaluation and Improvement of Edu- the talis video study.
cation in Multi-level Schools, 9 other
types of project will be implemented in To ensure the success of the pmp snee:
27 states (See Fig. 3). The implementation of the proemes is un-
derway and the inee will oversee the pro- The reader can find more information
6 projects from the international level: cess by: about the 2016-2020 pmp snee at: http://
• The International Student Evaluation • using the platform for monitoring and
Program following up on the progress and bench- junio.pdf
• The International Program for the Eval- marks of the pmp snee projects.
uation of Adult Competencies • providing technical consultancy and
• The Comparative and Explicatory Re- support to the education authorities.
gional Study • strengthening institutional capacities.


Our ideal scenarios

You think you’ll walk into the classroom, stand a moment, wait
for silence, watch while they open notebooks and click pens, tell
them your name, write it on the board, proceed to teach.

You’ll be nominated for awards: Teacher of the Year, Teacher of
the Century. You’ll be invited to Washington. Eisenhower will
shake your hand. Newspapers will ask you, a mere teacher,
for your opinion on education. This will be big news: A
teacher asked for his opinion on education. Wow. You’ll
be on television.

...and our challenges
Professors of education at New York University never lectured
on how to handle flying-sandwich situations. They talked about
theories and philosophies of education, about moral and ethical
imperatives, about the necessity of dealing with the whole child, the
gestalt, if you don’t mind, the child’s felt needs, but never about critical
moments in the classroom.

What is education anyway? What are we doing in this school? You might
say that you want to graduate to go to college and prepare for a career.
But, fellow students, it’s more than that. I’ve had to ask myself what
the hell I’m doing in the classroom. I’ve worked out an equation for
myself. On the left side of the blackboard I print a capital F. I draw
an arrow from left to right, from FEAR to FREEDOM.

Excerpts from Teacher Man by Frank McCourt.
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico


Teacher evaluation cludes the task of evaluating the National
Education System, the said Institute has su-
in Mexico: pervised and evaluated the processes of entry
approach, results to, acknowledgment and promotion within,
and continuation in, the spd, commissioning
and proposals for external studies and evaluations for purposes
of detailed follow-up.
Teacher evaluation
The 13th of September 2017 Talking about developments in teacher eval-
marked the holding of the first uation and presenting comparative statistics
session of the Seminar on the for recent years, Undersecretary Granados
Educational Reform, an initiative and spd director, Aceves, gave a detailed ac-
of the National Institute for the count of the problems encountered, the cur-
rent situation and the challenges still to be
Evaluation of Education (Spanish
overcome, emphasizing the links between
acronym: inee) aimed at taking stock the evaluation process and the New Educa-
of the progress achieved –and tional Model (Spanish acronym: nme). The
challenges still existing– in the presentation, which was split up into six
implementation of this new stage of parts, covered evaluation from 2014 to the
the reform of the Mexican education present.
system. The first topic covered in
this forum for dialogue and reflection 1. Make-up and drafting of the laws
was teacher evaluation. Here we that gave rise to the Educational
briefly summarize the progress in Reform
that area. Granados began by pointing out that the
Educational Reform and the founding of the
spd comprised: (1) a legal component, since
Progress and challenges in teacher the Mexican Constitution stipulates that the
evaluation development of a Professional Teaching Ser-
The participants in the first session of the vice is a prerequisite for increasing the qual-
Seminar on the Educational Reform, which ity of education, (2) an administrative com-
was chaired by the journalist and political ponent aimed at governing entry to –and
commentator, Ricardo Raphael, were Otto promotion within– the Professional Teach-
Granados, the Undersecretary for Planning, ing Service via competitive examinations,
Evaluation and Coordination of the Mexican and (3) a quality component that seeks to
Ministry of Education, Ana María Aceves, ensure that teachers possess suitable knowl-
the Coordinator of the Professional Teach- edge and skills.
ing Service, Teresa Bracho, a member of The complicated part of the process, he
the inee’s Board of Governors, and Rodolfo explained, consisted in building a system
Ramírez Raymundo, a researcher at the Mex- that could take stock of the aforesaid three
ican Senate’s Belisario Domínguez Institute. components in the midst of a political re-
At the outset, Dr. Eduardo Backhoff Es- structuring of the National Education Sys-
cudero, the Chairman of the inee Board, re- tem, which had remained unchanged from
minded those present that the starting point the 1950’s to 2013, and in a context of defec-
of the Educational Reform in 2013 was the tive administrative, technological, budget-
nationwide educational crisis, which gave ing and managerial structure.
rise to the Professional Teaching Service The first problem to be faced was a sys-
(Spanish acronym: spd) and the conferral of tem where people outside the Ministry of
autonomy on the inee so that it might serve Education (Spanish acronym: sep) assigned
as an independent, critical counterweight to posts and participated in some of the latter’s
the education authorities. management procedures, while the admin-
He also reminded them that since, among istrative problem was a bottleneck in entry-
other things, the inee’s strategic mission in- level, performance and post-assignment

evaluation, added to which were the signing envisaging various methods and types of On the other hand, the 2015-2016 perfor-
of a decentralization agreement in 1992 and evaluation, including examinations that test mance evaluation was an enormous technical,
the matter of social conflict, which attracted knowledge, teaching projects and files, self- operational, political and logistical challenge.
the most media attention. While the magni- evaluation questionnaires and a mixed-eval- It was found that 25 components needed to be
tude, type and degree of the latter may vary, uation system that includes diagnostic, sum- improved, and these were split into the follow-
the processes described above give rise to mative and formative components, In this ing 5 big groups that coincide with the evalua-
such conflict all over the planet, and Mexico, way, the spd constitutes a substantial change tion components:
which has the world’s fifth biggest education in government regulation of the teaching
system, is no exception. profession aimed at building a system based
This was the context in which the tech- on merit, effort and performance. Technical, operational and logistical
nical and conceptual design of the teacher- difficulties
evaluation system occurred.
• Design of evaluation
2. Conceptual design of the Benefits of the Professional Teach- instruments
Educational Reform, the Professional ing Service
Teaching Service and the Teacher- • Entry to, and promotion within, • Guides and supports
Evaluation Processes the spd upon fulfilling the pro- Worst evaluees
In this part of the presentation, the speakers file requirements, getting an • Recording
went into detail about the progress achieved evaluation grade indicating suit-
in the development of the spd and the lat- ability and placing first on the
ter’s strengths, weaknesses, problems and selection list. • Evaluators
challenges. • Diagnosis, feedback on perfor-
Why carry out teacher evaluation? mance, support and tutoring
The academic literature asserts that teacher in order to develop professional Best evaluees • Use of instruments
quality is one of the most important fac- aptitudes, self-criticism and
tors affecting student achievement. Authors good teaching practices.
such as Pritchett and Hanushek have argued • Incentives and acknowledg-
that teacher incentives are a good idea. ment based on merit and job Undersecretary Granados explained
How is the spd structured? It is con- performance. Appreciation by that, in order to tackle these difficulties, an
ceived of as an entity that ensures that society of the job that is done. attempt has been made, over the last two
teachers possess suitable knowledge and years, to create a more efficient teacher-eval-
teaching skills, improves their performance, uation system that yields the desired results.
acknowledges the work they do, increases The most complicated challenge is that of
quality and enhances learning outcomes, to designing the evaluation instruments, since
which end it was proposed to analyze the ex- 3. Experiences of teacher evaluation in the said evaluation contains psychometric
periences of other countries whose systems the last two years. components that affect the measurements.
reward teachers’ merit, performance and ef- Granados remarked that various instru-
forts. ments –including the surveys carried out in 4. Rethinking the 2017-2018
What is the scope of the spd? It envis- December of 2015 and January and Febru- Performance-Evaluation Model.
ages different evaluations to identify profes- ary of 2016, a study of the Regional Office Aceves explained that, based on the expe-
sional-development needs and reduce the for Latin America and the Caribbean (Span- riences, learnings and challenges detected
gaps between the qualities that are desired ish acronym: orealc) commissioned by in previous years, the New Model modifies
in teachers and those that they currently the inee, a survey carried out by the latter the evaluation to accord with the current le-
display. The aim is to build a comprehensive in 2016 on a sample of over 10,000 people, gal framework. The said evaluation model,
policy that includes a stimulus program co- and an analysis carried out by the Belisario which retains the strengths of the previous
ordinated by a decentralized entity such as Domínguez Institute in 2016– have been one while heeding the opinions and sugges-
the spd. created to evaluate the first process. tions of teachers and experts so as to make
What are the strengths and weakness- One common finding of the aforesaid it more user-friendly, is currently being ap-
es of the spd? The Professional Teaching instruments is that, due to cultural and geo- plied to some 160,000 teachers. The changes
Service envisages a system of norms (profiles graphic differences and variations in the to the model included:
and benchmarks) that is officially recognized level of technical development, communica- • reducing the number of evaluation stag-
and can identify the specific attributes of an tion between the education authorities and es from four to three, of which only one
effective teacher based on good-teaching the teacher is important during the evalu- is applied, in an evaluation center cho-
practices. Based on this, it comprises a com- ation process. Measurements were made sen by the teacher.
prehensive policy governing teachers’ entry with respect to the problems detected and • Including features that link the perfor-
to, acknowledgment and promotion within, there were all-round improvements in the mance evaluation to the everyday work
and continuation in, the education system, 2016 evaluation. done by the teacher in his/her school.
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

• Strengthening training to make it more Diagnostic evaluation • There has been more improvement at the
relevant, link it to the evaluation, and • The best evaluation results were ob- “Telesecondary” level than at the general
ensure that it serves to improve teaching tained by secondary-level teachers. secondary one.
practices. • Given the uneven results, in the 2016– • The candidates from indigenous-pre-
2017 period three achievement levels school and indigenous-primary institu-
were established so as to provide more tions have obtained the lowest number
specific information to each teacher (the of “eligible” ratings, though their perfor-
Participants in the Professional basic levels still need to be developed mance has improved over the period in
Teaching Service and are expected to be ready soon). question.
• To date, around 1.1 million
teachers have been evaluated Entry evaluation Continuance or performance evaluation
via one of the four processes • Four competitive entry examinations • Teachers have obtained better results
stipulated in the law governing have been held, with some 130 thousand than school principals.
the spd. candidates taking the last three of them. • Though more progress was achieved by
• Currently, 160,000 teachers • The number of candidates classifying as secondary-level English teachers, the
need to be evaluated to deter- eligible has been lower than expected, percentage of them classified as “out-
mine whether they can remain though there has been some improve- standing” is still very small.
in the spd. This year’s goal is to ment; with 40% initially being considered • Preschool teachers have obtained the
apply performance evaluations suitable for entry to the spd, as against best evaluation results.
to 160,000 teachers on at least 59% now – i.e. a 20% increase. • Women get better results than men.
one occasion and 42,500 diag- • There is a high repetition level due ei- • The younger the candidates, the more
nostic evaluations. ther to the candidates not being deemed “eligible” classifications they obtain,
• The estimated total number of suitable for entry to the spd or failing to while the oldest candidates get the
teachers evaluated by the end obtain a teaching post, or to their previ- worse performance gradings.
of 2018 is just over 1.3 million ous result having expired. The trend is to- • The states can be split into at least three
• The proportion of people at- wards better results with each repetition. groups according to their level of par-
tending the evaluations has in- • More candidates at the primary, sec- ticipation in all the evaluations.
creased from 88% in 2016 to ondary and preschool levels have been • The 5 entities with the highest participa-
95% at this point in 2017. These deemed eligible than ones from primary tion levels are Querétaro, Baja Califor-
figures show that an evaluation and indigenous-preschool institutions. nia Sur, Quintana Roo, Aguascalientes
culture is being created among • More graduates from government teach- and Mexico City.
our country’s teachers. er-training colleges have been classified as • The 5 states of Hidalgo, Puebla, Nuevo
eligible than ones from other institutions. León, Tlaxcala and San Luis Potosí have
• Mexico City and the states of Querétaro, medium participation levels.
Colima, Baja California, Baja California • The 5 states with the lowest partici-
5. Pertinent findings of the 2014-2017 Sur, Nuevo León, Aguascalientes, Jalisco pation levels are Sinaloa, Michoacán,
evaluations. and Hidalgo have consistently obtained Guerrero, Tabasco and Chiapas.
Between 2015 and 2016, there was an im- the best results in all the evaluations.
provement in the results of all the evalua- • The states of Tabasco, Chiapas, Guer- Undersecretary Granados observed that
tions. Some of the data presented during the rero, Campeche, Michoacán, Oaxaca and these figures reflect our country’s political,
first session of the Seminar were as follows: Sinaloa have obtained the highest num- economic and social realities, pointing out
ber of ‘unsuitable’ results. that there are, in reality, many Mexicos, and
Competitive examinations for • All of the country’s states and districts, that, since the asymmetries in –and the in-
promotion without exception, have got better results stitutional, administrative and technological
• The people with the best evaluation in the last evaluations than in the first capacities of– the different states vary a lot,
results were principals of elementary ones. the most backward ones face a big challenge
schools, 71.9% of whom were found to • An average of 76% of the candidates in their efforts to successfully implement the
be eligible for promotion in the 2017- in the competitive examinations come Educational Reform, and will have to sup-
2018 competitive examination. from secondary, primary and preschool port these efforts with additional policies.
• The biggest challenges were detected institutions, while 7% either come from
among middle-school principals and su- special-education institutions or the 6. Looking to the future
pervisors, less than 30% of whom were “Telesecondary” distance-learning sys- The six kinds of challenges faced are:
evaluated, though the performance level tem, or teach physical education; 1% 1) technical and logistical, having to do
has risen, with between 40% and 50% of come from pre-school, indigenous-pri- with reviewing the constitutional re-
those evaluated being found to be eli- mary and adult-education institutions. form and its governing laws in order to
gible for promotion. • The best results were obtained at the pre- ensure that the processes are transpar-
school level, followed by the primary level. ent and of high quality.

