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This paper attempts to clarify some of the principal obstacles Brazil will have to overcome in order for its educational system to reach the levels of efficiency, equity, and quality demanded by society. It presents a brief analysis of the Brazilian educational system, highlighting the major changes that have taken place over the last 10 years and the difficulties that are now being faced. The paper discusses the new focus of educational policies in the 1990s, based on the quest for quality and equity. A study is presented about the effectiveness of educational assessment as an encouragement to efforts to improve quality, and the chief results from the National System for Evaluation of Basic Education are described. Prospects for the definition of national standards for Brazil are considered, and some solutions are proposed. The central argument of the paper is that the effectiveness of a process involving education, equity, and sustained development depends on the expansion of the education being offered. The greatest challenge for Brazil will be to eliminate the quality deficit now found in all levels of teaching, especially the public primary education system. (Contains 13 tables.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Educational Assessment, Educational Policy, Educational Quality, Elementary Secondary Education, Equal Education, Foreign Countries, Futures (of Society), Standards

Autor: Guimaraes de Castro, Maria Helena


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