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Cite this Email this Add to favourites Print this page. You must be logged in to Tag Records. The centralization of decision-making was the most salient characteristic of the Puerto Rico Education Department. A centralized structure allowed the Commissioner to make quick decisions with little consideration to its clients' short-term demands. This dimension drew adverse reactions from teachers and parents, but their influence was curbed by the limited participation channels within the Department and the non-democratic nature of the governing institutions established by the Foraker Law.
Another feature of the educational system in Puerto Rico was the lack of participation channels available for teachers and parents in policy formation. The main area of expression was through public opinion in newspapers, and through alliances with political parties. The concentration of power in the hands of the Commissioner, particularly in terms of hiring and promoting of teachers, served as an effective deterrent for teacher involvement. Since hiring and promotion of teachers was not done on a systematic merit basis, those who voiced criticisms risked losing their jobs.
Hence, there were structural obstacles against teachers' participation in educational policies. The third characteristic of the Puerto Rico Education Department was that its Commissioner participated in the island's colonial administration through his involvement in the Executive Council, which provided the Education Commissioner with influence beyond the school system and made him a powerful political figure.
However, it also involved the Commissioner in political bargains to approve legislation, which politicized the post and allowed some societal sectors to exercise influence over the Commissioner's decisions. Hence, while the Education Department had limited participation channels for teachers and parents, the Commissioner's involvement in legislative politics opened spaces for the introduction of a limited number of preferences from teachers and community members.
In sum, the educational language policy established by Falkner in was dominated by the preferences of a central educational bureaucracy, whose main interest was the efficient establishment of a uniform language policy, broadly defined by the metropolis' goals of cultural assimilation. Education Commissioners' interest in establishing Americanizing policies was dictated by factors outside the realm of Puerto Rican educational institutions, since they were named by United States Presidents with such intentions.
But Commissioners were able to implement a sweeping language reform that affected adversely several Puerto Rican societal sectors due to the exclusion of such sectors from educational policy. The Miller Huyke Language Policy, Congress that contemplated the extension of U. There were significant differences about the practical definition of self-government, but all agreed on the undemocratic nature of the Foraker Act and the need to clarify the citizenship status of Puerto Ricans.
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