Equidade educacional no Brasil: análise das oportunidades educacionais em 2001 e 2011

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Biderman, Ciro
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This dissertation aims to evaluate educational equity in Brazil, in 2001 and 2011. I will investigate the educational opportunity by examining the students’ access to qualified teachers. The analysis will focus on the evolution by gender, race and socioeconomic status. The theoretical framework of this dissertation is divided in two parts: a debate about equity and a discussion over the importance of the school and its internal processes and resources. In the first part, I present the main understandings in the literature over equity and suggest a division of the debate into three main perspectives. In addition to this debate, this dissertation aims to discuss educational equity in a broader context, under the perspective of social justice. Among the various conceptual perspectives over equity, I will use the pluralist approach to analyze the data, which combines the analyses of resources, processes and outcomes. The second part presents the discussion over the importance of schools to student achievement, using several Brazilian and international studies. These studies indicate that schools are key to improve students’ achievement, especially in countries with high inequalities. Among the school resources and processes, the literature provides evidence that teachers have the higher impact to school results. The debate is particularly relevant in Brazil, where the studies show an important effect of both schools and teachers on students’ achievement associated with enormous inequalities in the distribution of these resources, harming especially the most vulnerable students. Besides the theoretical discussion, the dissertation presents a model developed to analyze the evolution of educational equity in Brazil. I developed a model capable of determining the probabilities of different student subpopulations (by race, gender and socioeconomic status) to access teachers with four characteristics: higher education, graduate studies, teaching experience and curriculum coverage. Two specifications of a logistic model were developed: a simple one, which contains only student characteristics as independent variables; and a complete one, which includes information about the states, public and private schools and urban and rural areas, in addition to the students’ characteristics. The analyses are conducted for the 5th and 9th grades, in 2001 and 2011, using the SAEB database for Portuguese and Mathematics. The results lead to four main conclusions: first, the socioeconomic status is more important than gender and race in determining the educational opportunity of the students; second, there are similar trends between the educational opportunities of the 5th and 9th grade, with three main patterns of evolution identified; third, the impact of teacher characteristics over students’ achievement changed from 2001 to 2011, especially due to teacher training policies; finally, there is an enormous heterogeneity among the Brazilian states, with the South and Southeast regions guaranteeing greater educational opportunities for the students than other regions in Brazil. Based on these analyses, the final considerations present three central policies of equitable systems: the definition of minimum standards; the adoption of compensatory policies and positive discrimination in the distribution of resources; and the investment on teacher development.

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