Reorganization in the Higher Education Department After the PISA Results
The Minister of Education, Anna Simó, announced this morning the replacement of the first position in the department due to the low results in the PISA tests. The ministry has decided to dispense with Carles Vega, until now president of the Superior Council for Evaluation of the Educational System of Catalonia (CSASE), and has appointed Joan Cuevas Expósito, director general of Innovation, Digitalization and Curriculum, as temporary president of this organ
The restructuring also entails a substantial change in the organizational chart, as the Evaluation Council will cease to be so to become the new Evaluation and Prospective Agency of the Educational System. However, it is still unknown how this new agency will work.
Union Controversy Over the New Manager of Educational Evaluation
The appointment of Cuevas as the new temporary head has generated unrest among the teaching unions, as he is a figure heavily criticized by teachers’ organisations.
According to Marc Martorell, spokesman for the Intersindical, Cuevas ‘is not the right person’ to hold the position, as he is also general director of Innovation, Digitization and Curriculum, and will be in charge of drawing up and evaluating the curriculum. Martorell sees a ‘conflict of interest’. This opinion is shared by the spokesperson of the UGT, Jesús Martín, who considers the bet ‘very risky’ and highlights Cuevas’ ‘not quite right’ decisions in relation to the PISA results.
Calls for a Change of Course, More than the Responsible
For the unions, the most important thing is not who takes office, but a real ‘change of course’. Iolanda Segura, USTEC’s national spokesperson, emphasizes the need for a ‘true change in the system’, being cautious about Cuevas’ suitability. Teresa Esperabé, spokeswoman for CCOO, calls for a ‘real change’ in the system, but doubts whether the proposed restructuring will lead to ‘a fundamental change’.
The Claims of the Trade Unions
The unions highlight the need for the Council – and subsequently the Evaluation Agency – to focus on offering more ‘follow-up’ to centers and provide more resources to teachers. Jesús Martín considers it essential that Cuevas promotes the ‘Educational Guidance Decree’, a rule aimed at establishing a conceptual framework that facilitates educational guidance in primary and secondary schools.