Increasing efficiency of education is a major goal in Mexico, as in much of Latin America. Education provides much of the human and social capital needed for effective participation in society and at work. Fernando Reimers argues that serious improvements in the quality of education must focus on questions of purpose as well as of efficiency in the delivery of education. Too often the concern with efficiency overrides fundamental questions about the purposes of schools. Often policy reforms to address efficiency make unwarranted asumptions about contextual conditions that can turn the intended purposes of those policies on their heads; for instance, the current popularity of policies to expand the decision making authority of principals assumes that they have incentives and are capable of improving instruction in schools. Reimers shows how in Mexico there are serious problems that undermine the effectiveness of school principals: part of the explanation for the lack of efficiency in education lies with social attitudes that favor men and make it difficult for women to advance in their professions. This in turn creates deep problems for the purpose of teaching students an egalitarian and tolerant set of values, essential to effective citizenship in a democratic society. In this chapter Reimers demonstrates how to productively combine a focus on the purposes of schools with a focus on the efficiency of education delivery.