23 SES 09 A JS, New Public Management and the Modernisation of Education in Europe
Symposium, Joint Session NW 23 and NW 28
This paper analyses the construction of NPM as a global education policy, and its adoption and re-contextualization in a South European setting. In the education sector, NPM has crystallized in school autonomy, school principals’ professionalization, standardized evaluation and teachers’ accountability policies. NPM has implied a paradigmatic change in the role of the state in education provision, and has drastically altered the conventional power and accountability relations in educational systems. International organizations and international education entrepreneurs, including the OECD, have been very active in the international dissemination of NPM policy solutions. However, NPM adoption – as it happens in the adoption of any other global policy - is strongly mediated by domestic politics and institutions. In the case of Catalonia, NPM has been more strongly adopted and regulated with social-democratic forces in power and the NPM reforms have been re-contextualized and regulated very unevenly. For a combination of political, institutional and economic reasons, the final form adopted by the NPM approach is far from the model advocated by the international community and is deeply paradoxical. Among other aspects, resistance to the new forms of accountability among teachers affect its actual implementation.
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