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Working paper

Is Brazilian Education Improving? A Comparative Foray Using PISA and SAEB Brazil Test Scores

Carnoy M., Khavenson T., Costa L., Fonseca I., Marotta L.
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 in 1995-2012. 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.