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Faith-based Schools in Latin America : Case Studies on Fe Y Alegria

ISBN: 9780821386958 | 0821386956
Format: Paperback
Publisher: World Bank
Pub. Date: 1/10/2014

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Many observers consider Fe y Alegría a successful organization, but very few rigorous evaluations have been conducted.This volume is devoted to an assessment of the performance and selected aspects of the management and pedagogical practices of Fe y Alegría, a federation of Jesuit schools serving approximately one million children in 20 countries, mostly in Latin America. The available quantitative evidence suggests that the federation'¬"s schools often do reach the poor, and that students in Fe y Alegría schools tend to perform as well on test scores, if not slightly better than comparable students in other schools. Qualitative data and case studies suggest that the factors that lead to good performance are complex and related not only to the types of '¬Sinputs'¬ or resources used by the schools in the education process, but also to the management of these resources, and the ability to implement and test innovative programs. Other factors that support this argument include the capacity and flexibility to implement and test innovative programs that take into account the local realities.This volume will be of interest to researchers, policy makers and practitioners working in service provision through public-private partnerships and especially by faith-based organizations.CHAPTER 1FE Y ALEGRÃA SCHOOL PERFORMANCE AND PRACTICES: A BRIEF OVERVIEWThis chapter presents a brief summary of the contributions in this volume devoted to an assessment of the performance and selected aspects of the management and pedagogical practices of Fe y Alegría, a federation of Jesuit schools serving approximately one million children in 20 countries, mostly in Latin America. The available quantitative evidence suggests that the federation'¬"s schools often do reach the poor, and that students in Fe y Alegría schools tend to perform as well on test scores, if not slightly better than comparable students in other schools. Qualitative data and case studies suggest that the factors that lead to good performance are complex and related not only to the types of '¬Sinputs'¬ or resources used by the schools in the education process, but also to the management of these resources, and the ability to implement and test innovative programs. Other factors that support this argument include the capacity and flexibility to implement and test innovative programs that take into account the local realities.CHAPTER 2THE PERFORMANCE OF DECENTRALIZED SCHOOL SYSTEMS: EVIDENCE FROM FE Y ALEGRÃA IN THE BOLIVARIAN REPUBLIC OF VENEZUELAThis evaluation estimates the impact on the performance in standardized test results of graduating from Fe y Alegría private schools in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. We find an average treatment effect of 0.1 standard deviations, using students from public schools as control group. We claim that the better results by Fe y Alegría students are due to Fe y Alegría'¬"s higher flexibility to select and hire teachers, and to a decentralized administrative structure.CHAPTER 3PERFORMANCE OF FE Y ALEGRÃA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS IN COLOMBIA: IS IT A MATTER OF FE (FAITH) OR ALEGRÃA (JOY)?Fe y Alegría is a catholic network of schools that started operations in Colombia in 1971, and in 2009 served more than 72,000 students in 61 schools. This chapter assesses the performance of Fe y Alegría secondary schools in Colombia using test scores for Spanish and mathematics, as well as detailed information on the characteristics of the household to which students belong. Simple statistics suggest that Fe y Alegría schools perform worse than other schools for all years in the sample. However, Fe y Alegría schools also cater to poorer students who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Once controls are included for student background, Fe y Alegría schools actually often perform as well and in some cases better than other schools for mathematics and Spanish, thus partially reversing the previous finding. CHAPTER 4FE Y ALEGRÃA SCHOOLS IN PERU: ANALYSIS OF THE INSTITUTIONAL MANAGEMENT AND PEDAGOGY MODEL AND LESSONS FOR PUBLIC EDUCATIONFe y Alegría constitutes an example of a privately managed education system funded on a shared basis. In Peru, schools enjoy higher levels of autonomy to set their guidelines and make decisions. Two studies show that Fe y Alegría schools have better internal efficiency and performance indicators than comparable public schools. By using interviews with key stakeholders and focus groups, this chapter analyzes the factors behind the success of Fe y Alegría schools. Such factors include higher levels of independence to generate and manage resources; a favorable institutional environment; the selection, tutoring, supervision, and training of teachers; greater autonomy and authority for school principals; and adaptability to local realities.CHAPTER 5LITERACY IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLSThe process of learning to read and write is determining for all subsequent learning, since the majority of what is learned in school involves these two abilities. As one moves forward to the next grade, the use of written texts, which are the most widespread, cheap and effective form of knowledge transmission, increases. There are several reasons why Fe y Alegría in Chile launched a new literacy program in schools: i) it was found that many students read poorly, which made it difficult for them to learn; ii) low-level learning of reading and writing was not being completed in first grade, and iii) there was a group of students who could not be taught how to read. The new program, which was based on an exhaustive diagnosis that took into account the reality of Fe y Alegría schools, generated improvements in reading speed and enabled schools to teach how to read to all students.CHAPTER 6POPULAR TEACHERS TRAINING FOR THE TRANSFORMATION OF PRACTICESThe training program of popular teachers, now known as global plan, has as objective to broaden and strengthen the training processes of Fe y Alegría staff through various modalities to contribute to their personal development; identification with the identity, mission and vision of the movement; ownership and implementation of the popular education model of quality; and efficient management. The program has served more than two thirds of teachers and managers of the federation around the world. From a diagnosis of the training needs, the program has been consolidating a Federation'¬"s training proposal that attempts to coherently respond to the purposes of its educational ideology, to the analysis of the society they aspire to transform and to the kind of teacher needed to achieve it. This article describes how to articulate, implement and fund the global training plan for managers and teachers. CHAPTER 7MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR RURAL EDUCATION NETWORKS: AN ALTERNATIVE FOR TRANSFORMATION AND DEVELOPMENT - FE Y ALEGRÃA PERUIn the mid-90s, after 30 years in Peru, Fe y Alegría decided to venture into rural areas that were the most affected by nearly two decades of political violence. This chapter describes the adaptation process of the pedagogical proposal, designed for urban schools, to fit the reality of rural areas. Some of the important achievements of this strategy include increased hours of school work, reduced drop-out and absenteeism rates, improved teachers performance, and production of materials that fit the rural reality.


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