2) educational, having to do with increasing
the validity and reliability of the instru-
ments and guaranteeing the equity and
usefulness of the results while not forget-
ting that evaluation is a means of promot-
ing professional teacher development,
and also with harmonizing the evaluation
process with the other components of the
Educational Reform pertaining to study
plans and programs, textbooks, continu-
ous teacher training, etc.
3) cultural, having to do with exploring
the idea of granting more operational
autonomy to the inee, extending be- that focus on achievement, and align inee board member, Teresa Bracho, said
yond its current normative functions. government policies with needs at the that she considered the merit-based model
The Undersecretary cited the following state level. to be positive both at the individual level,
text issued by the Belisario Domínguez since it instils confidence in teachers who
Institute in 2016: Discussion take up a post based on their abilities, and
“Why is the institution responsible Granados stated that, according to a survey also at the collective level, since it makes it
for administering the spd also charged carried out by bgc and Associates, teacher clear that a mechanism exists for ensuring
with determining evaluation contents evaluation –the most controversial part of that the candidates who enter the teaching
and instruments, while the inee, which the Educational Reform– currently enjoys profession are the most qualified ones.
has expertise in this field, only has nor- a 76% level of public acceptance. In view of She stressed that, as an autonomous
mative and supervisory powers?” this affirmation and of the remarks made by entity, the inee exercises authority over
This, he continued, also implies ex- the sep, Rodolfo Ramírez, of the Belisario evaluation and has the job of working hand-
ploring the idea that the spd, which is Domínguez Institute, remarked that all edu- in-hand with the education authorities to
currently an autonomously operating cational policies must be seen as “interven- regulate it and issue guidelines with which
agency, might become a decentralized tion hypotheses” which, when implemented, the said authorities must comply.
government entity. reveal unforeseen issues, which, he said, is She pointed out that, since evaluation is
4) operational, having to do with harmoniz- why new proposals are now required, four a teamwork activity in which the functions
ing evaluation in all the states despite their years after the Educational Reform. of different agencies overlap, so that the said
political and institutional heterogeneity In the presentation, it was asserted that entities must be able to cooperate, exercise
and the varying nature of their involve- the underlying problem was the system, and joint coordination, and assume joint respon-
ment in the Educational Reform, and also Ramírez asked why the response was a deci- sibility, the inee’s is basically a regulatory,
with providing more regulatory support sion to evaluate the teachers, which he did rather than an operative, body.
via strategies such as proposing a reform not consider to be the right way to lay the
of the Law Governing Fiscal Coordina- foundations of the Educational Reform. He Points to be considered
tion or the updating of the payroll sys- also pointed out that the following problems The debating points arising from the ques-
tem. Currently, asserted Granados, efforts needed to be addressed: tions asked by those attending the Seminar
are underway to design a comprehensive • The development of the evaluation in- were:
personnel-management system that will struments, which should be owned by
change the current managerial model. the National Evaluation Center. 1. Should the Constitution be amended in
5) pertaining to coordination and hav- • The fact that performance evaluation order to avoid the overlapping of respon-
ing to do with the fundamental role of fails to take stock of the teacher’s work, sibilities among the different entities in-
teacher evaluation, though, since this is his/her communication with the stu- volved in evaluation, or would it suffice to
only a part of the Educational Reform, dents and ability to challenge them in- amend the secondary laws?
it is necessary to strengthen the link be- tellectually and get them interested, as The overall view was that such an amend-
tween it and the other educational pro- well as all the other things teachers do in ment would be worthwhile, and Undersec-
grams and policies. the classroom. retary Granados opined that it would be a
6) pertaining to the use of evaluation good idea to carry out the said modification
results, and having to do with adopting He asserted that, despite the surpris- at the end of the current government’s six-
teacher evaluation as a valuable form of ingly high level of participation, there are year term, saying: “I’m not sure whether it’s
input that provides feedback to other serious problems regarding the overall ap- necessary to amend the Constitution, but
components of the Reform per se, as plication of the evaluation, since there is no we should review it to find out exactly which
well as with the need to use the results of way to guarantee the candidate’s eligibility things should be updated”.
teacher evaluation to strengthen ongo- if the instrument, the induction period and For his part, Rodolfo Ramírez said that
ing training, design educational policies the tutorials are not validated. it is necessary to review the secondary laws
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

which stipulate that, since the sep or the dif- took the evaluation were classified as “non- Teresa Bracho assured the audience that
ferent government ministries are employers, eligible” in 2014, while most of the candidates she was not worried that Article 3 might be
it is up to them to decide what they require of in that state came from private teacher-train- amended, but said she thought it would be a
their employees and how the latter should be ing colleges and other non-teacher-training good idea to amend some parts of the Law
evaluated. He explained that the sep has an institutions, which was why the percentage of Governing the Professional Teaching Service,
excessive workload, and that the inee could failures was so high, though the current “eli- and above all the wording of the said law, an
coordinate evaluation without there being gible” rate for candidates from government opinion shared by Rodolfo Ramírez, who
any need to subcontract other entities, and teacher-training colleges is 50%. said: “Laws aren’t written in stone. Of course
also said that different states could share in they can be amended, and, given that a lot of
the technical work, as well as the operational 3. Regarding the proposal to the effect the evidence that we’ve seen and the informa-
functions. that the spd and the inee should grow, tion that we’ve received indicates that there
Teresa Bracho emphasized the need to should the former cease to be a decen- are a lot of problems, let’s reform the Reform”.
amend the General Law Governing the Profes- tralized agency and become a centralized Aceves reaffirmed that the evaluations
sional Teaching Service, which contains some entity with more control over its manage- had improved and said that she believed that
ambiguous sections, as well as ascertaining ment and governance, taking on the task of things were moving in the right direction, as-
why the sep has not done all the things that the teacher evaluation? serting: “To sum up, I’d say that 75% of the
said law mandates. She said: “A lot of things, Bracho unequivocally stated that the Institute one million one hundred thousand teachers
including the tutorials, don’t work. The inee should continue to be a regulatory agency, taking the evaluation do so voluntarily, 653
has insisted that initial training doesn’t work saying: “The current delimitation of the inee’s teachers have just entered the spd and are
either. Let’s just say that a lot of things are still normative functions is the right one, since, also taking the evaluation voluntarily, and the
pending, such as the splitting up of teaching otherwise, the Institute will not only have to candidates taking the evaluation in order to
posts – something that is countermanded in be responsible for evaluation instruments, be promoted are seeking a permanent teach-
the Law Governing the Professional Teaching but also be subject to political pressure from ing position. I think it’s important that this be
Service, which, in fact, mandates that teaching both the unions and the state-level education made clear”.
positions be compressed”. authorities. It is not in any condition to cope In conclusion, Granados asserted that the
with such enormous pressure. What it can do inee is the institutional mainstay that will en-
2. With regard to the discussion about fed- is provide more support for technical work, able the Reform to move forward in the com-
eralism and the clear differences between but, in my opinion, assuming the aforesaid ing years, also stressing that the government
the southwestern states and other specific additional responsibilities would seriously had prevailed in all the appeals filed against
cases, could the speakers give a more de- weaken it, rather than strengthen it”. the said Reform in the Supreme Court. He
tailed explanation? On the matter of the spd, her view was said: “Whether this suffices to ensure that
Ramírez pointed out that the Educational that, as a decentralized agency, the inee has the Reform is irreversible will depend on who
Reform proposed a simplistic solution to the its own legal standing and funding, as well wins the coming election – who becomes the
problem of low teacher-competency levels, as technical and organizational autonomy, next president of Mexico.
giving rise to social discontent that aggra- while, as an autonomously operating agency, Thus ended the first session of the Semi-
vated the violence and insecurity that already it is dependent on the sep, a centralized en- nar – with a lot of questions, but also with the
prevailed in some parts of the country. He tity whose head makes the critical decisions certainly that the evaluation is working and
suggested that teacher performance is not regarding it. now forms part of our country’s educational
being adequately measured and proposed For her part, Aceves explained that the heritage.
that the system be changed so that teachers spd has a very limited purview, for example
are evaluated during their first years of ser- when it comes to assigning teaching posts,
vice and for purposes of voluntary promo- since the different states are, in fact, the
tion, affirming that better laws are needed teachers’ employers, and the office respon- More information about the first session
to tackle inequality, poverty and political sible for coordinating the spd cannot inter- of the Seminar on theX Educational Re-
form can be found at:
conflict, since the current ones haven't been vene, just as it cannot intervene in the deci-
effective throughout the country. sions made by the Governing Board jointly
Bracho said that it’s important that feder- with each undersecretariat.
alism be strengthened based on an analysis of Granados, on the other hand, said that More information about the 2017 Evalua-
how the states got into their current situations, the inee and the spd should take on more tion of Teacher Performance is available
such as that of Baja California, which is current- powers without fear of the resultant political
ly facing the problem of a financial-deficit crisis, pressures.
while Oaxaca and four other states celebrated
agreements in the 1980’s to create a job for 4. Some members of the audience expressed For more information about the spd, the
members of Section 22 of the Teachers’ Union. the fear that the next government could reader should consult: http://serviciopro-
Aceves asserted that the teacher-training undo the work done so far when the current
colleges in the state of Campeche need to be six-year presidential term ends, and asked
checked, since 70% of their graduates who whether the Reform is irreversible.


Teachers’ the said institution’s Center for Research
and Advanced Studies, as well as studying
experiences of high- music, painting and theater, affirms:
quality education “In my view, before teaching mathemat-
ics to our students, we should teach them
civics and ethics in order to engender a
Gretta Penélope Hernández, a sense of social solidarity in them. You don’t
chronicler, photographer and firm reach the productive stage of your life saying
believer that we should “educate two for me and one for you, but one for you
to create societies where we can and one for me. That’s why we don’t charge
all fit comfortably”, has contributed enrolment fees or monthly school fees; for
ten pesos, we give all our students breakfast.
to several newspapers and writes
The principal of our school, José González
an opinion column for the online Figueroa, and myself pay the drama and
publication, HuffPost Mexico. Below computing teachers out of our own pock-
she describes four experiences of ets so that our students can receive a more
“high-quality education”. complete education”.
The school has 3 groups with 15 stu-
dents each, although, as González points
1. Will, dedication and resources out, it previously had 7 groups. This reduc-
When the sun is high overhead and the tion occurred because some teachers retired
whistle signalling the end of classes is about and the Ministry of Education (Spanish ac-
to be blown in ´Telesecondary’ school num- ronym: sep) hasn’t replaced them. However,
ber 190, an institution located in the mu- he explains that, despite this situation, en-
nicipality of Nezahualcóyotl in the State of rolments have increased, reflecting the trust
Mexico. It forms part of Mexico’s distance- people have in the school and increasing the
learning system. José Reynado González, a challenges faced by it:
polite, soft-spoken teacher who has been “Despite the lack of teachers, we haven’t
working in the said school for 13 years, talks stopping giving our best for our students.
about his concept of high-quality education: What I give in the classroom is more hu-
“Having a right isn’t the same as exer- manization than quality. We strive to pre-
cising it. How could this be done? The gov- pare our students for life. Teachers in the
ernment would have to take young people distance-learning system have to be patient,
from their homes to the classroom and find since the said system consists of televised
out what’s preventing them from attending lessons on which we have to provide follow-
classes? On top of that, there’s the matter of up. Since television moves at a different pace
‘quality’, a word that I don’t like, because it’s than our students, we have to pause to re-
associated with business. What does a stu- explain what they’ve seen, because, if we let
dent need in order to receive a high-quality the TV courses keep running without paus-
education? First, a human structure, con- es, there comes a point when the students
sisting of a team of secretaries, assistants, have no idea what they’ve seen”.
teachers and school principals with the But that isn’t all:
right training. The ‘Telesecondary’ schools “Besides, we have to tackle learning
are a special case. Here, we face enormous problems and bullying. This school year, we
challenges. A teacher here has to handle 30 have an autistic student and one with epi-
students and teach mathematics, physics, lepsy. We’re helping them to fit in with their
chemistry, biology, Spanish, English, art and classmates and trying to adapt our teach-
physical education, so s/he has to know a lot ing to their rhythm. Last year, we made a
about a lot of things. That’s where you come movie about bullying with the scant equip-
up against reality”. ment that we have in our school, and the
González, who, after studying Telecom- response was incredible. We do such things
munications Engineering at the National because it’s essential to give young people
Polytechnic Institute, obtained a Master’s a chance to develop in a healthy way and
Degree in the Teaching of Mathematics from enable them to benefit from the solidarity
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

