In Cuba’s Academic Advantage, Martin Carnoy analyses the success of the Cuban school system as measured by the results achieved by Cuban students in international math, science, and language tests. The study includes data from Chile and Brazil whose students consistently test less well than Cuban students on these same tests despite the fact that these two countries enjoy better socio-economic indicators than does Cuba and educational reform efforts have been undertaken by their respective governments. He references studies, the results of which are well known by researchers, which demonstrate that academic success among socially disadvantaged students is far less likely than for students from better-off families (p. 45). Why does this co-relation not hold true for Cuba? Carnoy argues that an important component of student success in Cuba, including students from lower socio-economic circumstances, is the result of what he terms state-generated social capital.

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