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Educação e Pesquisa

Print version ISSN 1517-9702On-line version ISSN 1678-4634


SOARES, José Francisco  and  ALVES, Maria Teresa Gonzaga. Racial inequalities in the Brazilian primary education system. Educ. Pesqui. [online]. 2003, vol.29, n.1, pp.147-165. ISSN 1517-9702.

The Saeb - Primary Education Evaluation System (Sistema de Avaliação da Educação Básica) has been following the performance of students at primary education in Brazil since 1990. Its results reveal the school systems' ability to produce efficacy, and educational equity with respect to the different social strata. This article analyzes the inequalities in school performance of students classified by race, with emphasis on the impact of some school policies and practices in the production of equity among race groups. The study employed as its main analysis technique regression models that allow keeping in the analysis both hierarchical levels present in the data - students and schools. Results show that (1) there is a wide gap in performance between white and black students, and, to a lesser extent, between white and mixed race students; and (2) the factors producing efficacy in teaching do not have equal distribution, for they favor mainly the school performance of students from the upper social strata, i.e., white students, contributing in most situations analyzed to intensify, and not to reduce, the original differences among race groups. In conclusion, the text argues that changing the present picture will require the implementation of policies for public schools to produce a better balance between efficacy and equity in education.

Keywords : School performance; Race; Primary school; Saeb.

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