From Democratic Participation to School Choice: Quasimarket Principles in the Spanish Educational Legislation


  • Antonio Olmedo Reinoso Universidad de Granada



education policy, school choice, participation, quasimarkets


This paper is part of a broader research project that aims to study and give some theoretical explanation to the inclusion/exclusion dynamics produced by the application of neoliberal policies in education. It focuses on those policies that promote school choice and family involvement. The goal was to contextualize the role of the State over these issues, analyzing the legislative framework in which families act and take decisions in relation to their children's education process. Far from trying to give a mere description of the contents of those policies, this article tries to understand and point out their possible effects in comparison with other contexts that have already developed similar dynamics. The article suggests that the trajectory of the Spanish educational policy over school choice and participation has redefined the role of families in relation to their children's schooling process. The result has been the transition from an active role in the daily organization and management of the schools to another one more specific and restricted where the families could be defined as consumers of education focusing on the control through choice of those schools that are considered as the "best and more appropriate" in order to fulfil present and future aspirations and expectations.


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Author Biography

Antonio Olmedo Reinoso, Universidad de Granada

Antonio Olmedo Reinoso, es doctor en Ciencias de la Educación e investigador en la Universidad de Granada. Miembro del Grupo de Investigación “Políticas y Reformas Educativas”. Sus líneas de investigación giran en torno a la Educación Comparada, así como la Política y Sociología de la Educación. Ha participado en diversos proyectos tanto nacionales como internacionales, en torno a la relación entre educación y exclusión social. Actualmente trabaja como investigador en tres proyectos nacionales, centrándose su actividad investigadora en aspectos relacionados con las dinámicas descentralizadoras y equidad, en concreto sobre los mecanismos de elección de centro. Entre sus publicaciones más recientes destacan: Reescribiendo las teorías de la reproducción social: influencia de la clase social en las trayectorias educativa y laboral del alumnado granadino de Secundaria y Bachillerato (en Revista de Educación, 2007); Middle Class Families and School Choice: Freedom versus Equity in the Context of a “Local Education Market” (en European Educational Research Journal, 2008); y, Las familias de clase media y elección de centro: El orden instrumental como condición necesaria pero no suficiente (en Profesorado. Revista de Curriculum y Formación del Profesorado, 2008).



How to Cite

Olmedo Reinoso, A. (2008). From Democratic Participation to School Choice: Quasimarket Principles in the Spanish Educational Legislation. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 16, 21.