Evaluation at the Forefront of the Neoliberal Agenda for Education in Latin America: Disclosing the Contradictions of the Recent Argentine Experience

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Latin American Studies Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
This article frames the main problems and challenges of state, provincial and jurisdictional-mandated assessment programs introduced in the early 1990s within the context of broader goals of the educational policy in Latin America and particularly in Argentina, which is considered as a paradigmatic case of such policies. The content of the article will be organized as follows. First, I will introduce two main conceptual frameworks which have been leading the scenario of the global educational policies in Latin America since the early 1990’s. Second, considering Argentina as a case study, I will characterize the recent educational reform, paying special attention to the role of the national testing system, and reviewing the criticism that this system received. I will also disclose the philosophical, political and pedagogical assumptions that this reform has been based upon and the contrasts with the leading principles accepted in the past. Third, I will suggest some elements that an alternative discourse and practice of public assessment program for Latin America should take into account in order to overcome the mistakes and critics of the described reform.