The commitment to the conversion of educational centers that are highly segregated is working, according to the Consorci d'Educació de Barcelona, which this afternoon presented the evaluation report on the transformation of eleven educational centers in the city. "The composition of the students is rebalanced and the centers increase the demand from families," said Mercè Massa, manager of the Consorci, with satisfaction.
Thus, the evolution of demand has gone from 86% in the 2017-2018 academic year to 103% in 2022-2023 in these schools or institutes. This means going from not filling the places offered at the center because neighborhood families preferred to enroll their children in other schools to, six years later, not being able to meet the existing demand.
According to the figures offered, demand has increased in all public schools in Barcelona (currently with a rate of 104% and in 2017 94%), although the jump has been greater in the most segregated ones. On the other hand, charter schools have experienced a decrease (from 89% to 82% in these six courses).
"The transformation has been comprehensive and profound," said Massa, focusing on aspects such as the renovations to the building and the equipment, the management and teaching staff, a unique educational project and the training itineraries. "The conversion of schools into secondary schools, whether a school is extended to secondary school or by merger, guarantees the coherence of the project," estimated the manager. "In all these centers there has been a gain in visibility, trust and involvement of families", which is why a feeling of pride in belonging to that educational community has been forged.
Nine of the eleven centers have become school institutes, a formula for success due to the continuity of the students in the same center despite changing stages and the split day they offer, among other aspects.
They have also started unique educational projects, some of them innovative, and suitable for the students. "Is the singular project the engine of change"? Massa has asked herself, "no, I think it adds up," but it is necessary, in her opinion, to have pedagogical leadership from the management teams, with a motivated faculty and also the structural reform of the center.
"The result is that the social composition of the students is equivalent to that of the neighborhood in which they are," stated the manager, who has positively valued the reduction of segregation in the city, also a result of the results of the pact against school segregation promoted by the Ombudsman.
The centers were also beneficiaries of the aid from the shock plan that the Consorci distributes among highly complex centers.
The investments made in these centers have not been quantified. However, Proava, the promotion fund for the evaluation of public policies of the Department of Economy, has concluded that regardless of the investment, the impact on segregation has been "very positive."