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More than Unmet Basic Needs

A tragedy occurred a few days ago in Barinas. Six children died in a fire. The fire was triggered by a short circuit after a service interruption. Typically, after a service interruption voltage surges, which in turn can cause cable insulation to melt and short circuit. One must ask then, did we do a disservice to provide…

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Fahrenheit 058

Over at Foreign Policy’s Transitions blog, I try and explain just why Venezuelan parents are incensed. The value added: In order to “promote participatory democracy,” the resolution states that all decisions in every school — public or private — must involve parents, teachers, students, workers, and even “the community,” represented by “communal councils.” Including communal councils in…

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When in Rome…

A few days ago, Maduro was having a down in the dumps day, he needed a quick pick me up, something empowering, something to assert his manhood. So, he did what any self respecting male  would do, he made a rape joke, gorillas included. Yes, a rape joke on Cadena Nacional. In our little machista…

An opposition demonstrators holds a Venezuelan flag in front of a burning barricade in Caracas

Taming the shadow

These tumultuous days, as I was glued to Twitter, reading Facebook comments, listening to opinions on the street, and watching the students debate on CNNE, I  finally “understood” Venezuela’s deep polarization. After 15 years of war speech, we have become two distinct countries, two societies that haven’t been able to reconcile in more than a…

Chavismo discovers youth unemployment

Youth Minister Héctor Rodríguez recently admitted in an interview that there’s at least one million young Venezuelans who’re neither studying or working right now. Congratulations, you just found out what a NEET is. The more you know… The problem of youth unemployment in Venezuela was already recognized by both the National Statistics Institute (INE) and…

The educational policy deficit

As the Hugo Chávez era comes to a close in Venezuela, it is time to begin taking stock of his legacy. One of the oft-repeated lines is that Chávez was “good for the poor.” Certainly, poverty statistics – as measured by the percentage of the population living below a certain income threshhold – have improved…

The majority is coming for … your kids?

On the heels of a massive landslide, what does the ruling majority want? Well, none other than do away with private education as we know it. The government published a decree apparently abolishing Parent Associations at all schools – public and private. It replaces them with an Educational Council, made up of administrators, teachers, parents,…

Bad education

Over at Foreign Policy’s Transitions blog, I talk about the issue nobody wants to discuss. Because we’re all too busy obsessing about grainy videos and envelopes full of cash.

Policy Evaluation as Subversive Activity

My new piece on that FP Blog takes one more look at that 2006 research into Misión Robinson. I’m totally fascinated by that paper, and only wish I’d seen it much sooner. The contrast between its plodding, sober, evidence-based appraisal of Misión Robinson and chavismo’s breathless propaganda lies about it strikes me as all anyone…