that exists between the school, the parents er-training college in the town of Iguala and is linked to mathematics and helps children
and the community in general. We also en- am one of the founders of the ‘Telesecond- to listen, concentrate, and add and subtract.
deavor to bring our students’ parents closer ary’ system, in which I deeply believe. My Dance improves coordination and spa-
to the school. If a student misses a class, we children studied in it, and also my grand- tial awareness, while making our children
contact his/her home to find out what hap- children, and now they’re all successful pro- stronger and improving their balance and
pened. We don’t leave them alone. We do all fessionals in different areas. One of our aims powers of observation, all of which helps,
these things through willpower, dedication is to help and guide the new generations, for example, to improve their handwriting.
and resources”. and make them understand that education Movement fosters the development of both
Reynado takes the time to keep updated is essential”. sides of the brain and up-down and left-
and is enrolled in courses that offer plat- right movement, as well as spatial orienta-
forms such as the Scholastic and Coursera 2. Harmonious development of tion. We have both cognitive and physical
ones. Thanks to this, his students are taking abilities and skills abilities, and, if we develop them in unison,
a workshop in robotics. He believes that it’s Its 4:00 p.m. and, except for a small group of we can really engender all-round learning”.
important to look to the future and equip semi-boarders, most of the students have left As a school principal, Chávez is de-
students with the technical skills that they’ll the Ahatzin Cultural Institute. Sara Chávez manding and says:
need tomorrow for tasks such as repairing Hernández, the head of the pre-school and “Although I give the teachers the free-
drones: primary sections, bustles back and forth in dom to develop their own teaching meth-
“I did my own secondary-school studies a seemingly endless flurry of activity. In her odologies, we look at the group profiles
in the distance-learning system, so I under- little office, there are books for preschool together and develop a method that will
stand it very well. The students are ones from teachers back to the 1930’s and 1940’s: enable all the students to learn. A teacher
poor backgrounds who don’t progress in the “I like to have these books here to re- should never stop learning; updating is an
other schools or don’t want to study, and the mind the new generations of what the re- ongoing quest. Right now, I’m studying Law
technical-school system doesn’t help them”. quired reading for teachers was in those at Mexico’s Open University, while, at the
Regarding the things his school needs, days,” says Chávez. She studied pre-school same time, taking some courses offered by
he says: education in her teacher-training college, the teacher-updating centers and participat-
“This school opened 30 years ago. For- as well as holding a bachelor’s degree in el- ing in an additional workshop in order to
tunately, the earthquakes haven’t damaged ementary education from Mexico’s National gain a full understanding of the scholastic-
it, but, it hasn’t received any maintenance Pedagogic University, a Master’s Degree in improvement track.
since it was built. We do our best to keep it Preschool Education, and also a Ph.D. in If we’ve kept going, it’s because we’ve
in good condition, but there’s no money for Educational Sciences, from Santander Uni- given the children a different kind of expe-
cleaning, paint, roof repairs, etc.”. versity in Mexico City. For her, high-quality rience. Most of our graduates who take the
“The whistle has blown and the uproar education has always existed: secondary-school entrance exam are able
that marks the end of classes rises into the “In accordance with Article Three of the to enroll in the areas that they chose. Other
air like the heat from the sidewalk outside. Mexican Constitution, I have to ensure that schools have praised our educational model
The school gate opens, and, as the students my children develop everything —knowl- and we’ve won ‘Knowledge Olympics’ com-
leave in dribs and drabs, a small group of edge, abilities, physical capacities, artistic petitions”.
parents and youngsters enters and seeks out skills, and values— harmoniously, since Based on her experience and the context
the school principal, José González, greeting high-quality education comprises all these in which she operates, she concludes:
him with a mixture of affection and respect. things”. “Some people say that the Educational
A pair of ex-students have come to tell him The Ahatzin is a private school located Reform is just more of the same and has
that they’re going to take the entrance exam in the Iztapalapa municipal district —an nothing new to offer, but it’s up to each one
in order to study medicine. In a soft voice, impoverished, densely populated zone that of us to make it work for our children”.
smiling all the while, González comments: suffers from severe water shortages— on the
“After they graduate, our students come eastern edge of Mexico City. The earthquake 3. Producing critical citizens who are
back here to do their social service, and that struck on the 19th of September of this able to make decisions
that’s how we manage to cover some of the year made the situation in this area even Adriana Flores, who holds a Bachelor’s De-
subjects in the curriculum. They know that worse, and Chávez comments: gree in Spanish Language and Literature
this is their home, and we always give them “Our biggest problem is the shortage of from The national Autonomous University
a warm welcome”. water. We haven’t had any since the earth- of Mexico, is a shrewd-looking 31-year-
Taking short, quick steps, the principal quake, and every three days we order a tank- old secondary-school Spanish teacher who
proudly gives us a tour of the school, show- er of it that costs 720 pesos, and then we also doesn’t mince her words:
ing us the guava trees whose fruit will be have to pay our staff, which we always try “Providing high-quality education
used to make the punch for the Christmas very hard to do in full”. means enabling most of one’s students to
party and the mural that the students paint- Chávez considers that the teaching of art learn according to their possibilities and
ed on the fence. is essential in such a context: equipping them with tools for life. However,
“I’ve been working in the education sys- “Artistic education is the key to teach- in the place where I work, the third grade of
tem for 50 years; I graduated from the teach- ing the other subjects. For example, music secondary school, which is the one I teach,

will be the final year for a lot of students, so to the school library. The Turkish embassy “You have to know your surroundings:
it’s our duty to equip them to face life out- donated several very good books, but, sadly, You can’t use the same teaching strategies
side the school”. the school librarian retired and hasn’t been in one school as in another, even within the
This is Flores’ second year as a teacher replaced, so now the library is closed, and same city. Everything is different – the par-
at the Emilio Rosenblueth Secondary School this has slowed us down a lot. You have to ents, the premises, the number of students.
in Xochimilco, one of the most marginal- understand that the school library is the When trying to find ways to provide high-
ized municipalities in Mexico City. She also only place where many of these young peo- quality education you face different chal-
teaches tertiary-level classes on the Santa ple come into contact with books”. lenges, the main one being that of teaching
Martha campus of the Mexico City Autono- Flores asserts that, at the end of the in overcrowded classrooms, closely followed
mous University, which is also known as course, the students make an effort to write by resistance from parents, who should sup-
Casa Libertad (Liberty House), and has the well and worry about their spelling and port the teacher’s efforts. Some of my col-
following to say about her job: grammar: leagues are afraid of making demands on
“One of the biggest problems I face is ab- “That’s because they learn that writing their students, because a complaint from
senteeism; there are a lot local festivities for is a means of expression whereby they can a parent can cause them to lose their job.
which they cordon off neighborhoods, with communicate with their girlfriend or boy- What’s really sad is that the parents have no
the result that the children there stop at- friend, complain, or research a topic. I’ve idea what goes on in the classroom. There’s
tending classes. Besides, I have 40 students always insisted that literature isn’t a luxury, confrontation instead of communication,
in each group, some of whom have learning but a necessity, since it enables us to forge and that affects the children’s education”.
difficulties. Last school year, I had 4 children links with other people and relate to our- Alvarado exploits her comprehensive
who couldn’t read the set texts and were selves. I try to transmit this to all my stu- training in her teaching:
barely managing to learn Spanish.” dents and keep telling them ´Read! Read! “Since I was a girl scout, I love playing,
To tackle this situation, Flores organizes Not to show off, but because you need to ask and this has enabled me to get to know each
project work and depends on team planning: questions in this life’. Reading and writing of my students well and identify with them.
“At the beginning, I let the students form make us freer”. For example, this year I’m teaching a group
their own teams. Generally, the members of She looks at her watch. It’s 1.45 p.m., the of 8 children who are lagging behind when
the color guard* seek out the ones who work time when her afternoon classes begin, and, it comes to solving problems involving frac-
hardest, while the less hard-working children before leaving, she says: tions, decimals, division and multiplication.
bunch together, but end up not handing in “I once came across a pair of my old stu- The intention is to use strategies that go
any project. A couple of months later, I change dents doing somersaults and cartwheels at from the concrete and visual to the abstract
the rules and form groups made up of the a traffic light to earn a few pesos, and that — i.e. to work separately on the concrete
most advanced students —including some made me so sad. We have to encourage and visual aspects with the children who
hard-working ones, some with good spell- them to enroll in senior high school and go are having difficulties during two sessions a
ing and some who are good drawers— where on studying. The third year of the second- week, and to cover the abstract part in the
the best-performing students help the slower ary cycle is crucial. If you can’t provide high- mathematics with the whole class in the ac-
ones. [*Translator’s note: The ‘color guard’ is an quality education, you just shouldn’t be a tual mathematics class, in accordance with
honored tradition in Mexican schools, whereby teacher”. the Singapore Method”.
students who earn good grades and impeccably She explains that she wants to use play
follow school rules form part of the escort in the 4. Being sensitive to the demands and as an integrating tool both in the classroom
daily flag-raising ceremony and are chosen to needs of the group you’re teaching and in the community as a whole, and assert
lead group projects, etc.] In the Benito Juárez full-time primary that, while she believes that what happens
However, she comments that, despite all school, which is located in the center of Che- in the classroom is important, violence and
her efforts: tumal, the capital of the state of Quintana discrimination also occur in the home:
“I sometimes think that, while we teach Roo, very close to the seafront that looks out “Scolding doesn’t work. We do exercises
our young people to obey their teachers, on the Caribbean ocean, fifth-grade teacher, so that the children who aren’t having diffi-
and be punctual and neat and tidy, we fail Lizbeth Alvarado Estrada, asserts: culties can appreciate how threatened their
to produce critical citizens who can make “As a teacher and a mother, I’m a pas- classmates feel. Of course, you have to know
decisions. I try to encourage my students to sionate defender of the public-school sys- how and when to use this tactic to prevent
question things, and literature is essential tem, which has better-trained teachers, is the more advanced students from mocking
for that”. supported by the Unit for the Provision of the more backward ones. It’s not a ques-
Hence, the last book she sets during the Support Services for Ordinary Education, tion of exposing the latter to aggression,
school year is an anthology of poetry: and has high-quality supervision and incor- but, rather, of demonstrating scenarios that
“I give them 5 poets, and each group porated teachers who are committed to the show how different situations develop. As a
decides which one it wants to read. Besides community”. teacher, it’s my job to work with the bully,
choosing a specific poet, the students have Alvarado, a graduate of the Bacalar Re- the victims and the onlookers to show them
to write an introduction explaining why gional Teacher Training College, believes what’s happening. Finally, the bullies be-
they chose the particular poems in ques- that specific challenges lie behind this gen- come aware of their actions and end up of-
tion. I lend them my books and take them eral image: fering sincere apologies to their victims for
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

what they’ve done. I use the Kiva program, SPECIAL REPORT: THE ROLE OF TEACHERS IN EDUCATION
which was invented in Finland and has pro- BACKGROUND ARTICLE
duced excellent results.
Parents should be able to spend more Beyond evaluation:
time with their children. I have children in
my classes who spend a lot of time alone. strengthening
Employers should also be more sensi-
tive and implement more suitable work-
identity and teacher
ing hours. Sometimes, my students’ par- training
ents can’t attend meetings during the week
aimed at showing them how to support their
children’s learning, and I have to ask them to “Teachers are the most important
meet with me during the weekend, but only agents in the education system.
on national holidays devoted to the family Their evaluation is a very powerful
or the environment. We hold competitions, instrument for ascertaining their level
play and have a really good time. It’s very en- of performance, and the information
it yields should be used to improve
In such circumstances, the lack of teach-
ers of children with special needs is also a
their training and strengthen
problem: their identity; this is the true aim
“I have a ten-year-old daughter with se- of evaluation,” asserts Ricardo
vere hearing impairment who uses a surgi- Cuenca, the General Director of the
cally implanted electronic device in order to Institute for Peruvian Studies, in the
hear. I wanted to send her to a government interview transcribed below.
school, but had to enroll her in a private one
because of this problem. I know what my
daughter’s needs are as a student, and am How can we define high-quality
also aware of the problems faced by teach- education?
ers who lack the specialized training needed The concept of high quality has been behind
to teach her. It’s a big challenge to handle several educational reforms and given rise to
children with this kind of impediment with- different debates about how to define high
out suitable training. Sometimes, we have quality, achieve it, and evaluate for it. While
children with special problems that haven’t it has not been easy to agree on a definition
even been diagnosed, so that we don’t know of high quality, a large majority of the world’s
which problem we’re trying to tackle”. governments are working hard to foster it.
In Alvarado’s view, a high-quality teach- Ricardo Cuenca, who holds a Ph.D. in Edu-
er is one who knows what the needs of the cation from Cayetano Heredia University in
group that s/he is teaching are: Peru, comments:
“In other words, you have to be familiar “Education has been the most important
with the age, interests, family background instrument available to governments for the
and socioeconomic circumstances of the purpose of shaping nations, and, through it,
children. The teacher should develop the the said governments have managed to fos-
skills and strategies needed to deal with ter certain kinds of citizenship. In its current
different abilities and learning rhythms, form, education has become a basic means of
as well as knowing how to deal with the developing competencies in people, and thus
school authorities. Besides serving as a liai- strengthening democratic institutions and
son between the school and the parents, s/ turning growth into development.
he should never stop learning, keep up with Against this backdrop, the notion of high
syllabus updates, and learn both from the quality is complex because, among other
experiences of his/her colleagues and from things, it fuels battles for power, and will only
his/her own research. be defined via a vigorous hegemonic dis-
There is a consensus in Latin America
about some of the things that should be re-
quired of education, including expectations
that it develop student competencies in read-
ing comprehension, mathematics and, of

course, citizenship. I believe that high quality tems and the countries in which they operate Peru and Ecuador have already begun to do
is achieved when an education system devel- define high quality in accordance with a set of this in our region by creating a pyramid, the
ops the aforesaid competencies in everyone, criteria with which teacher evaluation must apex of which will be reached by some teach-
respecting all kinds of diversity. This accords be aligned, failing which they will be unable ers based on a set of evaluation results that
with the proposals made by unesco regard- to forge the positive link that enables them to clearly indicates that they are doing a good
ing the efficiency, effectiveness, high quality, strengthen the teaching profession so as to job.
equity and pertinence of education”. achieve the high quality that they seek. Finally, teacher evaluation could serve
For example, if an education system con- as a basis for research whose findings make
What role do teachers play in the ceives quality in terms of results in math- it possible to identify teaching practices and,
fostering of high quality? ematics or reading comprehension, to accord based on them, design strategies and public
“I’ve always argued that, without teach- with this idea all teacher evaluations should policies that improve teaching.
ers, education cannot develop. They are the focus on those two areas. However, if a coun- While it is a fact that evaluation has
ones who promote a better school environ- try decides to adopt a much more complex traditionally been associated with fear and
ment and set learning processes in motion. definition of high quality, including civic edu- punishment, since teachers believe that they
Thus, besides being the most important fac- cation and intercultural competencies, teach- might lose their positions in the government
tor within the school, they are the main key er evaluations also need to be more complex, teaching system, experiences in the region
to the success of education systems, though aligning themselves with the aforesaid sub- –above all, in Chile– show that only a very
there are risks, since, in systems which lack jects the teaching of which also requires high small number of teachers lose their jobs in
adequate supplies and infrastructure, the quality. the education system.
teachers do not work in optimal conditions, Evaluation should be a tool for profes-
so it is harder to produce the results that are 1. The characteristics of evaluation sional development, and thus conceived of,
expected of them. Teacher evaluation must take stock of three has more benefits than risks. Hence, its ulti-
Clearly, there are other factors besides basic things: (1) technique, since there must mate purpose is to gather information so as to
teachers, both inside and outside the school, be no flaws in the methodological and tech- improve teacher performance, which, along
including basic working conditions that af- nical aspects of the evaluation; (2) the aim of with other things that the system should take
fect the extent to which high quality educa- the evaluation, which is usually to improve into consideration, ensuring their high qual-
tion is achieved. Teachers will not be able to teacher performance, and (3) the need to be ity, will yield better student results”.
give effective classes in a school that has no transparent and instill trust in the evaluee.
water or electricity and minimal classroom Since evaluation is a very sensitive matter, the How can we regain the prestige once
furniture. Academic leadership, the amount said evaluee must clearly understand the tech- enjoyed by teachers?
of support from the school principal, and the nical strategy pertaining to the evaluation Cuenca, who is currently a member of the
curriculum, are all things that affect the daily (i.e. its purpose and aims), and perceive that Technical Committee for Norms and Guide-
work of teachers, while the factors outside it is transparent and ethical. lines for Improving Education of Mexico’s
the school that affect student performance National Institute for the Evaluation of Edu-
are the socioeconomic conditions of the 2. The aims and uses of evaluation cation (Spanish acronym: inee), and also the
family, conditions of the neighborhood and, People misunderstand that evaluation sets chairman of the Peruvian Society for Educa-
indeed, of the country. It has been clearly out to raise quality, thinking that improve- tional Research, asserts:
determined that countries with high levels ments in a teacher’s performance will lead to “Teacher evaluation isn’t tantamount
of per capita income obtain better results in overall improvement of his/her school or have to educational reform, but, rather, a tool
standardized tests. a direct cause-and-effect impact on student- for achieving it. A series of actions need to
Hence, one must ensure that the basic learning outcomes. Over the years, we’ve be taken in order to really strengthen the
infrastructure exists for enabling students to discovered that other factors besides teacher teaching profession and radically reform it.
study in optimal conditions – i.e. nutritional performance are associated with learning, Though I’ve already mentioned some of the
and health programs, access by parents to and hence we need to be clear about the aims said actions –i.e. ones pertaining to teacher
more resources in order to support their chil- of evaluation. The first of these, which is the training, the development of a merit-based
dren’s education, and cultural manifestations least talked about –albeit the most important career structure, the dissemination of good
whereby families have more contact with in my opinion– is to produce valid, pertinent practices, etc.– , there are other important
education-related issues. If an education sys- information that serves to foster profession- things, such as the crucial need to boost the
tem includes these things, students will have alization – i.e. to transform teacher training. prestige of teachers and reassess their role.
more support in their endeavor to learn. Based on performance-evaluation results, The building of identity is a work in prog-
we can restructure the teacher-training cur- ress that changes in keeping with the context
What role does teacher evaluation play riculum, propose new ongoing-training pro- in which it occurs. Nowadays, the first thing
in the achievement of high-quality grams, or seek out postgraduate-study op- we must do is to ensure that the teaching pro-
education? tions. fession is afforded the high status it deserves.
Teacher performance and its evaluation are Another aim of evaluation is to create a While some people affirm that the said pro-
essential if an education system is to achieve merit-based career structure based on the in- fession is usually extremely vulnerable, and
the high quality that it seeks. Education sys- formation stemming from it. Mexico, Chile, believe that professionals from other areas
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

