This comprehensive and excellent survey of education in
Latin America stresses the importance of systemic problems
that result in growing inequity, rising levels of youth
violence, and persistently low levels of citizen education.
The failure of the Cartagena Summit to adequately address
the challenge of education does not dilute the national challenges
that each leader faces back home. Poor-quality education
from teachers who are inadequately paid, trained
and supervised has resulted in students from the hemisphere
registering the lowest performance levels on the
Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
reading and math scores. Beyond the testing of students
in third and eighth grades, the authors extend their analysis
to the performance of the region’s universities. In the 2011-
2012 ranking of the world’s 400 top universities, no Latin
American university ranked in the top 100. Less than onequarter
of all university graduates receive science or engineering
degrees and even fewer receive doctorates. Brazil
produces only one doctoral graduate for every 70,000 people.
Chile produces one for every 140,000. This compares
to an OECD average of one per every 5,000 people.