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Brazil’s Latest Upper-Secondary Reform: Reform at the Intersection of Crisis and Universalization Open Access

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Abstract of ThesisBrazil’s Latest Upper-Secondary Reform: Reform at the Intersection of Crisis and UniversalizationThis thesis analyzes the political genesis of Brazil’s recent reform of its upper-secondary education system, the Novo Ensino Médio Reform. This latest reform has been highly controversial and linked by many to the government of President Michel Temer. However, this argues that the reform is much larger than the Temer administration that produced it. This reform, that creates a seven-hour school day and allows upper-secondary students to choose an area of specialization, is a continuation of a history of incremental reform that has taken place against the backdrop of shifting educational priorities. This reform coincided with a shift towards a human capital centric ideology that is heavily influenced by international organizations, such as the World Bank. Furthermore, the reform is also largely the result of a bipartisan commission whose work preceded the Temer administration. The impeachment of Dilma Rousseff brought President Temer to power and allowed for the construction of a new majority. The new administration in turn adopted the already existing proposal for reform of upper-secondary education and modified it to fit their agenda of market friendliness and public burden reduction. The new majority was largely supportive of the reform but the reform also found support amongst the opposition who saw the reform as the logical next step in Brazil’s long march towards universalization of upper-secondary education.

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