are automatically qualified to teach, or that tively recent, at least those in this second fice in Chile and also of the Peruvian Edu-
other means of learning, such as computers evaluation generation. The most traditional cational Program for Cooperation with Ger-
and other information-technology resources, ways of evaluating teachers were via com- many, Cuenca says:
will replace teachers; it is the teaching pro- petitive examinations or the accumulation “In my view, what makes the policies less
fession, par excellence, that relies on such of certificates. The most complex evalua- vulnerable, and thus ensures their continu-
resources in order to develop new competen- tions have been developed during the last ation, is people’s perception that they are
cies in students. While those countries that few years, which is why few countries are legitimate. When policies are considered
allow professionals from other areas to teach implementing them, with Chile probably legitimate by society, it is usually more dif-
without any prior pedagogical training do, having the most experience in doing so. ficult for the authorities to change them.
indeed, obtain fast results in certain subject The lessons learned pertain to very It’s a fact that, when people think that
areas, the use of such people sends a contra- specific things, the first of which is the use public- and educational-policy decisions
dictory message regarding the level of peda- of multiple instruments –including files, make sense, we have more time and leeway
gogic expertise and professionalization that videos and classroom observations– that to put them in place and develop them, and
teachers are required to possess. can take stock of, and obtain a panoramic thus make them less vulnerable to changes
It must not be forgotten that, since knowl- view of, the complexity of teaching. There imposed from outside. Also, policies become
edge about pedagogy is what imbues the are other types of evaluation that are more more important when they are backed by a
teaching profession with a sense of identity, complex and more expensive, but more ac- reform, as is the case with teacher evaluation.
it is incumbent on the State to ensure that all curate and more aligned with the ultimate We don’t just need to change the system;
its citizens acknowledge the importance the aims of the process. However, for relatively to make changes in the Professional Teach-
said profession, paying special attention to big education systems such as the Mexican ing Service, it must be clearly understood
the two important aspects of know-how and and Peruvian ones, these systems are too that it’s a matter of changing how teachers
professionalism. The former of these pertains complex and costly. conceive of their job, because the policies
to the technical expertise that teachers should Some other experiences have been in might be modified. Therefore, public accep-
acquire in order to be accepted by their fellow countries that have compiled basic perfor- tance and clarity job-wise are the things that
experts, while the second has to with the so- mance standards, either in the form of frame- should help us to render the policies ongo-
cial status of the teaching profession and the works, as in the case of Chile and Peru, or of ing, as well as making us aware of the chal-
need for teachers to assume responsibility profiles, standards and norms, as in the case lenges we face in our efforts to consolidate
for the results that they produce. Finally, ac- of Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia. These education and teacher training in Mexico
knowledgement of the professional status of systems constitute great progress, since all and other Latin American countries”.
teachers is also linked to working conditions, effective evaluation is based on the setting of
healthcare, security, support for those work- standards and performance criteria”. Interview by Lizbeth Torres Alvarado
ing in problematic or remote areas, etc.
How can we ensure that evaluation
What can Mexico learn from the is ongoing?
experiences of other Latin American Based on his experience as coordinator of The web address of the Instituto de Estu-
countries? the research component of the Regional dios Peruanos is:
Most of the experiences of teacher evalua- Program for the Formulation of Policies for
tion in Latin American countries are rela- the Teaching Profession of the unesco of-


Educational evaluation College in Bogota; university teacher. Mer-
celena Hernández Sierra (MHS): Bachelor’s
as seen by teachers in Degree in Mathematics; specialist in Applied
Mexico, Colombia and Mathematics; Master’s Degree in Education;
19 years’ experience as an elementary-, sec-
Argentina ondary- and university-level teacher.

Various Latin American countries María Silvia Vacchieri Mecchia (MSVM):
have implemented educational a teacher of Biology and Geography with
reforms that have adopted evaluation 27 years’ experience as a secondary-school
as a strategy for improving teacher teacher.
performance and increasing
I. Teacher training in each of the
professionalization so as to help
improve education. Below, we
present the viewpoints of seven Question: Has your teaching been
Latin American teachers in order to evaluated? Answers:
promote more constructive discussion
about this topic. Mexico:
RRCB: Yes, in my teacher-training examina-
tion and by the principal of my school during
The interviewees the school year. When the Educational Re-
form began, I voluntarily took the examina-
Mexico: tion in order to be certified as an evaluator.
Reyes Ricardo Campuzano (RRCB): Bach- AHJ: I took a competitive examination when
elor’s Degree in Primary Education; 10 years I graduated from teacher-training college.
as a third-grade teacher; deputy academic Career teachers had to take examinations
director; promotor of information and com- in order to get pay increases. Now, there’s a
munications technologies and reading. Ar- performance evaluation and an examination
nulfo Hernández Jiménez (AHJ): retired leading to certification as an evaluator.
teacher from the State of Morelos, with 32 OFC: Yes, I was in the first group of teach-
years’ experience as a teacher and principal in ers to be evaluated in 2015, and I got an “out-
elementary schools; certified evaluator since standing” grade.
2015. Olimpia Fernández Castillo (OFC):
Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Mas- Colombia:
ter’s Degree in Education; 16 years’ as a sec- QASR: Yes, teachers have had to be evalu-
ondary-school teacher in the State of Mexico; ated since the 1994 General Education Law
certified inee evaluator. passed in this year, and they can sit on com-
mittees that evaluate other teachers.
Colombia: JMR: There are two types of teacher in my
Quira Alejandra Sanabria Rojas (QASR): country: those governed by Decree 2277, issued Question: What does the evaluation
Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry; Master’s De- in 1979, who aren’t subject to evaluation, and process consist of in your country?
gree in the Teaching of Chemistry; specialist those governed by Decree 1278, issued in 2002, Answers:
in Teaching at the University Level; candidate which, among other things, mandates evalua-
for Ph.D. in Education; 20 years’ experience tion. Having been hired under the latter statute México:
in primary and secondary education, initial in 2005, I’ve been evaluated for the last 12 years. RRCB: The model covers group diagnosis,
and ongoing teacher training. Javier Mauri- MHS: Yes, between 2010 and 2014 I under- the external context and the sociocultural
cio Ruiz (JMR): Master’s Degree in the Vi- went two competency evaluations, passing aspects of the community, didactic planning,
sual Arts; postgraduate studies in Teaching both of them. evidence and analysis.
at the University Level and the Management AHJ: It consists of three instruments that are
of Educational Projects; Master’s Degree in Argentina: administered either face to face or online – a
the Educational Sciences and Ph.D. in Law; MSVM: No, in Neuquén, the province where questionnaire answered by the school princi-
President of the Guillermo León Valencia I work, we’ve never been evaluated. pal and the teacher about their execution of
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

the tasks pertaining to their position, a proj- Mexico: erates specific information that enables the
ect grading the planning and implementation RRCB: It was more complicated before be- evaluator to assign a grade for performance
of lessons and reflection on the said project, cause the assessment was subjective. Howev- and provide the evaluee with an individual-
and, finally, an examination testing knowl- er, a case study and an examination focusing ized report on the results.
edge of syllabus contents. on competencies were used to certify evalua- QASR: The areas that need to be improved
OFC: The evaluation consists of three stages: tors, and I liked that. or changed can’t continue being expressed in
(1) a report on the fulfillment of professional AHJ: I have mixed feelings. I was a mem- general terms, above all if the evaluation con-
responsibilities, (2) a teaching project, and ber of the first generation of teachers to be tinues to be a blend of the qualitative and the
(3) an examination covering knowledge of evaluated and there was no course to help us, quantitative. All qualitative judgments trans-
course and curriculum contents. added to which there were problems with the late into quantitative judgments that become
platform. Looking back, my problems were criteria for exclusion.
Colombia: political and organizational ones, but now I JMR: I think that all of us who are teachers or
QASR: The 1991 Founding Charter man- have a positive view of teacher evaluation. school principals should engage in the three
dates respect for scholastic autonomy, mean- OFC: My experience has been a pleasant one. processes of self-evaluation, peer evaluation
ing that there is no uniformity, though, with As an evaluator, I’ve seen the process very and evaluation of others. All teacher evalua-
regard to teaching, it mandates the planning close up and appreciate the effort that teach- tion is imposed from outside.
of aims and deadlines for their achievement, ers make. I’ve seen the products, the different MHS: The focus of diagnostic-formative
the effective use of resources, punctuality, types of student, contexts, ways of evaluat- evaluation is qualitative and it takes the con-
strategy design, feedback on the evaluation of ing and intervention strategies, and also the text into account, replacing the model that
students, teachers and managerial staff, and teachers’ dedication. only took stock of theoretical variables.
JMR: You’re evaluated from the moment Colombia: Argentina:
you join the teaching profession, via a com- QASR: I’ve been evaluated in both private MSVM: The transparent way that the Neu-
petitive merit-based examination that tests and government schools. The first time, I was quén Provincial Education Board operates
knowledge (which can be taken by teachers evaluated in accordance with the iso 9000 is very interesting. We’d need to evaluate
from any area) and an examination that cov- standard for private schools, where improve- teaching practices and subject knowledge at
ers job and personal skills. There’s an annual ments can be more easily seen. regular intervals, because academic levels are
evaluation, and, if you fail to get a minimum JMR: Evaluation is a strategy and its instru- dropping.
of 60% on it two years running, you can be ments are tools for fostering policy discus-
dismissed. sions. This merit-based model is a response Question: As a teacher, what do you
MHS: Each decree contains regulations to the globalization of education: evaluation expect of evaluation? Answers:
governing promotion. The classification for becomes a tool for subjugating people to
Decree 1278 stipulates three grades, each neoliberal-type policies in the medium term. México:
of which consists of four salary levels. The It depends on who evaluates, what the inter- RRCB: I expect it to reflect on teaching prac-
problem is that salary increases are subject to personal relationships are, and if the teacher tices, since the aim is to achieve improve-
funding limits. For example, if 20,000 teach- has reached a prior agreement with his/her ment from the inside.
ers apply and there’s only enough money to superior. AHJ: I expect the results to provide me
promote 1,000 of them, then only 1,000 of MHS: In the evaluations that I failed, I asked with some guidelines in order to find out
the candidates get salary increases, although for an explanation of the result, but they just what my strengths are and which things
many more have passed the test. Thus, evalu- mentioned a numerical score without pro- I need to correct, as well as encouraging
ation, which is depicted to society as measur- viding any feedback to improve my teaching. me to change my teaching practices. The
ing quality, really depends on whether or not feedback should serve to enrich my ac-
funds are available. Question: Do you think the way teachers tivities in the classroom, and the training
are evaluated is relevant? Which aspects courses should be forums for analysis and
Argentina: would you improve? Answers: reflection that equip me with theoretical,
MSVM: Teachers’ meetings are held in Neu- methodological and didactic tools to im-
quén once or twice a week for the purpose of Mexico: prove my performance in the classroom.
filling a post. The teachers have to enroll in RRCB: It’s relevant because it stresses two I’ve been disappointed by the feedback that
June and the Evaluating Council of the Pro- types of evaluation – formative and summa- we get after being evaluated, since it’s been
vincial Education Board evaluates their doc- tive. very general.
uments, awarding the position to the teacher AHJ: Generally, I focus on the activities that OFC: I expect to receive better training, but,
who has most points. I need to pay attention to in order to pass the due to the limitations of the process, this ex-
evaluation, but, once I’ve passed it, I go on pectation hasn’t been fulfilled. The results
II. Experiences of evaluation teaching the same way I did before. I think have only had an impact on those teachers
it’s a good thing that the process has changed. who have received salary increases after join-
Question: How do you see teacher OFC: I think the way teachers are evaluated ing the Program for Incentive-based Promo-
evaluation? Answers: is appropriate. Each stage of the process gen- tion at Post.

