ERIC Number: ED466819
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
The Politics of Education Reform: Bolstering the Supply and Demand; Overcoming Institutional Blocks. Country Studies: Education Reform and Management Publication Series.
There is widespread consensus worldwide that improving the performance of education systems is necessary to advance socioeconomic development, reduce inequality, enhance economic competitiveness of nations, and possibly fortify governmental institutions. This paper explores the political conditions that may enhance or hinder the adoption of education reforms. It relies on existing studies of reform adoption to extract hypotheses that seem applicable in some cases and testable in others. The paper argues that the political conditions for the adoption of quality-oriented education reforms remain unfavorable, despite a new impetus in favor of reform. Quality reforms produce concentrated costs and distributed benefits, leading to the rise of strong veto groups, such as teachers' unions, bureaucrats, and university students. Beneficiaries of education reform do exist, but they tend to be less organized and motivated than reform opponents. Successful reform adoption is contingent on addressing the concentration of costs on a few actors, low incidence of policy entrepreneurship, political disengagement of potential beneficiaries, and political advantages of cost-bearing groups. This paper discusses various hypotheses about ways to address each of these hurdles. Appendix 1 illustrates changes in ministers of education and ministers of finance in selected cases of education reform. (Contains 90 references.) (RT)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Foreign Countries, Political Issues, Politics of Education
The World Bank, Education Reform and Management Team, Human Development Network-Education, 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433. Tel: 202-473-1825; Fax: 202-522-3233; For full text: http://www1.worldbank.org/education/globaleducationreform/pdf/hanson/pdf.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Researchers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: World Bank, Washington, DC. Human Development Network.