The Ministry of Education already has its proposal ready to reform the current education law (LOMCE), known as Wert law. Broadly speaking, it recovers many of the aspects of the Organic Law of Education (LOE), the rule that approved the PSOE in 2006, although it includes news such as the promotion of a personalized plan for repeating students, which could incorporate content and exams different from those of the rest of the group. It will be the teachers who decide what strategy to use in each case. It is the first time that a law contemplates a plan of this type. According to him PISA report, one in three students of 15 years was repeating course in Spain in 2015, triple the average of the countries of the OECD.
The document Proposals for the modification of the Organic Law of Education, to which EL PAÍS has had access, does not contain a clear measure on the linguistic conflict in the schools of Catalonia. It only establishes that a regulation that complies with the two judgments of the constitutional Court that failed against Wert law and his plan to guarantee schooling in Spanish.
The political opposition to the LOMCE led in 2013 to parliamentary groups – with the exception of UPyD and the two deputies of UPN and Foro Asturiano – to agree in writing to the commitment to repeal the LOMCE in the next legislature.
The reform will be submitted for consultation to educational organizations and administrative bodies – like the other ministries – and the final proposal will be submitted to the Council of Ministers at the end of the year. As already announced by the head of Education, Isabel Celaá, the so-called itineraries in third and fourth of the ESO are deleted; the revalidations -Which are currently suspended-; Ethics is included as a compulsory subject -under the name of Education in civic and ethical values-; the call is eliminated social demand for access to subsidized private education (concerted); and Religion will no longer be a compulsory subject in 1st and 2nd year of Bachillerato. The marks obtained by the students who take the Catholic subject will not be computable to obtain the average grade of access to the University.
These are some of the details of the reform in its main points:
Concerts and access. The primary objective is to "improve the admission system" that prevails in the concerted school. For this, the reference to social demand will be eliminated, for which the Administration must guarantee parents places in approved centers. Celaá already considered that concept "a euphemism that has served to propitiate in some cases that the public school can be considered subsidiary of the concerted education".
In order to avoid segregation by sex, the reference to "differentiated education is not considered discrimination by gender" will be omitted in the text and priority will be given in the concert regime to the centers in which it is coeducated.
The scoring criteria will be modified to give a higher score to single-parent families and victims of gender violence and terrorism.
Equity and inclusion.The controversial educational itineraries will be eliminated to ensure that "any option" curricular chosen in the ESO leads to the same degree. Now the students have to decide at the end of the 3rd year of secondary school the path to follow, whether Vocational Training or Baccalaureate. And in 4th grade, subjects like mathematics offer two levels of difficulty depending on the chosen path, which, finally, determines whether one degree or another is obtained. "The early segregation, which gives rise to different degrees, prevents many students with difficulties from pursuing a baccalaureate or higher vocational training," the document states.
An individualized plan is established for the repeating students. It will be the educational centers and the teachers who will decide how to configure it and if the student should receive different contents or undergo differentiated exams. It will focus on the need for schools to adopt "educational measures" that avoid repetition of the student to avoid academic failure. The Evaluation Board will be responsible for deciding the proposal.
Religion. "Respecting the agreements with the Holy See", the text says, Religion is no longer considered as a specific subject in 1st and 2nd year of Bachillerato, that is, its offer will not be compulsory in the centers. This avoids that the grade obtained during the course is taken into account to calculate the average access to the University or the granting of scholarships. In addition, the obligation to study an alternative subject to Religion is eliminated. Education in civic and ethical values becomes compulsory for all students in a primary school course and in another high school course yet to be determined.
Autonomy and direction. The objective is to prevent the director "is the only governing body in schools," says the ministerial proposal. The LOMCE took away the power of the School Councils, which will now recover competences. In addition, its composition will be modified in the arranged centers to reincorporate the representative of the City Council.
The procedure for the selection of directors will be modified, increasing the participation of the School Council (made up of families and teachers). At present, the autonomous communities decide if the director's choice falls on the Administration or the school board, which has led to a large dispersion of models.
In addition, it will prevent the pedagogical autonomy of the centers from giving rise to the selection of students, the document points out.
And it will eliminate the possibility of contracting by "procedures different from the ordinary ones" to native people for the teaching in another language of different subjects, something that has been detected that happens in some educational establishments.
Evaluation and revalidation. It is forbidden to use the results of the evaluations made to the students to establish a classification of the best and worst centers. This point is retrieved from the LOE.
The revalidations at the end of 6th grade of primary and 4th of ESO will become "sample and multiannual evaluations" that allow to know the state of the educational system and favor the accountability of the centers to improve public policies.
An "individualized plan" will be implemented with academic and professional guidance for students who leave the education system without the compulsory secondary school diploma.
Formative stages. Primary education, from six to 11 years old, is organized again in three cycles of two years each. Now students are evaluated every year, course by course, so that they can repeat the course if their maturation moment is not at the expected level. When evaluating each two courses it is expected that the capacities of some students and others will be equalized to pass the cycle with the least possible failure.
The choice of all the subjects to be studied in 4th year of secondary education and Bachillerato will be eliminated. Only reference to common matters will be made, the rest will be left for later regulation – through a royal decree – and, in the case of the optional ones, will be decided by the autonomous communities.
Ana Torres / Jessica Mouzo
The proposed reform of the current educational law contains a seventh chapter that with the name Territorial Model regulates the distribution of competences between the State and the communities to define the curricular contents and the number of hours dedicated to each subject. The document retrieves the formula of the LOGSE (educational law of 1990) and the LOE by which the ministry determines 55% of the contents of all the subjects that are studied in the autonomies with co-official language, and 65% in the rest.
That means that, for example, in the subject of mathematics, the ministry sets 55% of the content and the total hours that should be taught in this subject -in the case of regions with co-official language-. The other 45% is determined by the autonomous communities. With this model, the ministry pursues a common plan for all of Spain, that there are not so many differences in the academic program between one region and another.
The current law (LOMCE) uses a different system: it does not use percentages. It divides the subjects in trunks (the obligatory that fixes the State), and optional and of free configuration (that determine the autonomous communities in their totality). This other model implies great differences between the subjects that are studied in each autonomy. The ministry seeks, with the change it proposes, a greater consensus and collaboration between the State and the communities.
Regarding the teaching of co-official languages, the document states that a "regulation in accordance" with the Constitutional Court ruling of last February will be approved. The ruling annulled the articles of the LOMCE for which the Spanish Government obliged the Government of Catalonia to pay aid to guarantee that the children of the families that requested it could study in Spanish. "The system designed by the law to guarantee education in Spanish supported by public funds does not respect the division of competences" between administrations, said the ruling.
The LOMCE established that the Autonomous Administration would have to compensate up to 6,057 euros (the cost of a place in a public center) to the students who wanted to receive education in Spanish and in the absence of that option in the public system, they were forced to enroll in a private center. This point of the Wert law It received a strong blow from justice due to the invasion of powers.
About the percentage that each of the languages must occupy, the document does not contain any specification at the moment. The weight of the co-official languages in the school varies in each community, which has, in turn, a different linguistic model: in Galicia the subjects are taught in equal parts in Spanish and Galician; in the Valencian Community a 25% of hours in Spanish is established, 25% in Valencian and 15% or 25% in English; in the Balearic Islands, at least 50% of the classes are taught in Catalan; In the Basque Country, parents can choose schooling in any of the co-official languages, although the model of Basque as the vehicular language is the majority one. In Catalonia there is a linguistic immersion model, where all subjects (except Spanish Language) are taught in Catalan.