Colombia: the social and family context, the student’s Argentina:
QASR: I would expect my dignity to be safe- people skills, etc. MSVM: If we get evaluated, I’d like the re-
guarded and abuse of power and workplace sults to reflect shortfalls and needs and sup-
harassment to be reduced, as well as having Argentina: port our country’s education. We need com-
a better chance to pass. There are regulations MSVM: The few evaluations that have been pulsory training in methods and contents.
governing these things, but discrimination carried out in Argentina haven’t helped to
continues to exist. rectify the situation, and our teacher train- Question: Has evaluation led to
JMR: I expect it to provide me with feedback ing is very weak. It’s important that families improvements in the education system?
for improvement, since, having to provide become more committed, but one also has Answers:
evidence of my performance, I evaluate my- to take into account the geographical, social
self continuously. and cultural contexts in which our schools Mexico:
MHS: I expect it to determine whether operate. AHJ: There’s been gradual improvement:
there’s a scenario that fosters learning. Ac- they’ve started to draw up guidelines for
cording to the Ministry of Education, one of Question: How should evaluation be teachers that enable us to identify the areas
the purposes is to provide feedback used and for what? Answers: where we need to improve.
OFC: There’s been an important change in
Argentina: Mexico: the way we teach. Evaluation seeks to opti-
MSVM: In Neuquén, we’ve had online train- RRCB: Evaluation results are used to im- mize performance.
ing courses. The problem is that the tutors prove teaching – for example, to set up cours-
we get after these courses aren’t qualified es. However, one thing we need to improve is Colombia:
enough. the feedback given to teachers, so that their QASR: There’s evidence pointing to im-
teaching gets better. provements in the management of resources.
III. The impact of evaluation AHJ: We need evaluation in order to get to People have a better understanding of the is-
know the situation and detect problems, but sues and it can be affirmed that the education
Question: Do you think that evaluations there’s no sense in carrying it out if no subse- system has also improved.
are useful ways of making good on quent changes are made. JMR: Evaluation is a key to control, which is
the right to high-quality education? OFC: The information helps us to make deci- one of the factors that determines what kind
Answers: sions aimed at improving teaching strategies of citizens we want to produce, above all in
and achieving the desired learning outcomes a country with freedom of expression and a
México: in the areas of Language and Communica- mixed education system composed of pri-
RRCB: They’re definitely a good way to start tion, Mathematics and Science, since it en- vate, public and licensed institutions.
changing things, ranging from teachers’ atti- ables us to ascertain what the status quo is, MHS: Evaluation should be an ongoing, cu-
tudes to classroom practices. what progress has been made, and which mulative process – something inherent in,
AHJ: Yes, as long as we make them formative. things need to be improved. and parallel to, teaching. Done in isolation, it
We can’t generalize. isn’t effective.
OFC: Yes. The results provide us with use- Colombia:
ful, timely information about student learn- QASR: Each evaluation needs to provide in- Argentina:
ing outcomes and the state of our schools, formation about the kinds of evidence that MSVM: There’s a very serious clash between
enabling the government to plot paths for exist regarding the achievement of goals. the unions, the teachers and the government
formulating policy and raising the level of Not only does one note that people now authorities in every province in my country.
education in our country. understand this procedure better, but also The basic demand is for salary increases,
that physical and human resources are being since it’s believed that high salaries will lead
Colombia: managed more effectively, and that there’s to improvements in education – something
QASR: The problem when it comes to seek- a better understanding of the obligation to that I personally don’t believe will happen,
ing high-quality education is still one of in- provide high-quality services to students and since this confrontation prevents quality
vestment versus results. High quality is de- their parents. from being raised and hampers the imple-
fined in terms of more financial resources JMR: A few days ago, I was thinking about mentation of evaluations.
and a better infrastructure, but the value of how wonderful the job I do is, though it’s the
the individual is almost never mentioned. last link in the educational chain. In order to The Gazette thanks Cecilia Mariel Bossi,
JMR: I don’t think evaluation per se raises provide high-quality education, we need a Jersson Arnulfo Guerrero Nova and Ale-
the quality of education; however, I do be- coherent, harmonious system that conceives jandro Gamboa Juárez, from the inee’s
lieve that it’s a powerful instrument that may of education as a national heritage. That’s Unit for Normativity and Educational
or may not be used to achieve improvement what evaluation needs to help us to achieve. Policy, for their help in setting up the in-
depending on who wields it. MHS: Evaluation is a space for feedback and terviews transcribed above.
MHS: Evaluation should lead to improved one of the most effective tools for fostering
teaching practices, but student performance learning. Therefore, it should focus on stu-
is associated with several things, including dents and on the learning process.
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico


Territory: functionally level. Cartographic renderings –i.e. simple
maps marked with educational- planning
structured evaluations yardsticks for the purpose of policymak-
for innovation based ing– were produced. As the years went by,
the outlines took shape and the mapping
on the 2016-2020 continued in the Arturo Rosenblueth Pro-
cessing Center, where the system was rede-
Mid-term Plan of the signed to function at the local level.
National System for the “When we did this work in 1975,” Reyes
Guerrero went on, “it was very innovative.
Evaluation of Education The Canadian specialists said it was the first
time they’d seen a geographic-information
system that really worked. After all these
María del Carmen Reyes and years, it seems to me to be crucial for ed-
Enrique Muñoz Goncen, specialists ucation, in which it’s important to know
in Geographic and Geometric where the learning is occurring – at home,
Information Systems, explain how in school, in a museum or elsewhere. Now
educational policy can be evaluated we’re more focused on the school, because
that’s where systematic learning takes place,
based on geographic and territorial
but the latter process should be studied in
considerations with reference to the terms of territory, being understood to ex-
32 State-level Mid-term Programs tend beyond the physical geography that is
for the Evaluation and Improvement taught in the classroom – the location of
of Education (Spanish acronym: volcanoes and rivers and the names of the
peemes) different states. Modern geography goes be-
yond that. For example, we’ve paid a lot of
attention to where and how built-up spaces
appear, how they are organized and how

“W e were accustomed to talking about
territory, for example in maps,
without being explicit,” says María del Car-
all sorts of social, cultural, physical and po-
litical phenomena are expressed in them,
including, of course, the learning environ-
men Reyes Guerrero, Head of the Unit for ment, since it is this where, this spatial di- cognitive framework immediately moves
Divulging and Fostering an Evaluation Cul- mension, that characterizes modern geog- there, and they’re aware, albeit not explicitly,
ture of the National Institute for the Evalua- raphy. Of course, space can be expressed in that going to San Cristobal de las Casas isn’t
tion of Education (Spanish acronym: inee). very different ways – via narratives, videos, the same as going to Monterrey. Insofar as we
“One of my lines of research is cybercartog- photographs, images or maps that include manifest it via maps, this process becomes a
raphy, a paradigm change that sets out to epistemological models”. communication tool, since visual communi-
switch from traditional maps to more com- Reyes Guerrero describes how the afore- cation is something central”.
plex ones that enable space to be communi- said tools can form part of public-policy de- Explaining that this process also serves
cated much more effectively. At this point, it sign in areas such as communications: to analyze and model space, Reyes Guerrero
bears pointing out that one of the topics in “Territory is narratively communicated talks about educational flows:
which the inee is interested is context, since via technology. Many people use Waze, “There are primary schools, and people
all schools operate in a specific context”. Google Maps or some other resource in order graduate from them. Where can I best lo-
Reyes Guerrero first broached this is- to do this. In Mexico, technology has helped cate a secondary school so that it can deal
sue in the Mexican Ministry of Education us to bring space nearer to people. Before, with this flow of students graduating from
(Spanish acronym: sep) in the 1970’s, when this was done implicitly, but now it’s done ex- the primary school? If families or educa-
she faced the challenge of creating the first plicitly. You were told how to get from your tion officials say that they need a secondary
system in the world that would enable the house to your workplace, using descriptions school in such and such a place, how do you
said Ministry to understand where educa- of specific landmarks such as shops or build- give them an affirmative or negative answer?
tion and the evaluation thereof were tak- ings, but now you can actually see the said You need to have analytical tools, which are
ing place. At that time, this pioneering sys- landmarks, sometimes in the form of satel- also a basic part of the educational process”.
tem operated at the municipal level, since lite images or computer maps. People think She goes into more detail about the es-
no suitable technology existed at the local about it. When you say “Chihuahua”, people’s sential role played by “where”:

Evaluation and society
– one of uses and practices pertaining to the
appropriation of technologies, as well as in
the areas of teaching and learning.
For his part, Enrique Muñoz, who has
accumulated 15 years of experience in ap-
plying geomatics to the formulation of
Theoretical public policy and in providing consultancy
aspects about territorial analysis, talks about the dif-
ferent aspects of territory:
“The idea of territory per se has to do
• Epistemological model
with the spatial and temporal dimensions,
Key aspects • Communication models Key which are coherent in every way. When we
of management • Methodologies conceptual talk about territory, we’re also talking about
aspects time, since the latter comprehends a history
Strategic projects that has been meaningful in different peri-
ods, informed different educational policies,
• Data governance • sire and taken different shapes. Likewise, public
• Knowledge-and-innovation-management • Analysis and modeling policy behaves differently over time and is
models • Divulgation of the use of results
based on many factors that change with the
years. The challenge is to make it explicit
and collaborate in its formulation.
“If I were to ask you, for example, some polling districts, with all the political parties First, we have to make a joint working
questions about social wellbeing and health, agreeing. In education, public-policy design plan pertaining to the pmp snee overall, and
such as “Which hospital is nearest to you?”, must, perforce, take stock of territory. Of then a plan pertaining to each of the people
you’ll always focus on where, and the same course, you can think in an abstract manner who are designing public policy at the state
thing applies when you’re asked where and just focus on the school, but when you level. We have to foster conversations that
you’re going to live and where you’re going get to the policymaking stage, you have to will enable us, for example, to talk about the
to work. The new focus on schools in the look at the territory, since we talk abstractly educational shortfalls detected in each state
Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian countries about regions that we haven’t seen in black and about who will be responsible for build-
provides us with lots of tools to answer these and white. ing bridges”.
questions more systematically. An emphasis Reyes Guerrero goes on to explain how Carmen, who holds a Ph.D. in Geo-
on territory enables different epistemologi- to look the educational territory of Mexico graphical Information Systems from Simon
cal approaches to converge. In terms of ac- in the context of the 2016-2020 Mid-term Fraser University in Canada, points out that
tion and public policy, a map enables you Program of the National System for the a plan also needs to be made pertaining to
to see where there is an impact. Territory Evaluation of Education (Spanish acronym: each of the people charged with public-poli-
becomes a shared place where everything pmp snee): cy design at the federal level, stating that, in
can come together at both the empirical and “It isn’t an easy task. There has to be order to go from theory to practice when de-
theoretical levels. a natural convergence between what we signing programs, we need to be clear about
know, the existing on-the-ground experi- the information that the implementers in
Focusing one’s gaze in order to make ences, and the epistemological framework. the different states need. She explains:
decisions We’ve designed a methodology to achieve “First, we have to work with the people
Reyes Guerrero, who received the Samuel this – a response to our need to get to know at the inee who developed the model and
Gill Gamble Award for Cartography in 1993, each other and develop a shared language methodology for creating the peeme’s. We
explains how maps are used in public poli- based on our epistemological models, to would need to interweave the different
cymaking: begin to build bridges so that we can create methodologies. Since most people have
“The first thing you do is make an inven- so-called roadmaps that will be meaningful formed a cognitive construct for the no-
tory, modelling risks and other things. This to the public policymakers in the different tion of space, they can set up workshops
has been done for a long time in the petro- states. It’s a collaborative-knowledge con- and start to hold discussions. When groups
leum industry, and now it’s used in the elec- struct that plays a key role in ensuring that talk about the design of a policy and create a
toral system. For example, in the early 1980’s evaluation feeds into public-policy design, map, their members get to know each other
I played a part in redistributing electoral the classroom, and either the school itself or and start to get together and reflect on the
districts, using spatial and territorial analy- the school zones, using different scales and things that are pertinent. It’s a matter of in-
sis to demarcate the said districts. After I features. However, it’s an essentially meth- cluding spatial features, but in a very natural
explained that the modern way of doing this odological process. There’s a spatial corre- way, without holding big conferences about
was by using mathematical models and data lation among a lot of the phenomena that theoretical issues. More analytical thinking
systems, the Mexican Congress unanimous- we’re observing in the education process, can be fostered as a basis for empirical work.
ly voted to use spatial analysis to redistribute along with a transference of a cultural type This can happen with the peeme and with
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

1. What is educational
evaluation and what

does it consist of? Who
is it useful for? How is it 2. Everybody involved in
used? Am I a part of it? education —students,
teachers, parents, school
principals, education

and society
authorities, researchers,
decision makers— is

Analysis Communication M
and P
Statistics G modeling C 6. A State that guarantees high-quality
R T education. The evaluation process ends

Evaluations A with the drawing up of guidelines, direc-
tives and state-level programs for the
T evaluation and improvement of education
I (Spanish acronym: peemes), and also with
O the formulation of educational policies
that actually lead to improvements in
N one or more areas of Mexico’s education
3. The stories told by eval-
uation. The benchmarks,
statistics and analyses 5. Talking leads to understanding. The informa-
that stem from evaluations tion yielded by evaluation should be discussed
tell us about the equity, 4. Evaluating for improvement. Evalu-
continuance and quality Knowledge ation results only constitute an oppor- and divulged to other players. Based on the
of the education that we and tunity for change is they are used to said information, pertinent actions are taken
provide. These things are innovation. produce knowledge and frameworks
for innovation in educational policy.
that result in improvement.
not just numbers; they are
our stories. The Gazette wishes to thank Carmen Reyes, the head of the
inee’s Unit for Information and the Promotion of Evaluation, for
the illustration in this section. Illustrator: Alan Jiménez.

