Wednesday, July 6

Justice suspends part of the decree with which Madrid wanted to torpedo the Government’s Education Law

The Superior Court of Justice of Madrid has provisionally suspended part of the Decree of evaluation and promotion of course in ESO and Baccalaureate with which the Community of Madrid intended to “guarantee educational quality” in front of the Lomloe, which the Government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso approved last week. In an order, the judges – with the dissenting vote of two magistrates – attend to an appeal presented by the CCOO, leave without effect for three days part of the precepts included in the norm approved by the regional Executive and give the same term to the Counseling directed by Enrique Ossorio to argue and make a final decision.

What is decided here is the way in which students are evaluated and promoted from the course or not, both in Baccalaureate and in ESO. The Ministry of Education proposed a collegiate system in the Lomloe in which the teachers decide –which meant a bit to give a letter of nature to a fairly widespread practice in the cloisters– on each student, but without establishing majorities or proportions. Madrid developed the state regulations, of minimums, with its own system, more interventionist. That is now up in the air.

The regulations of the Community of Madrid, designed to prevent approved students from being given away as happens in state law, according to the regional government, “imposes on teaching teams a game of qualified majorities in ESO and Baccalaureate that contravenes the criterion of the basic regulations and curtails the autonomy of the evaluation boards and academic freedom”, argues the union, and “in addition, it authorizes the centers to establish criteria for promotion and qualification as a general rule without taking into account the individual evaluation of each student. CCOO argued in its appeal that the Decree invades state powers.

The magistrates precautionarily suspend some parts of five of the articles of the Madrid decree, specifically those that come into apparent contradiction with the Lomloe regarding the conditions to pass the course and promote in the Secondary stages. The order argues that the evaluation must be completed by June 15, according to the regulations of the Community of Madrid – even before for Baccalaureate for the University entrance exams – for which the Chamber “has deemed it appropriate to access the measure provisionally requested, appreciating that there are, in addition to the urgent circumstances that can be deduced from what has already been stated, other reasons”, which specifies that it is only three days and that there is a state regulation that prevents a regulatory vacuum from being generated – the Royal Decree of promotion of the Ministry of Education from which this one of the Community of Madrid and the regional one of last year is carried out–.

“Faced with the mandate of the Royal Decree [del Ministerio de Educación]which establishes that the decisions of the teaching teams on the promotion from one course to another and on the degree must be adopted in a collegiate manner, without further ado, and the Law on the Legal Regime of the Public Sector, which states that the decisions of the collegiate bodies they will be adopted by majority, simply, not qualified or even absolute majority, the Decree in question imposes other criteria”, explains CCOO.

Specifically, the union breaks down, “in the case of ESO, it imposes a two-thirds majority of the evaluation team, both for promotion and for the degree. In the Baccalaureate, to decide the extraordinary degree with a failed subject, this qualified majority reaches four fifths, which is even unfeasible for the case of the Night Baccalaureate or situations in which the student does not take all the subjects in 2nd”, he argues.

Cancellations in ESO, Baccalaureate and for adults

The order precautionarily nullifies eight points of the Madrid regulations that concern ESO and Baccalaureate. On the part of compulsory Secondary education, those that most conflict with Lomloe are in articles 5 and 6. In article 5, section eight, the Community of Madrid had established that decisions for promotion and graduation in ESO must be made “by qualified majority of two thirds” of the teaching team and that “the other decisions” (…) should be adopted “by consensus” or “absolute majority”. The judges knock down both proportions.

In article 6, the Ministry of Education establishes that “to facilitate decision-making on the promotion of students, teaching teams may take into consideration that a student will repeat a year when he or she has a negative evaluation in three or more subjects. Likewise, with the same purpose, exceptionally, they may decide to promote a student with a negative evaluation in three subjects when the following conditions are met: a) That two of the subjects with a negative evaluation are not simultaneously Spanish Language and Literature and Mathematics . b) That the student’s teaching team considers that the nature of the subjects with a negative evaluation does not prevent the student from successfully following the next course, that they have favorable recovery expectations and that promotion will benefit their academic evolution”.

These measures seem to contradict the Lomloe, which allows unlimited promotion of failures in certain situations and does not distinguish between subjects to be promoted or not.

Regarding the Baccalaureate, article 20 of the Decree eliminates the paragraph that assimilates the overcoming of the stage with the pass in all subjects (the Lomloe foresees graduating in Baccalaureate exceptionally with a fail, as in the University), which says: “To facilitate decision-making on the degree, the teaching teams may consider that the achievement of the objectives established for the stage and the acquisition of the corresponding skills, and, therefore, obtaining the Bachelor’s degree that accredits it, are exclusively achieved with positive evaluation in all the subjects”.

Similar measures are taken regarding the evaluation and promotion of the Baccalaureate for adults. Thus, article 24 eliminates “the qualified majority of four fifths” and the “absolute, that is, more than half of the members that make up the student’s teaching team” that Madrid imposes to obtain the degree.