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Regional decentralization vs. school autonomy: a look at Spain in the international framework Miguel Ángel Sancho. European Foundation Society and Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Regional decentralization vs. school autonomy: a look at Spain in the international framework Miguel Ángel Sancho. European Foundation Society and Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regional decentralization vs. school autonomy: a look at Spain in the international framework Miguel Ángel Sancho. European Foundation Society and Education Fort- Lauderdale, Davie. Florida.2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

2 Regional decentralization vs. school autonomy 1.Decentralization vs. School autonomy 2.The concept of autonomy: decision making capacity. Who, how, what. 3.International trends: some findings about autonomy from McKinsey 2010, Euridyce 2007 and Education at a glance Challenges and opportunities of the legal education reform. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

3 Territorial decentralization School autonomy Higher decentralization in educational matters one of the lowest levels of school autonomy on international scales. Regional decentralization vs. school autonomy

4 Regional decentralization in Spain Constitution: the Spain of autonomy. Transfer of competences from a unitary state to one that is autonomous. Exhausted Model: Transition to a federal model. Attitude sovereignty and independence of Catalonia. Public consultation: risk of secession? Time of economic and social crisis. Last week judicial review for state regulation of the FP. The Catalan Statute speaks about exclusive educational competencies, but it is not possible for our Constitution. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

5 Regional decentralization vs. school autonomy A greater degree of decentralization, although centered on decision-making as regards the place and people affected, does not necessarily bring about an increase in schools' autonomy. In fact, Spain, with considerable decentralization in educational matters, shows one of the lowest levels of school autonomy on international scales. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

6 Regional decentralization vs. school autonomy degree freedom and flexibility teacher's level of commitment the quality of schools the quality of education

7 Autonomy mobile, living, intelligent structures moving away from a long tradition of regulation and "bureaucratization" that prevents team training and people management the educational organization's versatility and the administration of economic resources according to the diversity of circumstances. decision-making so as to improve and adapt to students' reality Regional decentralization vs. school autonomy

8 Tipe of supervision over Model of Autonomy Procedures Results A B C D ADMINISTRATION ADMINISTRATION SCHOOL SCHOOL ADMINISTRATION SCHOOL 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference Model of Autonomy, as clasified acording to the type of supervision exercide over procedures and results

9 Regional decentralization vs. school autonomy It is therefore necessary to approach the issue of schools' autonomy regardless of how decentralized educational competencies are set up among the public authorities, and analyzing the external and internal factors upon which it depends: a legal framework avoiding excessive regulation; a school that assumes autonomy, involving participation from the whole school community. the conviction to achieve qualitatively and quantitatively better results by those in charge of putting it into practice. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

10 The concept of autonomy. Abstract concept. Autonomy as the competence to making decisions who Outside school: Central government, state government, provincial or local government Inside school: principals, team, board of directors, school boards, teacher's assemblies, didactic departments what organizational of instruction, personal management, planning and structure, resources management how full share with internal bodies with dependency on external organs.

11 International trends: How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better. McKinsey & Company.2010 This report analyzes twenty systems from around the world, all with improving but differing levels of performance, examining how each has achieved significant, sustained, and widespread gains in student outcomes, as measured by international and national assessments. Based on over 200 interviews with system stakeholders and analysis of some 600 interventions carried out by these systems this report identifies the reform elements that are replicable for school systems elsewhere as they move from poor to fair to good to great to excellent performance. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

12 International trends: How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better. McKinsey & Company nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

13 International trends: How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better. McKinsey & Company.2010 There is a strong, correlation between a school system’s improvement journey stage and the tightness of central control over the individual schools activities and performance. Systems on the poor to fair journey, in general characterized by lower skill educators, exercise tight, central control over teaching and learning processes in order to minimize the degree of variation between individual classes and across schools. In contrast, systems moving from good to great, characterized by higher skill educators, provide only loose, central guidelines for teaching and learning processes, in order to encourage peer led creativity and innovation inside schools, the core driver for raising performance at this stage 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

14 International trends: How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better. McKinsey & Company nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

15 International trends: How the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better. McKinsey & Company nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

16 International trends School Autonomy in Europe Policies and Measures. Eurydice, 2007 It shows that although policy contexts change – from the need for more democratic participation to more efficient public management and, today, the concern to improve quality of education – the overall result has been more responsibility and decision-making powers for schools. Reforms working in this direction have generally been imposed on schools in a top-down legislative process. this study looks with some detail at the content of school autonomy within three broad fields(the first two being the use of public and private funds respectively and the third being human resources).The degree and type of autonomy that schools have are analysed with respect to specific parameters, as are different categories of decision-making responsibilities within schools. The role played by school management bodies in this connection is also highlighted, together with a brief description of who is represented on these bodies in different European countries. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

17 International trends School Autonomy in Europe Policies and Measures. Eurydice, nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

18 International trends School Autonomy in Europe Policies and Measures. Eurydice, nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

19 International trends School Autonomy in Europe Policies and Measures. Eurydice, nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

20 International trends School Autonomy in Europe Policies and Measures. Eurydice, nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

21 International trends: Education at a Glance OECD. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference Spain and the United States both fit under the latter category, indicating greater centralization, and consequently less overall autonomy in the system in relation to the average for OECD countries.

