Arguments for other education policy

Three months ago, Mariano Fernández Enguita, in his blog MFE ) announced the development and publication of a manifesto By another education policy, born out of the real encounter (in Seville) and virtual of a few tens of analysts and activists of the education.

Argumentos para otra política educativa

Manifesto For another educational policy

A group of professionals of the education, most teachers and professors of the university, gathered in Seville on 26 and 27 October 2012, concerned about the situation of the educational system and alarmed by the evolution of the educational policy, with a view to encouraging debate and generating a commitment with the improvement we declare:

  1. EDUCATION. Against the bias economizing the draft of the LOMCE, the goal of education includes human development and social cohesion. Women and men should be able to be formed as whole persons, responsible citizens and skilled workers. The society requires the school to ensure adequate levels of well-being, freedom, justice, and equity.
  2. DEBATE. We need a genuine national debate that would allow the reconstruction, in their case the re-foundation of the education system on the basis of a broad social agreement, and not, after the refusal of a State agreement, a law revanchista and ideological, without dialogue with the opposition nor with the world of education, just made up with a nothing reliable virtual forum.
  3. PUBLIC SCHOOL. The school is the backbone of the citizenship. Our peculiar history has bequeathed to us a dual system, and the government issues alarming signs of disdain for the public school and support the education private and confessional. The duty of the authorities is to articulate a public education system, equal and effective with an effective and efficient management of the subsystem state and the rules clear and cohesive for the private.
  4. QUALITY. There is No consensus on the notion of educational quality. It is imposing a vision that is restricted to the grades obtained in examinations and tests, internal and external, paper and pencil, based on a conception of factual and declarative knowledge which impoverishes the sense of learning and education. The school results are understood and are not an indicator of sustainable educational quality.
  5. FAILURE. The failure is not anonymous; it has a name, history and culture. It does not occur suddenly. It is the result of a process that can identify and anticipate. It has to do with the type of content, decontextualised and meaningless, which is taught and assessed and a process of teaching and learning that does not facilitate or promote that students make connections and develop their own meanings and knowledge.
  6. SOLIDARITY. The answer to the high school failure, and the subsequent abandonment, should not be naturalizarlo but, on the contrary, concentrate media differential and additional groups and individuals at risk, that is to say, pursue the common goals with means for quantitatively superior and qualitatively more appropriate. On the contrary, the law accepts this failure as inevitable, and the government removes the programs of compensatory education and attention to diversity, abandoning to their fate the students who are most vulnerable.
  7. REPETITION. Far from addressing the problem of repetition of course, that Spain leads in Europe so exaggerated, it has been shown indisputably ineffective, economically costly and inefficient and is a major endogenous causes of the school failure, the government seems to want to enlarge it, systematizing it and making it the determinant of the segregation early.
  8. ITINERARIES. It advances the age at which they create itineraries made irreversible. It is intended to segregate the students from 3rd of ESO, at the age of fourteen years, cutting in two the common core, and to convert the first orientation into the training professional in a dead-end, thus repeating the error of the LOGSE, and added mechanisms that threaten to overtake the segregation in the second year course. The majority of countries, the comprehensiveness comes at sixteen obtained better results than those that segregate at an early age. The segregation of students with the worst results translates into an education of inferior quality by the effect of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  9. EVALUATION. In compulsory education, the assessment should have a clear purpose of training, knowledge and support to the processes of learning and personal development. An evaluation isolating, sanctioning and control as suggested by the preliminary draft-based on frequent tests and standardized, it is contrary to their sense of education and of human diversity, creating abandonment and exclusion. The evaluation of the system requires a thorough review to ensure that the society and the school community with relevant information, through transparent processes and democratic.
  10. RESOURCES. Without going into their causes, we know that the effects of individual and collective crisis is focused on people and countries with a lower level of training. We know that the economy is the reemergence of her and the new jobs will not be the same, but that will require a work force more qualified. This is why it is essential, precisely in times of crisis, an effort to quantitatively and qualitatively in education.
