This request was posted. Please feel welcome to post your comments and help our friends in Spain.
Dear Mrs. Ravitch,
My name is Amadeu Sanz and I am the publishing coordinator of STEPV, a union of teachers in Valencia (Spain).
In Spain, just as in the US, there’s a heated debate on the results of public schools in international assessment tests such as PISA, and our Minister of Education (José Ignacio Wert) wants to impose a reform of the educational system that advocates the de-regulation of the system to favor complete freedom of school choice and the introduction of the principles of accountability and competition among all kinds of schools (public, private and charter ones). this reform hasn’t been passed in our parliament yet, but we fear that the absolute majority that the party in government has will approve of it, even though there is a wide refusal towards it in all spheres of education (teachers and students unions, parents’ associations, prominent scholars…).
In addition to this, the economic and debt crisis in this country is a perfect excuse to significantly cut education budgets, fire teachers, reduce their salaries and increase the ratio of students per classroom.
The situation is becoming really awful, to the extent that we consider this reform and these cuts the biggest attack against the public school system that has been developed after the death of Franco and the transition to democracy in Spain.
As a response to this situation, STEPV, along with two other unions –STEi, from the Balearic Islands, and USTEC, from Catalonia, with whom we share the same language, Catalan- are developing an opposition campaign to the reform designed by our minister.
In order to enrich our arguments and proposals, we are planning to publish a critical analysis of the reform and we want to illustrate how similar proposals to these from minister Wert have worked out in other countries, being yours a very valuable example.
Because many ideas come from the U.S. and because we’re absolute fans of some of your books and videos, we would be really pleased if you would like to contribute to our critical analysis issue by writing an article about the effects of school choice and accountability on education.