Redefining the public sphere: self-managed schools in Argentina

The educational reform that took place in Argentina during the '90s was an answer to the crisis of the state-centered model that fostered the expansion of the school system in the XXth. Century. This reform assumed that the solution to improve the quality of education should focus on such issues as: reducing the role of the state in the system assessment; profoundly reforming the school organization; considering new forms of demand-side financing; introducing incentives; giving autonomy to individual schools; involving non-state institutions in policy management; producing information in order to guarantee the freedom of choice; offering new career for teachers based on merit and derogation of the labor statute. Nevertheless, the educational reform should be analyzed in the context of a broader reform process implemented in the whole Latin America in the '90s, aimed at legitimating a new economic, social, political and cultural model. Inspired in the "charter schools" model, the Experimental Schools Project in the Province of San Luis is a leading case in the region of what is characterized as the "necessary and imperative reform of the educational systems". In this context, the aim of this article is both to analyze the logic behind this model and to discuss the main issues of its implementation process.

Charter schools; Non state public organizations; Quasi-markets; Public school; Educational reform


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