The World Bank is turning its focus once again to 'reforming' education in Latin America. 'The issue is no longer about quantity or access to schools, but the quality of schools,' says a World Bank spokesperson. The Bank will shortly issue a 'hard-hitting ', which will focus on selecting, evaluating and incentivising teachers.

The lead researcher on the project is WB economist Barbara Bruns, who has advocated performance related pay and short term contracts for teachers as co-author of 'Making Schools Work', the of which shows a teacher from the global South asleep in the classroom.

Like Bill Gates, the US public education supremo who dropped out of education and sends his children to private school, Ms Bruns is fond of blaming public school teachers for the failure to reach the goal of Education For All and indeed for poverty itself (a subject on which global South teachers know a good deal more than Ms Bruns). To solve this dilemma of teachers who can't 'even be got to show up' () and when they do, don't 'perform' well, she , among other things:

Video cameras can be placed in classrooms to collect regular footage of teachers at work that can be evaluated against clear rubrics.

The emphasis is on the collection of data, which purports to show the effectiveness or otherwise of teachers. It is this which also drives the so-called – a co-production of UNICEF and the US Brookings Institute, a think-tank which was one of the main cheerleaders for the US invasion and occupation of Iraq. The task force co-chair is Sir Michael Barber of the mega education corporation Pearson. Pearson's involvement is unsurprising – the profits to be made out of education data-mining are immense.

The World Bank rightly expects resistance from teachers and their unions to their 'reform' plans for Latin America. Dressed in the language of social justice, these data collecting initiatives, run directly counter to the development of critical pedagogies in which Latin American educationists have lead the field. Ironically, Peru is singled out by the Bank as a country which is 'moving in the World Bank's direction.' It is in Peru that the union SUTEP, in the teeth of government opposition, has been pioneering the development of new for rural and indigenous areas, which would of course not figure on any US-centric matrix.

The apple meme at the top of this article is taken from Ms Bruns' blog and is, I suppose, a tired metaphor for teachers – with the bad apple in the middle. It is interesting that the apples are of an identical variety and look tasteless and bland, presumably the goal of the World Bank for teachers. Here's an idea for Ms Bruns – why don't you retrain as a teacher and work for a year in a remote rural community, where neither English nor Spanish are spoken? Do it on a teacher's wages and in the kind of conditions typically experienced by teachers and children. To give you a hand we'll put a TV camera in your classroom – and after you've been doing it for a year, we'll send an economist to come and evaluate you and if you're a bad apple we'll 'deal with' you . . .