Educational decentralization is a popular reform theme of governments around the world, but with motives, strategies and outcomes as different as the countries themselves. For researchers and policy makers alike, there is a growing need to synthesize the positive and negative aspects of these national strategies and experiences. The objective of this paper is to identify and explain the key issues and forces that play major roles in shaping organization and management strategies of educational decentralization. Examples from five Hispanic nations that have initiated decentralization reforms will be utilized to illustrate the major points: Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Nicaragua and Spain. The paper is organized around a series of questions that tap core decentralization issues, such as national and regional goals, planning, political stress, resource distribution, infrastructure development, and job stability. The paper concludes with a conceptual model of the decentralization process and a series of “lessons learned” from the five nations.
Journal of Educational Administration – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 1998
Keywords: Authority; Centralization; Decentralization; Latin America; Management; Privatization
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