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Title: Educational Promises and State Failures: A Comparative Study of General Education and Intercultural Bilingual Education Policy in Peru
Authors: Beltran, Monica
Advisors: Yashar, Deborah
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2013
Abstract: Education in Peru has high levels of coverage, but suffers from poor quality of learning and severe inequality. Many of the education policies enacted to remedy these problems have suffered from an implementation gap—a gap between stated policy objectives and real policy outputs. While general education policies regularly fail to be implemented, implementation has been even worse for bilingual and intercultural education (EIB) policies. Through an investigation of education policy implementation from 1990-2006, I develop a model that explains the causes of the implementation gap in general education and EIB policies and explains why the gap for EIB has been greater. I contend that a combination of structural and political processes have caused implementation failure in general education and EIB policies. Specifically, I argue that the limited capacity of the state, the low political priority of education policies, and the nature of social movements in Peru have worked in coordination to create implementation failure in education policy. While limited state capacity has been the primary cause of the implementation gap in both general education and EIB policies, political priorities and social movements have disproportionately obstructed implementation of EIB policies, creating the more severe failure for EIB. Deep historical patterns of clientelism and inequality have produced the weak state that characterizes the modern framework in which policies are implemented. The state apparatus suffers from an inefficient bureaucracy and a highly fragmented structure with minimal levels of communication between the various levels involved in implementation. These manifestations of weak state capacity have been the main cause of implementation failure throughout the education system. Political processes carried out by the executive, state actors, and social movements both exacerbate implementation problems caused by limitations in state capacity and have created problems for implementation in and of themselves. The low political priority of education policies and the lack of national movements for reform have led to a low level of accountability in the policy making process. As a result, policies are designed poorly and state actors are rarely held to account when implementing policies. While these social and political processes have affected both general education and EIB, they have been disproportionately damaging to EIB policy. While the findings of this thesis are based on policies implemented in 1990-2006, they have implications for education policy making today. Moving forward, policymakers must consider the capacity of the state and how it might affect policy implementation. It is likely that a reform of the state is necessary to improve implementation outcomes. However, this thesis also shows that creating effective institutions is insufficient for ensuring implementation. Politicians must also be held to account to ensure that implementation is followed through.
Extent: 139 pages
Access Restrictions: Walk-in Access. This thesis can only be viewed on computer terminals at the Mudd Manuscript Library.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2017

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