22 International trends: Education at a Glance OECD. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

23 International trends: Education at a Glance OECD. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

24 International trends: Education at a Glance OECD. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference Chart 2 presents the subdivision of domains in which educational decisions are made by different entities in Spain, the United States, and the average of OECD countries. Pertaining to the organization of instruction, both countries follow the global trend depicted in the OECD average bar of high decision making capacities for schools. This category includes decisions regarding instruction time, teaching methodology, the choice of textbooks, etc. Additionally, it is important to point out that even if most of these decisions are taken at the school level, they must conform to nationally established standards, or are subject to the approval of higher levels of authority. Spain OCDE USA

25 International trends: Education at a Glance OECD. In the domain of personnel management there is usually less delegation of competences to schools across OECD countries. In Spain, this fact is specially marked, with schools accounting for less than 5% of the decisions made in that area. Teachers’ status as civil servants grants national and state governments great margin in the making of decisions regarding a school’s personnel. Similarly, labor unions grouping a large percentage of the teaching staff in the United States hinder individual schools’ decision making abilities, and make the local entity a more natural decision maker in this area because of its capacity to negotiate and enter into contracts with the unions. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

26 International trends: Education at a Glance OECD. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference Contrary to the norm in OECD countries, where schools account for over a fifth of the decisions taken, neither Spanish nor American schools wield influence over the planning and structure of education. In both countries the subjects offered, the qualifying examinations for a diploma, and the composition of the program of study are largely decided by the national and state government.

27 International trends: Education at a Glance OECD. With regards to resource management, both Spain and the US lag behind the average in terms of school autonomy –it is non-existent in the United States, and minimal and highly conditioned in Spain. For example, Spanish schools have decision making powers over the purchase of furniture and, within a framework set by the state government, the allocation of resources for operational expenditures. In the United States the totality of these decisions are made at the local level, indicating a high degree of regional decentralization with respects to decision making, but also the absolute lack of school autonomy 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

28 International trends: Education at a Glance OECD. Many countries have strengthened the influence of central authorities in setting standards, curricula and assessments. For example, a loosening of “process” and financial regulations has often been accompanied by an increase in the central level control of outputs. The most common reasons to decentralise decision making are increased efficiency and improved financial control; reduced bureaucracy; increased responsiveness to local communities; more creative management of human resources; improved potential for innovation; and the creation of conditions that provide better incentives for improving the quality of schooling. Some of the shift towards more centralised decision making can be explained by the heightened interest in measures of accountability that involve national assessments and national examinations that are based on centrally established curricula or frameworks. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

29 International trends: Education at a Glance OECD. In 16 of 36 countries, decisions are most often taken at the school level In 12 of 36 countries, decisions made at the state or central level were the most prevalent Decisions on the organisation of instruction are predominantly taken by schools half of the decisions taken at the school level are taken in full autonomy Schools are least likely to make autonomous decisions related to planning and structures. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

30 Challenges and opportunities of the Spanish legal education reform Draft of the new law (LOMCE): Strengthen the management capacity of the centers giving to the headmaster the opportunity to exercise greater management and instructional leadership. Professionalization of the management function through a prior certification for the post of principal. Establishes a protocol to account for the decisions, actions and quality of the results achieved. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

31 Challenges and opportunities of the Spanish legal education reform Article 6 bis. Distribution of competences. 2.c) Within the limits set by regulation and education authorities according to the above, schools can: 1) Complete the contents of the blocks of core, speciality and specific, and configure its training. 2 ) design and implement their own teaching methods. 3) Determine the workload corresponding to different subjects Article The education authorities encourage and foster the autonomy of schools, evaluate the results and require them, if necessary, to adopt appropriate measures for improvement. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

32 Challenges and opportunities of the Spanish legal education reform ART 122. BIS. Quality actions. Competitive. Autonomy of schools for implementation. a) Establish requirements and specific merits for the jobs offered civil servant teaching staff and for the filling of posts in interim. b) Reject, by reasoned decision, joining in interim positions of teachers from centralized lists. c) Where there is vacant and suitable and sufficient to propose the appointment of teachers, having worked in quality projects, necessary for the continuity of them. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference

33 Challenges and opportunities of the Spanish legal education reform Let me conclude by saying that Autonomy is not a magic word that improves educational system by itself. It is not an end but a means. It needs to be efficient to fix good quality standards as a reference of educational achievement and accountability to know the level or the consequences of our action. Charter school or free school are fitting references to other countries particularly to Spain. I hope to advance in the future in that direction marked by freedom, accountability and higher achievements. 2nd Annual International School Choice & Reform Academic Conference


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