  11. SETTINGS. Aware that it is more necessary than ever to improve the effectiveness and efficiency in the use of resources, we understand that there is room to improve the work of educators. Today it is more important to the effort of all, including the collaboration between the administrations and the teaching staff, with more and better contribution for budgetary and professional, as well as a reorganization of flexible centres. But you can’t confuse a policy of rationalisation and modernisation with a of cuts are indiscriminate.
  12. SERVICES. The central government and autonomous regions are cutting down on items considered non-essential: dining rooms, paths, text books, extracurricular activities or the school day itself. However, in the midst of this crisis, and knowing how they affect school performance as well as the conditions of life, the option should be the opposite: to ensure the free transport, dining room and school materials, as well as to avoid the intensification of the school day and foster a opening hours more widely.
  13. CITIZENSHIP. Citizenship requires access to knowledge and to develop attitudes consistent with the character of liberal, democratic, and social State of our law. That is to say, that is conducive to respect for the law and the rules of coexistence, the acceptance of other options and ways of life that are supported by the Constitution and laws, a commitment to participatory democracy, and the cohesion and solidarity social. This requires a consensus on ideas and shared values, and active tolerance towards others is not shared.
  14. SEGREGATION. The LOMCE endorse the segregation by gender in private schools, today primarily centers promoted by organizations reactionary. The schooling of the joint provides a positive socialization and indispensable in a society still marked by gender inequality.
  15. CCAA. Laws and policies should respect the scope of competence of the autonomous communities, instead of being used as instruments of centralisation, standardisation and bureaucratic control. This is not an obstacle to a claim to transparency, mobility, coordination and consistency in all areas of the state.
  16. AUTONOMY. It is necessary to respond to the needs of the community with autonomy, curricular, and organizational resources. The autonomy should not be directed to the rivalry between centres, but the use of differential resources. Requires a process of accountability social, as opposed to the decrease of the participation that would result in the conversion of the school councils into mere advisory bodies.
  17. TRANSPARENCY. The system is in many ways opaque to the professionals, the school community and the society. Is required to maximize the transparency, allowing access to the information without any other restriction than the respect to the self-image and intimacy. We need to develop reliable indicators of teacher performance, the operation of the centres, the implementation of projects, the results of programs and policies, and the general state of the system, but without distorting them with the processes of teaching and learning.
  18. PARTICIPATION. Participation is a right of the people and a constitutional principle. Should be strengthened as a way of belonging, motivation, awareness-raising, education, and social co-responsibility. It is essential to promote the freedom of thought and expression of students, as well as their self-organization and participation in the life of the center. Participation requires decision-making power. the opposite of authoritarian control. We are concerned about visible signs of empobrecerla, and crop present in the text of the LOMCE.
  19. ADDRESS. It has to accentuate the character’s pedagogical direction (coordination, innovation…) in front of the vision management of the draft. The management has to ensure the exercise of duties and rights of the community and the elaboration, development and evaluation of the educational project of the centre, and should not be a mere representative of the Administration or of the teaching staff. Shared leadership is more consistent with the character of the school.
  20. FACULTY. The educational system is founded on trust in the teacher and his / her professional capacity. So, he deserves support and recognition in the exercise of its function, more in times of social change and uncertainty. You must have a clear commitment to its students, its center and the education itself, and an attitude of partnership with families and the community. The current conditions and the legislative proposals derived powers to other agents, taking central aspects of their work. It is vital to improve training, selection, professional development, and evaluation.

We hope that this statement will help push forward the reflection and the dialogue as well as a commitment generator of hope and optimism. Nothing can be worse than launch, with the greater efficiency in the wrong direction.

Seville, October 27, 2012

Recently it has developed a more extensive and develops good part of the arguments behind the manifesto, with a view to encouraging a wider debate on the policy and (anti -) education reform today. Thanks to the kindness of the Editorial Morata, the text may be downloaded without cost in PDF format and, for those who like paper, purchased for the bargain price of 4€ or less, its cost of production in support of plant, from one to the other by going here, or do it from the page of the manifest. Those who prefer to read online may do so on the platforms common, Scribd, Issuu or Google Drive, from where you can also download.