This paper analyzes the implementation of educational policies and the roles of school professionals considering the street-level bureaucracy theory (LIPSKY, 1980). This study assumes that educational reforms elect schools as planning and administration centers, making them and the professionals working there responsible for new attributions which are motivated by improved autonomy, in addition to administrative and educational decentralization. In these contexts, which are marked by schools’ increasing empowerment, the discretionary power exercised by its professionals (teachers, principals, coordinators, among others) is a key element to understanding the availability and implementation of programs and their ability to either influence or change the design of educational policies on a local level. This perspective emphasizes the importance of considering those closer to actions deriving from such policies, that is, the actors who see the bottom-up process because they are in the lower end. According to Lipsky (1980), these are the so-called local policy agents or street-level public agents. As for schools, we understand that to enforce a certain policy, factors such as interpersonal influence, commitments, and informal negotiations are as important as formal processes and regulations. Finally, this study attempts to prove the impacts and contours assumed by changes in school dynamics in terms of translating local educational policies.
Street-level bureaucracy; public policy implementation; educational policies