Since 2009, Cláudia Costin has been Education Secretary of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s largest municipal school system. Brought in with a mandate to “re-make the system” Dr. Costin has led the design and implementation of ambitious reforms, including: higher standards for teachers and directors; a new curriculum; re-design of teacher professional development; ongoing assessment of student learning progress; targeted remedial programs for students falling behind; a rich bank of online teaching and learning materials prepared by teachers for teachers, called Educopedia; and innovative investments to create a new model of high quality schools in Rio’s most violent favelas, called the Escolas de Amanha (Schools of Tomorrow).
The results have been impressive. In just the first two years, Rio’s score on the national index of education quality of Education rose 8% for the first cycle of primary school (1-5th grade) and 22% for the second cycle (6-9th grade) – one of the largest improvements of any municipal system in Brazil. Further improvement was seen in 2012, on Rio’s own tests.