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Is Brazilian Education Improving? A Comparative Foray Using Pisa And Saeb Brazil Test Scores


  • Martin Carnoy

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics.)

  • Tatiana Khavenson

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics.)

  • Leandro Costa

    () (World Bank)

  • Izabel Fonseca

    () (Stanford University)

  • Luana Marotta

    () (Stanford University)


We use a national Brazilian test (SAEB) and an international test (PISA) to measure whether Brazilian students 13-15 years old improved their mathematics and language learning in1995-2012. We control for part of out-of-school influences by comparing test scores for students with similar family academic resources. Our empirical strategy is descriptive and comparative. We find that Brazilian students have made test score gains during this period on the PISA, but much less so on the SAEB. Gains on the PISA test for advantaged Brazilian students are smaller than among disadvantaged students. This is also the case for the SAEB.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Carnoy & Tatiana Khavenson & Leandro Costa & Izabel Fonseca & Luana Marotta, 2014. "Is Brazilian Education Improving? A Comparative Foray Using Pisa And Saeb Brazil Test Scores," HSE Working papers WP BRP 22/EDU/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:wpaper:22edu2014

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ludger Woessmann, 2004. "How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States," CESifo Working Paper Series 1162, CESifo.
    2. Jerik Hanushek & Dennis Kimko, 2006. "Schooling, Labor-force Quality, and the Growth of Nations," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 154-193.
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    More about this item


    educational performance; Brazil; PISA; SAEB; achievement gain; test comparison;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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