the guidelines issued by the inee, among the analysis shows that a school that’s 200 of the country do you think will have the
other things”. meters away, after crossing five zones, highest lag levels in ten years?’, and take de-
Enrique, who has carried out research belongs to Zone 1. The criterion of func- cisions based on everybody’s experience and
into Geomatics and Public Policy at the Re- tionality or spatial adjacency is violated. knowledge”.
search Center of the National Council for The zoning depends more on labelling by “This is fabulous when it comes to pub-
Science and Technology (Spanish acronym: the authority that administers the school in lic policy,” says Enrique. “We did something
conacyt), chips in: question than on boundaries established very similar for the Regional Development
“Sometimes, when thinking about in- in accordance with an administrative ju- Unit of the Ministry of Social Development
frastructure and public policy, conflicts can risdiction or political division. People are (Spanish abbreviation: Sedesol), which
arise – for example, if I need to talk about aware of the school-zone map, but they previously pertained to the Office of the
building a school, but I’m not allowed to don’t see it as an instrument for assigning President. Representatives of each of the
bring the topic up during a discussion. In territory. The people involved have to reach different government ministries were asked
this case, during the territorial analysis for an agreement to the effect that a given zone to attend and define their strategic projects
the purpose of implementing the guidelines, begins one street further on”. up to 2020. Though no solution was forth-
aspects or issues will come up that were not Carmen comments: “It’s a matter of coming because there were conflicts of
considered during the design phase. In the discussing how to divide the country into interest, each of the participants was able
case of the pmp snee, a system is already regions based on a map, for example. Each to find out what the priorities of the other
contemplated – a territorial-management person expresses his/her opinion, and then ones were”.
platform that implies explicit regionaliza- modifies it after listening to other experts, “Furthermore,” says Carmen, “today cy-
tion for purposes of educational evaluation”. until a consensus is reached about a spatial bercartography can make use of technology,
With regard to considering political fac- feature. Territory can be conceived of as a music, videos and narratives. It introduces
tors pertaining to the spatial dimension, as linguistic, demographic or environmen- you into the territory. People enter this re-
happens with school zones, Enrique explains: tal dimension depending on each person’s ality and begin to build with you. It’s very
“It’s very curious, because they tell you particular scenario. You can ask questions interesting, because, in this new paradigm,
that a given school belongs to Zone 2, but about educational lag, such as ‘Which part you can include narratives in which space is

somehow included. They call this ‘storytell- ROADMAP
ing’ in English, but, for us, it’s spatial nar-
“It isn’t just a matter of always having
a map in front of you,” Says Carmen, “but
Guidelines: a way
also of the spatial expressions that evoke the of using evaluation
place without you needing to look at a po-
litical boundary that is sometimes a tedious
and boring division. You’re sharing the terri- In accordance with its constitutional
tory. When I look at the box containing the mandate, the National Institute for
peemes for example, I think ‘How impres- the Evaluation of Education (Spanish
sive all the complexity in these documents acronym: inee) uses the evidence
is!’ They seem like doorways to the reali- yielded by evaluation to draw up
ties of each of the 32 states”. Enrique adds:
guidelines that increase the quality
“Reading the one pertaining to Tamaulipas,
I get the feeling that I’m in that state. I’m ap-
and equity of educational services in
proaching that territory and perceiving all Mexico. In the interview transcribed
the complexities that its inhabitants have below, Francisco Miranda López,
to deal with, so how can I take stock of the the head of the inee’s Unit for
said complexities in order to make its peeme Educational Normativity and Policy,
more robust?” describes the actions that have been
Enrique’s question leads, perforce, to taken with regard to guidelines in the
the other question of how one uses this different states.
knowledge to strengthen public policy. Car-
men Reyes, who has spent over forty years
working in different areas of spatial analysis,
geomatics and the geographic-information
sciences, answers: “Looking at the issue
of unity and a little bit beyond it, we have
W hile there is a close link between
evaluation and educational improve-
ment, the former serves no purpose per se
benchmarks, statistics and evaluations. unless it enables us to tackle educational
Clearly there’s a very complex process of problems, helps us to identify educational
inclusion. You have to analyze and model. shortfalls, and improves the performance of
This will yield knowledge and innovation, those involved in education. The National
enabling you to have the kind of impact on Institute for the Evaluation of Education
the guidelines, and on public policy, that (Spanish acronym: inee) bases all its actions
we are witnessing, since it’s via knowledge on the aforesaid premise and seeks, from
and innovation that dialogue with politi- the very outset, to promote the use of all the
cal protagonists is achieved, given that the evaluations that it designs and/or carries out
epistemological models have to be inter- in order to improve the results of the Na-
connected. That’s why research, knowledge tional Education System (Spanish acronym:
management within the institution and in- sen) in the areas of pre-school, primary,
novation are so necessary in order to achieve lower-secondary and upper-secondary edu-
an impact. There also needs to be a subse- cation.
quent communication process. Knowledge In this way, it uses the said evaluations to
and innovation can become the institution’s ascertain the state of the different aspects of
driving force”. education and, in order to improve the lat-
ter, makes recommendations to the federal
Interview by Laura Athié and local education authorities in the form
of guidelines. Below, we briefly describe the
You can find out more about the 2016- said process.
2020 Mid-term Program of the National
System for the Evaluation of Education
The legal foundations
pnee-peeme Several statutes empower the inee to issue
guidelines. First, Clause C of Section IX of
Integral System of Evaluation Results: Article 3 of the Mexican Constitution man- dates that it:
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

…produce and disseminate information Guidelines published so far
and, based on the latter, issue guidelines Educational evaluation is used to: The documents published to date are:
that help to inform decisions aimed at rais- a) raise awareness about the prob-
ing the quality, and increasing the equity, lems faced by education. 1. Guidelines for improving the initial
of education as an essential part of the ef- b) encourage educators and the rest training of elementary-level teachers
fort to achieve social equality. of society to discuss education (2015).
and take part in improving it. 2. Guidelines for improving the education
For its part, Section XII of Article 12 c) foster responsibility, transpar- of the children and youths of both sexes
of the General Law Governing Education ency and accountability. of migrant day laborers (2016).
(Spanish acronym: lge) states that the d) guide public-policy design. 3. Guidelines for improving the education
federal education authorities must heed e) highlight the challenges faced by of indigenous children and adolescents of
the guidelines issued by the inee when education and the possible ways both sexes (2017).
“carry[ing] out educational planning and of tackling them.
programming, in addition to which Article f) improve the management of The following documents are pending
15 of the Law Governing the National Insti- educational institutions and pro- publication:
tute for the Evaluation of Education (Span- grams. 1. Guidelines for increasing continuance at
ish acronym: linee) stipulates that “the g) make innovations to teaching the upper-secondary level.
education authorities, within their sphere of practices. 2. Guidelines for improving policies per-
competence, shall heed the guidelines”. h) provide citizens with a tool that taining to teacher training and develop-
enables them to make good on ment.
The proposals their right to education.
Among other things, the inee has focused i) help parents/guardians to sup- Each of the above documents contains
on setting forth different proposals aimed port and reinforce the learning recommendations for solving the educa-
at making good on the right to education, of their children/wards. tional problems detected during the cre-
stipulating that the inee must make “pro- j) generate new knowledge. ation stage, which are aimed at addressing
posals and recommendations aimed at guid- concrete problems with precise proposals.
ing government actions and increasing the Source: inee (2017). Pautas para el Finally, in order to ensure that the target
quality and equity of the education provided acompañamiento de los Programas results are achieved after implementing the
to Mexican children and youths of both sex- Estatales de Evaluación y Mejora Edu- guidelines, the inee provides support for
es” (inee, 2017). cativa. Mexico: inee, p. 15. implementing the recommendations and
It should be stressed that the guidelines follows up on the education authorities’ re-
focus not only on educational coverage (in sponses.
terms of access), but also on continuance in
school and educational achievement, equity 1. Creation – i.e. formulation of the pro- Case study: Guidelines for improving
and high quality. posed guidelines based on the inee’s the education of indigenous children
The validity of the said guidelines is conceptual framework. and youths of both sexes
rooted in: 2. Issuance – i.e. publication of the guide- Since the cycle pertaining to the drawing up
lines by the inee. and dissemination of the guidelines does not
1. the evidence provided by evaluations 3. Divulgation – i.e. notification to the end until the target improvements to edu-
and educational research. education authorities of the guidelines cation are achieved, the aforesaid decisions
2. other tried and trusted knowledge on drawn up by the inee via formal mecha- need to be taken on board by those involved
the subject. nisms and an official letter. in education, and implemented to suit each
3. analysis of government actions. 4. Response – i.e. approval or rejection of specific context.
the guidelines in question by the educa- The Guidelines for Improving the Edu-
Hence, the guidelines stem from analy- tion authorities, which, in accordance cation of Indigenous Children and Youths of
sis of, and discussion about, what is desir- with Article 51 of the linee, must pub- Both Sexes are a good example of how we
able vs. what is feasible, in which educators lish their response within 60 calendar identify improvements in five steps:
and members of society play an active part. days.
This is important since, though we might 5. Implementation – i.e. proposal and im- Step 1, pertaining to the creation of the
have good intentions when it comes to im- plementation of a working plan by the guidelines for improving the education
proving education after analyzing the needs, education authorities. of indigenous children and youths of
feasibility should be the main criterion when 6. Follow-up – i.e. inee support for the both sexes, comprises the following five
issuing guidelines (See Fig. 1). implementation of the plan. stages:
Thus, the guidelines issued by the inee 7. Updating – i.e. improvement or adjust- • Carrying out of the Free Prior Informed
follow a cycle in the following six stages of ment of the guidelines by the inee de- Consultation with the Indigenous Peo-
which the education authorities play a role: pending on the results achieved when ples and Communities about Education-
implementing them. al Evaluation in 49 communities, and the

Fig. 1. Methodology for the creation of guidelines

1. 2. Systematization and 4.
Identification of the Public-policy analysis of research and Evaluation of
problem mapping educational-evaluation educational policy

7. 6. 5.
Documentation of Drafting of first Dissemination of
Budget analysis
good practices proposal the proposal

9. Adjustment and
Issuance and
Feasibility analysis approval of the

divulgation of the latter’s results to 170 and members of the National Council for 4. ensuring the provision of professional
communities and their teachers. the Promotion of Education, as well as teacher development that satisfies the
• Review of the results of the National Plan academics and representatives of ngo’s. needs of teachers and school principals,
for the Evaluation of Learning Outcomes as well as according with the educational
and Basic Teaching-Learning Condi- Step 2. Issuance of guidelines needs of indigenous children and mak-
tions, and also of the Study of the Poli- Six guidelines were issued for the purpose ing good on their right to pertinent,
cies Pertaining to the Curriculum Aimed of guaranteeing the right to high-quality high-quality education.
at Indigenous Communities and to the linguistically and culturally pertinent educa- 5. ensuring the availability of schools with
Overview of Indigenous Education. tion with a focus on diversity and inclusion, the infrastructure and equipment need-
• Adoption of good teaching practices and being respectively aimed at: ed to satisfy the needs of indigenous
analysis of the results and recommen- communities.
dations pertaining to 109 federal pro- 1. strengthening the focus on inclusion, eq- 6. promoting ongoing innovation in the ed-
grams, carried out in order to improve uity and non-discrimination in national ucation provided to indigenous children
the teaching of indigenous children and education policy while emphasizing ed- and youths of both sexes.
youths of both sexes. ucation for — and participation by— the
• Evaluation of the educational policies indigenous population. Among other things, the above guide-
aimed at the elementary-level indig- 2. fortifying links between the school and lines set out to:
enous population. the community and fostering the exer- • provide more access to education, since
• Setting up of round tables with teachers, cise of the right to pertinent, high-quali- 1 out of every 5 indigenous children be-
school principals and supervisors from ty education by the indigenous peoples. tween the ages of 3 and 17 does not at-
the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Yuca- 3. creating a curricular model that fosters tend school.
tán, Chihuahua, Morelos, Veracruz and interculturality in all compulsory educa- • improve the education provided to 7.3
Puebla. tion and ensure that such education is million indigenous children and youths
• Consultation with officials from the Un- culturally and linguistically relevant to of both sexes and ensure that they
dersecretariat of Elementary Education the indigenous population in question. achieve learning outcomes that enable
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

Fig. 2. Responses and working plans of the different states

Positive response
Positive response and working plan
No response

Source: General Department of Guidelines for Educational Improvement.

them to improve the quality of their • ensuring that the inee provides tech- • The follow-up reports on the work-
lives, since 4 out of every 5 students in nical support to the local education ing plans that were originally proposed
primary education do not achieve the authorities that enables them to put to- (See Figs. 3 and 4) attest to the specific
target levels in Language and Commu- gether local working plans. responses of the states and educational
nication or Mathematics. • developing strategies for institutional-li- regions to the Guidelines and the rec-
• ensure that all Mexican children and aison among the ministries of education, ommendations for improvement made
youths receive the educational services members of the legislative branches, and in them.
of the same quality, and that indigenous other pertinent members of society in
children and youths receive culturally the different states. Step 5. Review of the main actions
appropriate bilingual education, since taken in the different states
over 50% of the teachers who work in in- Step 4. Follow-up to support the • The budget devoted to the provision of
digenous primary schools do not speak guidelines. educational services to the indigenous
any indigenous language. • The systematic gathering of informa- population was increased by adjusting
• promote an educational model with an tion reveals that, 11 months after the the aims and actions set forth in the An-
intercultural focus that promotes non- guidelines were issued, there has been a nual Operating Programs.
discrimination and a renewed apprecia- positive response on the part of the fed- • Social Auditing Committees were
tion of our country’s cultural riches. eral education authority and the 32 local formed to ensure that resources are used
education authorities in the 32 states, properly.
Step 3. Promoting the dissemination in addition to which 27 of the latter and • The school-control systems were im-
and adoption of the guidelines by: the General Office for the Coordination proved so as to more precisely identify
• sending them to the federal and local edu- of Intercultural and Bilingual Education indigenous children.
cation authorities and other relevant play- have put together working plans (See • Agreements were celebrated with uni-
ers, and familiarizing people with them. Fig. 2). versities and the National Institute of In-

Fig. 3: Most heeded Guidelines by educational region

Guideline 4
South-southwest: Campeche, Chiapas,
Gerrero, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo,
Tabasco, Veracruz, Yucatán.

Guideline 4
West: Aguascalientes, Colima,
Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán,
Nayarit, Querétaro, Zacatecas.

Guideline 4
Northwest: Baja California, Baja
California Sur, Chihuahua, Sinaloa,

Guideline 1
Northeast: Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo
León, San Luis Potosí, Tamaulipas.

Guideline 4
Central: Ciudad de México,
Estado de México, Hidalgo,
Morelos, Puebla, Tlaxcala.

