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La Educación
Número: (118) II
Año: 1994

Should School-Based Management Be Retained?

Almost without exception, the interviews conducted for this study revealed that educators from one end of Spain to the other recognized that the practice of school-based management was not an effective mechanism for improving the quality of management and/or education in the schools. Morover, because of its failure to attract sufficient leaders from among the teachers to assume the role of school principals, the SBM approach has often been viewed as an impediment to improving the educational system.34

Given the problems encountered, several distinguished university professors were asked if the practice of SBM in Spain served a useful purpose. The overwhelming consensus was that indeed it does. The real contribution made by SBM has little to do with improving administration capability through decentralization, or establishing new directions for educational programs. The true contribution of SBM is symbolic. That is, it represents, in a highly visible manner, the practice of democracy at the local level to a nation long denied that basic human right. For this reason, the argument went, the practice of SBM should, and undoubtedly will, continue.

Since SBM is such a newly formulated model of educational reform, it seems reasonable to expect that sufficient time has not yet passed to resolve the trouble spots. Whether the differences between practice and theory can be resolved in the next few years will no doubt determine the viability of this particular Spanish model of decentralized educational reform.