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Tensions between State and Market in Chile: Educational Policy and Culture

Author:

Ann Matear

University of Portsmouth, GB
About Ann
Ann Matear is Principal Lecturer in Iberian and Latin American Studies at the  University of Portsmouth. Her areas of research centre on issues of equity, social  justice and democracy in Chile. Current research projects focus on equity in education policy and she has worked on gender equity in public policy. She has also published on the struggle for justice and human rights in post-Pinochet Chile. Recent  publications include ‘The Barriers to Equitable Access: Higher Education Policy in  Chile since 1990’, Higher Education Policy (March 2006); and ‘The Pinochet  Case: A Catalyst for Deepening Democracy in Chile?’, in P. Gready (ed.) Fighting  for Human Rights (2004).
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Abstract

Since 1990, education has been the focus of policy  initiatives relating to national development, and  public investment has increased. However, highquality education remains an elusive aspiration for  the majority of children, and the educational ‘good’  which is distributed is far from standard in Chile.  The achievement gap between income groups and  between the different school types is widening and  confidence in the public education system is falling. This article analyses the tensions inherent in  implementing policies that aim to promote equity  within a market-oriented education system, supported by a legislative framework that constrains  policy changes that might depart from a neoliberal  model. It examines how the provision and financing of education have become increasingly privatized; how student enrolment has shifted dramatically from state to privately-run schools; and how  parental choice in education is contributing to the  growing stratification of the education system by  social class. 

Resumen: Tensiones entre el estado y el Mercado en Chile: políticas educativas y cultura

Desde 1990, la educación ha sido el foco de las  iniciativas de la política referente al desarrollo  nacional y la inversión pública ha aumentado. Sin  embargo, una educación de alta calidad sigue  siendo una aspiración evasiva para la mayoría de  niños y el ‘bien educativo’ que se distribuye está  lejos de ser estandarizado en Chile. La brecha del  logro entre los grupos socioeconómicos y entre los  diversos tipos de escuela se está ensanchando y la  confianza en el sistema educativo público está  bajando. Este artículo analiza las tensiones inherentes a la hora de implementar políticas que  apunten a promover la equidad dentro de un sistema educativo orientado hacia el libre mercado,  apoyado por un marco legislativo que restringe los  cambios de política que pudieran salirse del modelo neoliberal. Examina cómo la entrega y el financiamiento de la educación se han privatizado cada  vez más; cómo la matrícula ha cambiado dramáticamente, pasando de la oferta estatal a la privada;  y cómo la preferencia de los padres está contribuyendo a una estratificación por clase social cada  vez mayor del sistema educativo.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9633
How to Cite: Matear, A. (2007). Tensions between State and Market in Chile: Educational Policy and Culture. ERLACS, (83), 61–82. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/erlacs.9633
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Published on 15 Oct 2007.
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