Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Cuadernos del CLAEH]]> vol. 3 num. SE lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Education reform and school performance</b><b>. </b><b>Some thoughts on the experiences of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay</b>]]> Paying special attention to national experience, this article compares, from a politological perspective, the results achieved by the students of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay in pisa evaluation tests administered in 2002 and 2003. During the last decade, these countries made significant changes in their educational systems, associated to a wider tendency that included most Latin American countries. These changes were different in each country: mercantile in the Chile, decentralising in Argentina and traditionally statist in Uruguayan. The relationships among the different strategies adopted and the educational results achieved in terms of quality (learning levels) and equity (social distribution of same) are hypothesised.<hr/>Prestando especial atención a la experiencia nacional, y desde una perspectiva politológica, en el artículo se comparan los rendimientos obtenidos por los estudiantes de Argentina, Chile y Uruguay en las pruebas de evaluación PISA aplicadas en los años 2001 y 2003. Estos países realizaron en la década pasada transformaciones de envergadura en sus sistemas educativos, asociadas a una tendencia más amplia que comprendió a la mayor parte de América Latina, pero en cada uno de ellos dio lugar a reformas de distinto cuño (mercantilista en el caso chileno, descentralizador en el argentino y estatista tradicional en el uruguayo). Se hipotetiza sobre la posible vinculación entre las distintas estrategias adoptadas y los resultados educativos en términos de calidad (nivel de los aprendizajes) y equidad (distribución social de estos). <![CDATA[<b>Revising </b><b>Uruguay</b><b>'s trade policy</b>: <b>towards the negotiation of a free trade agreement between </b><b>Uruguay</b><b> and the </b><b>United States</b><b>?</b>]]> Trade policy is currently a hot topic in Uruguay. In January 2007 the Uruguayan left-wing government signed a Trade and Investment Facilitation Agreement (TIFA) with the United States. This rapprochement responds both to the aggressive bilateral strategy pursued by the US in the hemisphere since the stalling of Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) negotiations, and to Uruguay's increasing discontent with the performance of the South American Common Market (MERCOSUR). Whether the TIFA will lead to a free trade agreement (FTA) is yet to unfold. This essay explores the politics of trade underpinning the negotiation of a bilateral FTA between Uruguay and the US. Drawing from the interplay of systemic-, state-, and society-centred approaches to trade policy-making, this essay argues that doubts regarding the net gains for Uruguay, combined with the threat of being excluded from the subregional project, and the lack of consensus within the Uruguayan state-society complex, render the negotiation of a bilateral FTA unfeasible in the short term. The central explanatory variable to the understanding of trade policy-making in Uruguay is placed on the institutional constraints imposed by Uruguay's full-membership to MERCOSUR. <![CDATA[<b>Why does </b><b>Uruguay</b><b> need to negotiate with the </b><b>United States</b><b>?</b><a name="_ftnref1"></a>]]> The paper discusses the reasons why Uruguay should develop a new framework of trade negotiations with the United States of America (USA). The initial argument starts with a critical assessment of the economic integration performance in the Southern Cone during the past decade. The South-South orientation for common trade negotiations with third parties are not aligned with the small countries interests in Mercosur, this is particularly the case of Uruguay. The second point is a description of the USA administration trade negotiations strategies of competitive liberalization. During the current decade, this global stance justifies the sign of many number of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) by USA government. This year the evolution of the Congress composition and other political events show a change in the trade policy that also is characterized in the article. In the third part there is a specific story about the trade flow and the evolution of trade policy between both economies. In an eventual free trade area with the North American market in the tradable sectors, Uruguay has not a defensive position and on the contrary it has many opportunities to exploit. The comparatives advantages of this developing small country are concentrated in the agriculture sector. In the industry sector Uruguay is currently intensively open to its major neighbors in Mercosur. Moreover, to open the Uruguayan economy to USA in tradable sectors could diminish the trade deviation cost associated with the regional agreement. This benefit from the Uruguayan perspective implies a small deterioration of the Brazilian position. In relation to the service liberalization and the other complementary trade rules of the FTA the country must define what he want to obtain with the agreement. It is possible to reserve some sectors and measures from the general rules of the liberalization process. In all this beyond the borders issues is basically a domestic discussion to define the orientation of the reform process associated with the agreement. The FTA gives the choice to develop some economics reforms that could have an adverse political economy in a conventional contractive adjustment.