Source: General Department of Guidelines for Educational Improvement.

digenous Languages (Spanish acronym: In this way, the Guidelines have been in- Federal and state-level congresses
Inali) in order to improve the teaching cluded in the state plans and programs and and the ngo’s.
of indigenous languages. are becoming one of the most innovative 4. Strengthen dissemination mechanisms
• The range of ongoing training courses public-policy tools for guiding or modifying and promote greater use of the Guide-
for teachers of indigenous children and the decisions taken at the different levels of lines, as well as follow up and updating.
youths of both sexes was broadened to the sen. 5. Forge a stronger link between the Guide-
include: lines and government policymaking.
• courses and workshops for training, The challenges
updating, sensitizing and profes- While it is a fact that the adoption of the References
sionalizing teachers. Guidelines issued by the inee has led to inee (2017). Guidelines for supporting the state-
• training courses on the creation and progress, nevertheless flaws have been de- level Evaluation and Educational-improve-
use of specialized teaching materi- tected and we still need to: ment Programs. Mexico: inee.
als. 1. forge a stronger link between evaluation
• academic-reinforcement tutorials in and improvement for the purpose of de-
schools. signing and implementing educational The reader can find more information
• the active participation of the Inali policies, as part of good educational about the inee’s Guidelines for Improving
the Education of Indigenous Children and
in courses aimed at professionaliz- governance.
Youths of Both Sexes at the following mi-
ing teachers and enabling them to be 2. make the education authorities —espe- crosite:
certified. cially the federal ones— more aware of stories/2017/Gaceta7/suplementos/
the importance of the guidelines as tools PAUTAS_27_de_junio.pdf
Furthermore, various states carried out for improving educational policy.
specific actions in order to comply with one 3. involve other key players more in de-
or other of the Guidelines issued by the inee signing and implementing educational
(See Fig. 5). policies – especially the members of the
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

Fig 4. Key aspects of improvement addressed by the education authorities

Guideline Key improvement aspect with more follow-up actions by the education authorities

Fortify the actions carried out, under the different programs against ethnic, cultural and linguistic discrimination,
1 that are promoted by the Ministry of Education.

Encourage the members of the community to become involved in teaching and reflecting about their indigenous
2 language and culture.

Based on consultation with the indigenous peoples, develop a culturally relevant curriculum proposal and improve
3 institutional strategies for producing and distributing teaching materials.

Redesign ongoing training for teachers and school principals who provide education to indigenous children and
4 youths of both sexes at the different educational levels.

Ensure that basic infrastructure exists for all school services in accordance with the Mexican Norm governing
5 infrastructure quality.

Include educational innovations and good practices in the policies pertaining to the education of indigenous
6 children and youths of both sexes.

Source: General Department of Guidelines for Educational Improvement.

Fig 5. Key aspects of improvement addressed by the education authorities

Guideline Actions taken

A Department for the Coordination of Indigenous Education was set up in Baja California.
1 In Morelos, an ongoing campaign is underway for promoting the appreciation of —and non-discrimination
against— indigenous cultures, languages and world views.
In Puebla, indigenous cultures and languages are being disseminated by means of a radio program called Fuego
ancestral (ancestral fire).
Sonora is setting up meetings with Yaqui leaders in order to consult them about the creation of a syllabus in the
2 Yaqui-language.
Wixaritari parents in Jalisco are teaching students about their culture as part of a project called Literary Evenings
of Indigenous Wisdom.
A textbook called Asignatura maya (Mayan assignment) is being used in the first year of the indigenous pri-
mary-education cycle in Yucatán.
3 Veracruz bought educational software that can be contextualized and used either online or at the local level.
A Mayan library called Ch’iil ‘analte’ob has been formed in Campeche.
In Chiapas, teachers and school principals are being trained in the use and management of syllabuses in the Tseltal,
Tsotsil, Tojolabal and Chol languages in order to be able to contextualize their teaching.
4 The education authorities in Zacatecas are thinking about establishing profiles, parameters and benchmarks for
evaluating indigenous teachers
In the State of Mexico, the Instituto Mexiquense de la Infraestructura Física Educativa (State-of-Mexico Institute of
Physical Educational Infrastructure) is being asked to consider building classrooms for Initial Indigenous Education.
5 San Luis Potosí is endeavoring to guarantee that community opinions and proposals are taken into account when
building, refurbishing and equipping schools.
In Guanajuato, a Committee Specializing in Indigenous Education will form part of the State Technical Council for
6 Education.


Learning and The challenge was for education, to ef-
fectively transmit and promote the funda-
experiencing: building mental principles and values expressed in
citizenship though our Constitution as part of the aforesaid
education “The State took on the task of ensuring
that education is at the service of the rights
enshrined in the Constitution - i.e. of more
In the interview transcribed below, consistently guaranteeing the said rights.
Dr. José Bonifacio Barba, a teacher These more rigorous government actions
in the Department of Education of imply “training for citizenship” – i.e. train-
the University of Aguascalientes and ing in politics and the law such as enables
a member of the National System students at the primary, lower-secondary
and upper-secondary levels to become fa-
of Researchers and the Mexican
miliar with Mexico’s aspirations as a nation.
Counsel for Educational Research, This can be achieved if educational policy
a non-profit organization, explains adopts a humanistic and ethical focus that
why values are an important part is congruent with the Constitution insofar
of the Educational Reform and why as it obliges the government to respect and
education in citizenship and ethics is protect human rights. ln this way, in school,
crucial for creating better citizens. students will internalize the different values
that underpin each and every one of the
aforesaid rights insofar as they constitute
a philosophical and legal composite that is

I n Mexico, the teaching of values, which has
always been part of the curriculum, has gone
under different names over the years: having,
tantamount to social justice. Thus, becom-
ing critical, informed citizens who demand
that government authorities respect their
at one time, the name of “Civic Education”, but rights and allow them to play a coherent po-
since 1999, it has been called “Civic and Ethical litical role in the community. Citizens need
Training”. In the opinion of Dr. Barba, this title to know what their own and other people’s
is an improvement, since it reflects an effort rights are, and what role the said rights play
to highlight the ethical component in what is in forging their personal and civic identity,
often referred to as education for citizenship. since it is only in this way that rights also
become obligations. It is crucial that both
The values that education should foster the individual and society as a whole learn
in accordance with Article 3 of the these things, and, indeed, legal scholars use
Mexican Constitution the term ‘basic rights’ to refer to the rights
According to Dr, Barba, the Educational enshrined in the Constitution”.
Reform sprang, on the one hand, from the Barba explains that the purpose of com-
demands of a large number of ngo’s during mitting to civic and ethical training was to set
the Mexican presidential campaign of 2012, in motion a transformation aimed at ensuring
and. On the other hand, from the political that education concerns itself with democrat-
system, via the Pact for Mexico, which in- ic values in an experiential way, rather than
cluded an agreement that the State would merely presenting them as part of a political
take over the supervision of education, code. He stresses that it’s essential for students
something that implied adopting funda- to learn civic values through socialization in
mental democratic values. He says: the school, which should foster each one of
“There’s an overlap. In a way, when the the said values and explain its meaning in such
political parties included democratic values a way that, at each school level, they are seen
in the Pact for Mexico, maybe some, if not as being essential to personal and community
all, of them were heeding the demands of development. He remarks:
society that had been systematically voiced “The best way to learn values is to expe-
by the ngo’s for many years, and not just in rience them at school, complementing this
the context of the 2012 election”. experience with theoretical underpinning”.
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

What values should Mexican children “A lot of emphasis was placed on the
and youths learn and experience at need for teachers, school principals, etc.,
school? to promote and defend the Educational Re-
Barba stresses that the one value that under- form, but the government didn’t place the
pins all human rights is human dignity, cit- same stress on values. We need to pay atten-
ing the Constitution to further explain what tion to this aspect in order to ensure that the
he means: values of the Mexican Educational Reform
“The first paragraph of Article 1 of the imbue the process of teacher evaluation and
Constitution affirms that all Mexican citi- ongoing teacher training. Teachers possess
zens possess the rights set forth in the said a set of personal values stemming from their
Constitution, while the last paragraph states socialization both as citizens and as profes-
that whatsoever type of exclusion based on sionals, and also from their experience in
gender, race, religion, social status, prefer- teaching, and it is to be hoped that these val-
ences, etc. must be avoided. Why this rep- ues will be congruent with those that inform
etition? Why begin this article by saying that Mexico’s aspirations as a democratic state”.
all citizens possess the rights enshrined in Barba points out, however, that this part
the Constitution, and end it by saying that of the Educational Reform has not been
whatsoever type of exclusion must be avoid- stressed:
ed? This is because our everyday experience “In this regard, teacher training is weak.
of life tells us that, while the declaration in Some teachers say that they aren’t sure how
question is important, it’s also important to to inculcate values - how to effectively teach
stipulate the things that must not be done, the subject called “Civic and Ethical Train-
since what is at stake is people’s dignity. It ing”. Indeed, curriculum-wise, more time
isn’t the rights per se that count, but, rather, is devoted to mathematics than to train-
the people acknowledged in them. ing in ethics and citizenship. This is tradi-
Why, after listing the criteria that should tional in the education system and affects
govern education, does Article 3 of the Con- student achievement. It’s crucial that the
stitution highlight the criterion of inculcating importance of the latter type of training be
appreciation of –and respect for– human dig- acknowledged by devoting the same num-
nity? Among other things, it does this because ber of hours to it as to mathematics, which
it begins by asserting that ‘Everyone is entitled is undoubtedly important, but not more so
to receive education’, and hence education than ethics and citizenship”.
–i.e. the opportunity for each citizen to be able Barba asserts that the education author-
to develop– can’t be given if it isn’t appreciated ities should review the aforesaid imbalance
and respected. Thus, Article 1 and Article 3 so as to strengthen Mexican democracy and
underlie everything: the former asserts that make it more consistent, while also incul-
rights are the foundation of the State and all cating greater respect for human rights in
social coexistence within it, while the latter Mexican citizens, which he believes is one
asserts that, among other things, education of Mexican society’s most vital needs.
must acknowledge and respect dignity and
foster respect for human rights. In short, the Educational values and their inclusion
purpose of schooling is to train children and in the Educational Reform
youths of both sexes to be citizens able to live Formerly, civic education seemed to focus
in a state of law. The two articles form a con- on the teaching of laws and regulations,
ceptual and legal whole that we can relate to though there were undoubtedly some teach-
other articles that deal with different rights. ers who did, indeed, teach civic values to
their students. Currently, the New Educa-
A collective construct: the role of those tional Model sees the teaching of laws and
involved in education (teachers, school codes as foundational, but we need to en-
principals and technical-pedagogical sure that such things are taught not only
consultants). theoretically, but also experientially, Barba
Teachers, school principals, supervisors, states:
technical-pedagogical consultants and man- “During the 2018-2019 school year, sev-
agers of education services, at both the fed- eral hundred schools will administer a sort
eral and state levels, play a crucial role in en- of test or “preliminary implementation” of
suring that schools operate based on values. the new Educational Model, which will be
On this point, Barba says: obligatory for students in elementary and

lower-secondary schools. What happens in provided in several of the countries in our
those schools will enable us to observe de- region will come out. This information will
velopments in the ‘values’ part of the new play an important role in enabling us to see
programs. The said New Educational Model where we in Mexico are vis-à-vis training
will continue the initial project that was the students in our schools in citizenship”.
launched during the administration of the Barba believes that, with time, evalu-
President Ernesto Zedillo, which has been ation will become an instrument for
continued, with varying degrees of success, strengthening what’s already been begun,
during subsequent administrations. The but insists that the essence of the Reform,
said model is paramount, since it springs which is to make good on the right to educa-
from the exigencies of the Constitution. tion, shouldn’t change:
The core set of principles and values already “The next president might want to
existed, but the purpose of the Educational stress the strengthening of education, or
Reform was, precisely, to ensure that teach- something else that s/he thinks should be
ing placed more stress on it – i.e. it’s more a achieved by the current Reform. The new
matter of a reform for education –one that members of the Executive Branch will in-
strengthens a lot of things to ensure that the herit a work in progress, and they need to
right to education is respected– than a re- commit to what’s been achieved in the last
form of education per se. The fact that it’s few years. It will be a test of how effectively
important to maintain this emphasis doesn’t a distinction can be made between political
detract from everything that’s already been parties and the State, between the project
done, but, rather, seeks to achieve the same of a given party and our country’s Constitu-
aim. tion”.
He ends our interview with this reflec-
The role of educational evaluation in tion, hoping that in the future, as it unwinds
2018 day by day, Mexican citizens will be imbued,
The current federal administration will end both at home and at school, with civic val-
at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school ues that strengthen our nation’s democracy,
year, with the Educational Reform already without party interests undoing everything
underway. Regarding this change, Barba re- that’s been achieved so far. “This shouldn’t
marks: happen,” he asserts, since political parties
“I hope that all the men and women who should behave like “entities devoted to the
become members of the Executive and Leg- public interest”, also reforming themselves.
islative branches of government at both the
state and the federal levels will see the Re-
form as something that needs to continue,
given that its aim is to ensure that people’s The New Educational Model defines
right to education is respected and hence education for citizenship as the fos-
go on transforming Mexican society. The tering of the knowledge, skills, at-
Educational Reform is not a thrall to party titudes and values that citizens to
ideologies, but, from the legal standpoint, a participate in the civic and political
constitutional imperative, and it should be life that is required by a democracy.
approached as such. We need everybody to This kind of education entails “the
see education as something to be respected, comprehensive study of different
rather than something that everybody can subjects such as Civic and Ethical
conceive of in his or her particular way”. Training or History, a cross-curric-
He acknowledges that, like all such en- ular approach, effective teaching
deavors, the Educational Reform requires methods, good school organization
some adjustments, and considers that, along and the forging of links with both
with other instruments, the National Plan parents and civil society” (Ministry
for the Evaluation of Learning Outcomes of Public Education [Spanish acro-
(Spanish acronym: Planea) will be of help nym: sep], 2017).
in the task of evaluating students in the
area of Civic and Ethical Training, as well as
helping to strengthen educational values:
“At the end of this year, the results of
the evaluation of the civic education that is
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico


The saber* tests of the Citizenship Education Study (iccs), and the
Teaching and Learning International Survey
Colombian Institute (talis). [*as of this year]
for the Evaluation of According to the content guidelines of
the National Ministry of Education, the sole
Education (Spanish function of the Icfes is to carry out evalu-
ation. Although we aren’t responsible for
abbreviation: Icfes) any of the public policies that are developed
and their use in the based on the test results, we feel that our job
should go beyond the mere delivery of re-
Colombian education sults, and are committed to raising awareness
about the latter’s effective use. When proper-
system ly used, tests constitute basic input that helps
to raise the quality of education.
[*Acronym of ‘Systems Approach for Before indicating what we can all learn
Better Education Results’] from test results, we should stress the pre-
cautions that need to be taken. Insofar as
the relationship between educational qual-
“When properly used, tests provide ity and testing is concerned, examinations
basic input that helps to raise the assess certain specific competencies that are
quality of education,” assert by no means the only components of edu-
the authors, representatives cational quality. Nevertheless, their impor-
of the Colombian Institute for the tance lies in the fact that the measurement
of students’ knowledge of the said contents
Evaluation of Education (Icfes) who,
is a sine qua non for being able to analyze
in the following article, talk about such quality.
their experiences and describe the We should also remember what the stud-
challenges that have to be overcome ies in question observe. While readers with
in order to improve education using technical expertise may require no explana-
the evaluation tools that they possess. tion on the point, it bears pointing out that,
while tests enable us to ascertain differences
in performance and learning times between
Ximena Dueñas one group and another, they do not, in and of themselves, explain these differences.
We at the Icfes evaluate the same con-
Jorge Duarte tents for everybody and ensure that the dif- ficulty level of our tests remains constant.
This way, we can ascertain how we’re doing
from one year to the next and how great
the variations are among different students.

