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La Educación
Número: (132-133) I,II
Año: 1999

7. Conclusions

This section summarizes findings and highlights some key considerations. New Schools are relatively better endowed with certain inputs like libraries and textbooks in relation to traditional rural schools. Nonetheless, many schools lack all the necessary elements of the reform package: less than half use the official textbooks and one-third do not have libraries. Suggested elements such as the student council and the agricultural calendar are often missing. Measures of community involvement point to this as an area of success for New Schools. As the program expands, care should be taken to ensure that schools are provided with the necessary physical inputs and that the institutions exist to replace or maintain such inputs as they deteriorate. Besides provision, all teachers should complete the training program to ensure their effective use.

Achievement levels, especially in the third grade, are increased in New Schools, but the gap narrows considerably in the fifth grade. This finding is consistent with previous evaluations using different data. The decline at the fifth grade level is likely the result of either better retention of low-achieving students in New Schools or the declining effectiveness of upper grade education. Though this analysis suggests the former is more important, the latter should be examined if data become available.