What is an educational strategy

National education strategy : Looking for a school system that does justice to everyone

A thousand flowers bloom in the German educational garden. In some federal states, the parents decide whether their child goes to grammar school, in others the average of the primary school certificate decides. In some countries there are many pupils in special needs schools, in others only a few. What is called “all-day school” here does not meet the definition there.

Diversity instead of uniformity: This could mean that the education system is precisely tailored to the needs of the region and its inhabitants. But Jutta Allmendinger, President of the Science Center for Social Research Berlin, cannot see that. Instead, the "vegetable garden" leads to violations of the Basic Law: "The equality of living conditions is no longer guaranteed," said Allmendinger yesterday, Monday in the SPD-affiliated Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Berlin. There, experts discussed a "national education strategy" for which the SPD wants to overturn the ban on cooperation.

Allmendinger considers the idea that the federal states and their educational systems are in a “competition” that leads to the best strategies being transferred to the entire republic as “absurd”: the “customers” of this supposed “market”, namely parents and students, because they are not mobile: they cannot simply change schools or their federal state. That is why chances in life through education depend crucially on where you live.

Allmendinger would like a National Education Council, which should, however, have more powers than its role model, the Science Council. However, she rejects a centralism in which the federal government would rule deeply into the school. The federal government must agree on a “binding framework” with the federal states and municipalities, and the competencies for the design must be shifted to municipalities and schools.

This is what Marianne Demmer, the deputy chairwoman of the GEW, thinks and proposes an “educational article” in the Basic Law. The KMK should no longer make its decisions unanimously, but with a simple or qualified majority: "The KMK has the power to block, but not the power to advance developments," criticized Demmer. She also wants more powerful KMK presidents. The post could be filled with a personality beyond the ranks of the ministers of education who would be elected for four years. The Swiss model is also conceivable. The federal government can decide there if the cantons cannot agree.

Rolf Wernstedt, once Education Minister in Lower Saxony, emphasized that the restriction of the educational sovereignty of the federal states is no small matter. After all, it is the core of their statehood: "However, 70 years after the Second World War, we should calmly think again about who we actually are," said Wernstedt.

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