The Minister of Education, Pilar Alegría, has decided to relieve her number two, the Secretary of State for Education, Alejandro Tiana, as EL MUNDO has learned, in the midst of controversy over the contents of the new curricula, which will begin to be applied in the schools next September. The royal decrees have been approved late and teachers and parents from part of the educational community criticize them for their “ideological bias”. The dismissal will become effective tomorrow, Tuesday, as confirmed by sources from the Ministry of Education.

In the Ministry they explain that there was “no problem” with Tiana and that her dismissal is due to the fact that “the development of the law has ended and now a new stage begins.” The sources consulted recall that Alegría “was working with the entire team of the previous minister”, Isabel Celaá, “because she was more coherent in finishing the legislative development” but now she wants to give the Department a new direction. “The minister is very grateful to Tiana, who has been super loyal. But now another phase begins,” these sources stress.

However, other sources assure that there was never much harmony between Alegría and Tiana and that there was a “generational clash” between them, with two different visions of understanding education. “He is a professor of the Uned, of History of Education, a specialist in the Pedagogical Missions of the Republic, with codes totally unrelated to politics, and the minister is a teacher of Early Childhood very far from technical analysis. Generationally there are an abyss. For the minister, he belongs to the honorable past”, they express.

“Tiana is worth much more than the minister and overshadowed her,” point out other educational sources. They indicate that “Alegría, since she took office, she considered that Alejandro was the author, a certain thing, of the Celaá Law.” And that marked their relationship.

Alegría took the portfolio with the aim of calming the troubled educational waters and building bridges with the concerted and conservative sectors, but its regulations have caused discomfort in the school and there are many unknowns a few months before they begin to be applied in the 2022 school year /2023.

The situation is complicated because Alegría inherited a legislative package that did not fully convince him of its approach. His team polished the résumés as much as they could to smooth out the most contentious aspects. This caused delays of several months in the approval of the royal decrees that have caused damage to the autonomous communities. To date, almost all the regional governments have not yet approved their curricular developments and publishers have had to launch provisional textbooks without the regulations being officially available. There are regions, such as Andalusia, that have already warned that they will not be able to start with the new agendas.

The person in charge of preparing the curricula is Dolores López, General Director of Evaluation and Territorial Cooperation, who is under the direction of Tiana.

The preliminary versions of the new textbooks show how what has been collected in the curricula has been captured on paper, against which the communities governed by the PP have rebelled and have been appealed by the associations of Catholic parents. Of them, the Royal Academy of History has affirmed that “they are oriented towards a temporary and changing political agenda” and have “an overrepresentation of political content”. In Catalonia, teachers have staged several strikes and in the Valencian Community they have grouped together to protest some novelties of the Lomloe, such as work by areas of knowledge. The protest is not limited only to the sphere of the center-right, but left-wing teachers censor the constructivist and “confessional” approach that characterizes the curricula.

Tiana, who is known as “the eternal ministerable”, had stated on several occasions that he was tired and wanted to take a break from the Ministry to spend more time with his family. Professor of Theory and History of Education, he has been in the world of educational policy for decades. He is known as the architect of the Organic Law of Education (LOE), which in 2006 annulled the Organic Law of Quality of Education (LOCE) of the PP. He worked at the right hand of Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, María Jesús San Segundo and Mercedes Cabrera, although he was the one who truly marked the direction of the Ministry.

He has also been rector of the Uned and vice president of the Conference of Rectors of Spanish Universities (Crue), as well as director of the Organization of Ibero-American States (OIE) and head of the National Institute for Quality and Evaluation.

His opponents recognize his character for dialogue and his constant desire to seek consensus, in addition to his moderate profile. But this restraint has not been to the liking of sectors of the PSOE, who have reproached him for “his inaction.” Specifically, a few days ago CCOO went ahead of the Ministry and appealed the curriculum of the Community of Madrid for not adhering to state regulations. The union was marked somewhat because the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid decided to suspend the norm in a precautionary way, which left the central Executive in evidence. A part of the teachers and socialist families did not understand “the low profile of the Government” in the contest with Isabel Díaz Ayuso, just as from the right it has not been seen well that the Ministry did not act more forcefully in Catalonia.

“It is probable that, in these moments of tension, the hard sector of the PSOE will not be satisfied, nor will it have room to build bridges with the PP and the concerted party. Possibly they named him because of his experience and his spirit of dialogue. But he does not have the profile of a pure politician , although he handles himself very well in political environments. He is more a teacher or educator than a politician,” educational sources point out.

The Ministry is considering someone more political as a possible candidate to replace Tiana: José Manuel Bar, from Vigo, current director general of Planning and Educational Management of the Ministry and a person of the highest confidence of the minister. Graduated in Philosophy, Educational Sciences and Psychology, he has been educational inspector and deputy of the PSOE between 2008 and 2011, years in which he coincided with Alegría in Congress. He has also been a delegate of the Government in the Balearic Islands at the time of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. “They are close friends,” say the sources consulted.

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