Strong Foundations for Quality and Equity in Mexican Schools

image of Strong Foundations for Quality and Equity in Mexican Schools

This report presents an assessment of Mexico's recent education reforms. Education systems worldwide require continued policy efforts in essential areas to improve student learning, such as: the need to prioritise equity; providing learning environments that are fit for the 21st century; ensuring that schools are run and staffed by high-quality professionals who are well supported; and designing evaluation and assessment frameworks that support schools and assist policy makers in promoting effective student learning and quality of education for all. Mexico's education system has evolved in this direction, but many of the recent reforms need time to mature and flexibility to be adjusted to ensure schools can deliver quality education.

In Mexico, like in many other countries, there is a considerable distance between national policy making and the learning that happens in schools. Closing this gap requires substantial resources, capacity and support from state authorities, who have an important role to play as operators of the system, as well as from education stakeholders across the country. In complex education systems, implementation is not only about executing the policy but also building and fine-tuning it collaboratively. This OECD report aims to support Mexico in this endeavour.


An overview of the education system in Mexico

This chapter provides an overview of Mexico’s education system and its context. While the Mexican economy has experienced an important transformation since the 1980s, social inequalities prevail across the country. The education system can contribute to tackle them and provide a better future for Mexico. Mexico has a large and complex education system that caters to almost 26 million students in basic education, with diverse backgrounds and an indigenous population speaking more than 64 different languages. The system is characterised by complex governance arrangements and a large teaching workforce working across more than 225 000 schools. Comprehensive evaluation and assessment practices were recently developed. Student learning has improved since 2000 but it still stands below the OECD average. Recent reforms aim to target equity, adapt to the globalised environment of the 21st century, improve student learning and well-being, construct a professional teaching career and support schools. For the system to deliver high-quality education to all students, it will need to continue building from these foundations.


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