Brazil’s National High School Exam (Enem) was created in 1998 as a way to test the quality of high school education. It has since been turned into Brazil’s main college acceptance exam, and is used by most of the country’s federal universities.
Unsurprisingly, Enem scores reflect deep divisions of class, race, and gender within Brazilian society. Over 70 percent of the exam’s best scores belong to males whose parents have at least a college education. Of course, while it may not be news that a student’s social and economic background plays a large role in educational performance, it would be worthwhile to take a look at just how pervasive inequality is within our school system, and how these imbalances translate into very real and problematic material circumstances.