Thank you for your follow up and interest. Our measure of success is based on the level of an indicator regularly published by the Brazilian Education Institute (INEP), IDEB for the early grades of primary education (“ Índice de Desenvolvimento da Educação Básica” in Portuguese). IDEB is an indicator of the quality of education that combines information on student learning (captured by national assessments at the end of school year) with student passing rates. In 2015, among the 100 top schools in the first cycle of Fundamental Education (covering grades 1st through 5th) nationwide, more than 70 best performing schools are located in the Ceara state.
This may be surprising at first sight, but surely partly reflects the important reforms that the state and several of its 184 municipios have implemented over the last years. Some important contributions were the creation of PAIC (Programa Alfabetizacao na Idade Certa) and innovations in management for results in the education sector which have included providing finantial incentives to reward positive school and student performance.
Furthermore, the state was also one of the first to built in financial incentives through the state level transfers to the municipios ( through the design of the ICMS) while providing technical assistance and support to the lagging schools/municipios.