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Framing neoliberalism: A content analysis of Ley de Reforma Educativa de Puerto Rico


  • Patricia M. Virella Montclair State University



education policy, neoliberalism, content analysis


The American educational policy agenda has been fraught with neoliberal laws that center educational improvement and innovation (Barros, 2012). Neoliberalism operates on the premise that market competition will spur excellence in educational opportunities and decrease the education debt in marginalized communities (Fejes & Salling Olesen, 2016). Moreover, in the case of urban education systemic reforms, researchers need to endeavor how marginalized communities relay their concerns or endorsements in the media. News articles are one appropriate unit of analysis for investigating this problem. In this paper, I examine how an education reform law in Puerto Rico, Ley de Reforma Educativa de Puerto Rico (LREPR), was reported on in the four most popular newspapers on the Island. Conducting content analysis of newspaper articles produced findings that contribute to the policy literature by describing three central frames found in the media coverage of LREPR: (a) rhetoric on the “Free Selection of Schools” school voucher program, (b) the effects of mass school closures on municipalities, and (c) rhetoric on Alianza Schools—Puerto Rico’s Charter Schools Initiative. I close with how the frames depart from the Republican-leaning political affiliation of the newspapers and present a collective resistance to the neoliberal education reform policy.


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Author Biography

Patricia M. Virella, Montclair State University

Dr. Patricia M. Virella is a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership. Dr. Virella’s research focuses on implementing equity-oriented leadership through leader responses, programmatic interventions, and preparation. Dr. Virella also studies equity-oriented crisis leadership examining how school leaders can respond to crises without further harming marginalized communities.




How to Cite

Virella, P. M. (2023). Framing neoliberalism: A content analysis of Ley de Reforma Educativa de Puerto Rico. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 31.