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The crossroads for education: a view from the Advocacy Coalition Framework

Giovanna Valenti
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Xochimilco
Roberto Flores
Departamento de Investigaciones Educativas del Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del Instituto Politécnico Nacional
Giovanna Valenti
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Unidad Xochimilco

Abstract

Several groups coexist in the Mexican educational system, with diverse orientations and interests, which in situations of conflict or reform can become antagonistic. For this reason, it is very difficult to design far-reaching reforms, because the proposed changes cause situations that contribute to creating irreconcilable scenarios. To such an extent that, on the one hand, some promote reforms and, on the other, those who prefer to preserve the status quo. The context surrounding government policies in education is complex because there are also diverse actors with changing interests and values, including unions, parents' associations, teacher training colleges, civil society organizations, etc., whose adherence or rejection of reform projects contributes to the rigidity or fluidity of implementation processes. As a result of the power relations between the interest groups created mainly from 1970 onwards, the possibility of change has been very reduced and practices have grown and persisted that are very harmful to the good performance of teachers, such as the sale and inheritance of positions, the possession of more than one position by union members with incompatible schedules, the direct assignment to teacher training graduates, control of the teaching payroll, etc. To reverse the above and recover the State's control of education, educational reform was implemented in Mexico at the end of 2012. This reform proposed regulatory changes to create a professional teaching system based on evaluation and merit, and also created an institution that was granted legal and administrative autonomy to issue evaluation and research guidelines. The implementation of the reform implied a reconfiguration of the actors, as well as the visibility of new groups. The conflict and the resources used by the coalitions caused that reform to be repealed in 2018 and a new one proposed. The analysis of the failure of the 2013 Education Reform uses the Advocacy Coalition Framework to interpret the shaping of groups in coalitions and to identify the interests and beliefs that were present in the conflict, as well as to explain the transition to the 2018 education reform.