Rosa María Torres

Recipe for Education Reform


1 cup of cooked international loans mixed with technical assistance

1 cup firmly packed economic analysis

2 kilos of administrative reform, shredded

200 grams of curriculum reform, dried

100 grams of pedagogical reform powder

1 cup of decentralization

1 good-sized basic education, tender, sliced

1/2 teaspoon of teacher salary increases

1 teaspoon of teacher incentives

teachers and students in cost-effective proportions (1 teacher per every 40 or 50 students)

school buildings (1 for every 2 or 3 shifts)

school projects (one serving per school)

educational technology and textbooks, to taste

1 ounce of instruction time (baking powder)

1/2 teaspoon of teacher in-service training, low fat, low cholesterol

1/2 cup of distance education

1 national evaluation system

2 tablespoons of cost-recovery, reduced-sodium

1 tablespoon of competence juice, concentrated

1 large compensatory program, finely chopped

For the sauce:

1 cup of canned consultation and consensus


Mix the loans with international assistance and economic analysis. Chill several hours to blend flavors. Make sure the pot is well sealed while the loan is cooked.

In a large pan, stir the mix. When hot, pour primary education. Peel it. With a teaspoon, scoop out and discard any seeds of secondary or tertiary education. In the reform processor, add remaining ingredients and mix at high speed: administrative reform, decentralization, privatization, cost-recovery, technology and textbooks, time of instruction, distance education and evaluation system. To enhance the flavor, add a few drops of competence.

Make sure both the fire and teacher salaries are kept low. Increase them slowly, occasionally pouring small amounts of incentives. Remove constantly, to prevent sticking. When the mix has come to a boil, top with teachers and sprinkle some teacher training. Pour the mix in a refractory bowl to public opinion. Sprinkle pedagogical reform. Bake over medium heat.

Remove from oven. Spread consensus sauce over top and serve immediately, before it gets cold.

Consensus sauce: In a small bowl, pour politicians, funders, church hierarchy, businesspeople, bureaucrats, technocrats and experts both national and international. Fluff mixture with a fork. Sprinkle some teacher participation and consultation on top. Mix gently, but thoroughly, until the consensus reaches the desired color and consistency.

Recommendation: For best results, add some tasty accompaniments to education reform. See, in previous pages, recipes for macroeconomic adjustment, State administrative reform, and labor market deregulation.

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