Without knowing much here as so little info is provided, one can only surmise that at issue is the purpose of this assessment. If used to terminate rather than provide needed resources, the reaction to this apparent reform is understandable. Also, reasons for test failure among teachers really merits greater explication. -Angela
July 6, 2007
Peru Teachers Strike to Protest Competency Testing
By The Associated Press
Peruvian public school teachers walked off the job Thursday to protest an education reform proposal that would require them to pass periodic competency exams.
February test results showed almost half of public school teachers cannot solve basic math problems and one-third are deficient in reading comprehension.
Congress began debating a bill Thursday that would fire teachers who fail the test three times, a move the teachers' union, Sutep, says will lead to "arbitrary" firings.
Protesting teachers surrounded the regional education building in the central Junin department, and threw stones, burned tires and blocked roads, state news agency Andina reported.
Education Minister Jose Antonio Chang called the effort a failure, saying only 15 percent of Peru's approximately 350,000 teachers failed to show up for work in the country, where it is winter and the middle of the school year.
The government has declared the strike illegal.
President Alan Garcia has promised to revamp the country's ailing public education system, widely looked down upon for its poor infrastructure and untrained staff.
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