A t the Colombian Institute for the Evalua-
tion of Education —better known as the
Icfes, the acronym of the Colombian Insti-
Such knowledge enables us to decide where
to focus our efforts, what the priorities are,
and which areas we’re being successful in, as
tute for the Promotion of Education, which is well as making it possible to make hypoth-
the government organization responsible for eses about the reasons for the results de-
carrying out evaluation at the national level tected. However, since we cannot ascertain
in Colombia— we evaluate early-childhood*, whether improvements in some schools and
primary, lower-secondary, upper-secondary backsliding in others are the result of social
and higher education, as well as administer- policies or of factors unrelated to the lat-
ing the international tests that our country ter, we should be prudent when using test
participates in – i.e. the Program for Interna- results to evaluate government policy or
tional Student Evaluation (pisa), the Fourth to punish or reward students, teachers or
Comparative and Explicatory Study (Spanish schools. It’s essential to be aware of this so,
acronym: erce), the International Civic and as to make proper use of test results.

The “E Day” and “Still E Day” of the
National Ministry of Education Graph 1. isce distribution. Primary - 2015, 2016 and 2017
The Ministry of Education has a held a so-
called “E Day” (i.e. Educational Excellence Density
Day) and a so-called “Still D Day”, on which
the summarized educational quality index 2.5
(Spanish acronym: isce) is given to each
school along with the respective topic clus-
ters. Each school receives a box with its re- 2
sults and pedagogical comments that help to
interpret, contextualize and explain the tests. 1.5
For example, the box contains the framework
matrix showing the results of the evalua-
tions by competence and component, along 1
with the definitions of the topic clusters and
teaching suggestions per grade and area. This
material enables the teachers to set priorities 0.5
for improvement and be clearer about how to
achieve it.
“E Day” helps schools to understand the
results and encourages them to use them, 0 2 4 6 8 10
while, for its part, “Still E Day”, when the isce
results for each topic cluster are delivered,
2015 2016 2017
is one devoted to teaching issues, when the
schools and teachers can find out what they
Source: Icfes, 2017. Saber en Breve No. 18, Graph 1. Downloaded at:
need to improve and how. Both days are ex-
ercises in learning from, and acknowledging,
the test results, so as to use them.
School Atmosphere and Efficiency are meant mum improvement aim (Spanish acronym:
The summarized index of educational to serve as counterweights, so that the isce mma) which directly depends on the 2015
quality (Spanish acronym: isce) doesn’t only focus on evaluation, but also isce 2015, does not change in accordance
The isce is a number from 1 to 10 that we give on broader aspects of teaching-learning. with subsequent results, and is unique for
to each school in the country for each level. Though, empirically, the School Atmosphere each school. These goals were established
The said index comprises different sources, component doesn’t vary very much, and is based on a logistical growth function and a
each component of which stresses one aspect hence almost symbolic, it’s had a big impact comparison of the Chilean and Colombian
of the teaching-learning process. The Perfor- in our country. Now a lot of schools are aware data with the 2012 pisa information, so that,
mance component, which constitutes 40% of that classroom atmosphere and follow-up on if we achieve the aims (assuming that are no
the total grade, shows the students’ results on learning aren’t tantamount to a school’s phys- significant changes in the growth rates for
standardized tests; the Progress component, ical conditions. Latin America), we’ll catch up with Chile in
which constitutes 40% of the total grade, per- The isce sets out to open up a space for 2025.
tains to improvement over the previous year; follow-up in the school community. In its Graph 2 clusters the isce and the mma in
the School Atmosphere component, which third version, it’s managed to gain a reputa- terciles in accordance with the 2015 isce, and
constitutes 10% of the total grade, pertains to tion as a valuable form of input. Its dissemi- shows us that the gaps are closing, though
students’ perception of the learning environ- nation has facilitated discussion about re- they’re still big.
ment and their teachers. Finally, the Efficien- sults, ongoing improvement, and the setting The isce has also been used by the Na-
cy component, which also constitutes 10% of of aims in order to raise the quality of educa- tional Ministry of Education to award eco-
the total grade, pertains to the pass rate. tion. nomic incentives to teachers. The partici-
The Performance component shows the Graph 1 below shows the countrywide pating schools that exceed the isce for the
schools’ level. Normally, the communica- improvement achieved via the isce. In the immediately preceding year receive an incen-
tions media use the said component to come case of primary education, it allows us to see tive that’s equivalent to a monthly salary for
up with school rankings, but, for the isce, it’s beyond the average rating by showing the all their teaching staff. We wish to stress that
just a part of the index. The emphasis on the (smoothed out) distribution of the schools the said incentive is awarded based on the de-
Progress component, which reflects com- over the last three years. Given the test’s gree of improvement achieved over the pre-
mitment to improvement, stresses school comparability, the fact that performance is vious grade, rather than on the school’s cur-
growth, especially in the case of those with improving is good news for our country. rent level, since this encourages schools with
the greatest potential (which are often the The isce of each school, at all the study low and average ratings, and not just the ones
ones with the largest number of shortfalls). levels, is accompanied by an annual mini- that have had good results over the years.
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

Of tercicles of schools Graph 2. Average isce and mma. Primary level
trained with isce 2015

isce: bottom tercile
mma: bottom tercile

7 isce: middle tercile
mma: middle tercile
isce: top tercile
mma: top tercile


2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 2025

Source: Icfes, 2017. Saber en Breve No. 18, Graphic 2. Downloaded at:

However, we’re aware of the lack of precision comparable with each other, leads to some sult this information and carry out whichever
inherent in identifying teaching practices drawbacks when interpreting the informa- analyses and make whichever comparisons
based on the results of a school’s students. tion. While direct comparisons among the it sees fit. Teachers are well aware that the
It may be the case that a school improves its topic clusters yields a percentage that pro- teaching process implicitly involves all of the
isce although its teachers haven’t changed vides us with valuable information (since we topic clusters evaluated, and can ascertain
their behavior or backslides although they’ve can identify the topic clusters in which there which actions they need to take in order to
done their best. are most shortfalls), it does not enable us to improve.
ascertain the causes of the said differences
The topic clusters evaluated in the tests between the clusters, which may be due to The dissemination of the information
The Icfes provides results for each of the what happens in the classroom or to the aver- and the factors associated with learning
topic clusters evaluated in the 3rd, 5th and 9th age difficulty level of a given part of the text. People use information to the extent that
Saber tests, Saber 11, Saber Pro (for pro- On the other hand, if the population finds they understand it. Given the large number
fessionals) and Saber T&T (for technicians some topic clusters more difficult than other of potential beneficiaries, we at the Icfes
and technologists), besides multiple grades ones, comparisons between two different dif- strive to divulge the information in the most
per subject. The said topic clusters are small ficulty levels can, precisely, tell us more about user-friendly way, without diminishing its
parts of the test that share the same theme this feature than about the effort made in the robustness or trivializing it. In the Depart-
and are each assigned a grade that makes it classroom. In order to exploit this valuable ment of Analysis and Dissemination, we or-
possible to learn from the evaluation and information to the utmost, we need know ganize it, decide how to present it, and cover
take actions based on it. By analyzing these how far we are from a suitable comparator in the whole country, getting to the public and
results, we can achieve the ultimate goal of each level. encouraging them to use it. We also draw up
the evaluation, which is that of learning and Graph 3 shows the percentage of wrong national reports with detailed descriptions of
improving. answers for 5 topic clusters countrywide, and the structure, grading and results of the tests,
Unlike the grades per area, the topic- also the difference between this percentage as well as publishing short newsletters that
cluster results are expressed in terms of the and the percentage of wrong answers for 10 give brief summaries of the topics in order to
percentage of wrong answers given by the of our country’s cities. Additionally, it shows familiarize all the different segments of the
students – i.e. a 100 grade indicates that all topic clusters pertaining to the competency of population with them.
the questions were answered wrongly by all the Communication in the area of Mathematics in One of the things we’ve talked about are
students, and a 0 grade indicates that all the fifth grade, organized according to the per- the factors associated with learning. All the
the questions were answered correctly by centage of wrong answers countrywide. The Icfes are accompanied by a contextualized
all the students, so that 0 is the most desirable purpose of this information is not to tell us questionnaire, in which there are no right
grade. which cities are better than others, but, rather, answers, that the students answer at the
This type of result isn’t really a grade, to map out the differences in order to find out end of the examination, or when they enroll.
so that the weighting assigned to the result which topic groups are priority ones. This way, we look at a lot of things associ-
(which is expressed as a percentage) is intui- In addition to receiving the personal- ated with learning, citizenship, beliefs, per-
tive. The fact that all the topic clusters are not ized information on “Still E Day”, each of our ceptions and emotions. This information is
equally difficult, and that they are not directly country’s schools and municipalities can con- invaluable.

Graph 3. Topic clusters pertaining to the competency of Communication in the area
of Mathematics. Fifth Grade. 2016
of wrong Differences in unanswered items with
Learning answers
Barran- Bogotá, Bucara- Cartage-
Colombia Cali Medellín Pasto Quidbó Tunja Yopal
quilla D. C. manga na
Expresses the degree
of probability of
an event, using 66,82 -5,56 7,87 -7,37 2,57 -4,48 1,34 -7,56
frequencies and ratios
Identifies standard
and non-conventional
units used for different
62,39 1,39 -0,55 0,82 1,07 -1,10 -4,19 -1,23 -2,20 3,15 -1,12
and establishes
relationships among
Describes and
interprets the
properties and ratios of
the numbers and their 53,96 2,47 7,30 6,89 3,18 -2,53 -1,81 1,79 -7,18 11,07 0,86

Describes and
interprets data
41,18 2,37 9,39 10,74 2,86 -4,91 -0,28 3,23 -10,00 16,70 1,42
pertaining to in-school

Uses coordinate
systems to locate flat
figures or objects and 28,88 3,07 8,13 9,30 3,70 -4,32 -1,72 5,58 -13,04 13,33 5,25
describe their location

The color associated with the percentage of wrong answers in Colombia is blue when it’s 70% or more, black when it’s between 40% and 69%, blue
when it’s between 20% and 39%, and gray if it’s 19 or less.
In the case of the difference in unanswered items between Colombia and each city, the color is blue when the difference is -5 or less, black when the
difference is between -0.1 and -4.9, blue if it’s between 0 and 4.9, and green if it’s 5 or more.

Source: Icfes, 2017. Saber en Breve No. 21, Table 1. Downloaded at:

We have a series of documents that cover averages in subgroups of the population. The got 14 more points on the mathematics test
the topics in a very simple way, and, at least aim of this is the same as that of the control than the ones who answered negatively – i.e.
when presenting the results, does not make – i.e. to find out whether other factors inter- almost half a standard deviation on the test
value judgments. Besides, the relationship vene in the relationship. scale.
with the test result is expressed as an average Graph 4 below shows an example. Re- The graph clearly shows that, on average,
group grade. The difference between the two garding the relationship between students those students who believe that their teachers
is equal to the coefficient of a linear regres- and teachers, we asked the former whether care about their welfare do better on the test.
sion of the points obtained for identifying they agreed with the affirmation that “teach- The aforesaid sentence does not contain any
each of them, though readers pay more atten- ers care about their students’ welfare”. The value judgements, in the sense that we aren’t
tion when they see the two averages. Instead graph shows that 60% of all the fifth-grade suggesting that a “yes” answer is more desir-
of including a socioeconomic control in the evaluees in the country responded positively, able than a “no” one. While there are some
regression, we repeat the frequency and the and that, on average, the said respondents questions to which we might all give the same
National Educational Evaluation Policy Gazette in Mexico

Graph 4. Teachers care about their students’ welfare
Response percentage Average on the test by answer

Yes 306
All teachers 60 40
No 292

Yes No
200 250 300 350 400 450

Yes 286
Rural officials 59 41
No 266

Yes No
200 250 300 350 400 450

Yes 296
Urban officials 59 41
No 285

Yes No
200 250 300 350 400 450

Private Deciles Yes 288
59 41
1 and 2
No 270

Yes No
200 250 300 350 400 450

Private Deciles Yes 352
63 37
3 to 10
No 345

Yes No
200 250 300 350 400 450
* Gray bars indicate that the difference isn’t significant.

Source: Icfes, 2017. Las Características del Aprendizaje No. 2, Countrywide, Graph 7. Downloaded at:

response, on many subjects —and especially of their teachers. Even so, this information we stand, where we are different, and hence
in the area of citizenship— a value judgment encourages us to delve more deeply into the what our priorities should be and where we
can indicate a particular political leaning. We topics in question, since the difference are should take action. However, as with any di-
insist on impartiality because the informa- very striking. agnostic study, knowledge of the results per
tion gathered serves as input for discussion se does not suffice to achieve improvement.
and action, rather than being a matter of right In conclusion Furthermore, since the irresponsible use of
or wrong. It should be stressed that we found We at the Icfes in Colombia believe in results can do great harm, we stress the ob-
a relationship between two variables that are the potential of evaluation to help increase servational, rather than experimental, use of
bound up in a universe of other factors. We the quality of education, and we know that the tests, and hence the difficulty of finding
have no evidence showing a cause-and-effect standardized tests are a basic tool that en- cause-and-effect relationships. Even if we
relationship between them, and hence we ables us to compare different students in a manage to quantify the differences, mere
cannot assert that students would get bet- fair way. By measuring all our students with observation of the gaps does not necessarily
ter results if we improved their perception the same yardstick, we can find out where explain them.
Gazette in