of autonomy in state schools form a new profile of educational management that encompasses certain legal and pedagogical parameters that are compatible with innovations ( Mello 1995a). Finally, and perhaps the most important item: decentralization strongly invested in giving the school the capability to function effectively in autonomous and democratic ways. This investment includes activities ranging from training courses to advice for elaborating project management. Unhappily, we have not yet found the mechanisms more capable of producing the same effect of competent participation by the members of the school community. The community includes not only the school council but also all the students, parents, teachers, and employees of the school.
No less important, the SEE established permanent auditing systems that function both for programs and for specific components of the programs, as is the case of the process of decentralized purchasing. In addition to the General Audit of public accounts, carried out by the Tribunal de Contas, the programs of the Secretariat of Education undergo three kinds of evaluation: an accounting audit by an independent auditor, a qualitative evaluation by groups of specialized consultants, and a series of opinion research surveys carried out particularly in the programs of teacher training. At the suggestion of the Secretariat itself, the most important indicator of adequate realization of its initiatives is the improvement of the index of student achievement obtained in the state and national tests.
The most significant factor in the decentralization process conducted by the state government is the existence of a sufficiently clear and defined project, looking toward the transfer of resources and the democratization of decisions without losing effective control over the content of education supplied, the rules of school system functioning and correct procedures. It is the SEE itself that defines goals and programs, establishing the levels of quality and knowledge to which the student should have access. Permanent assistance to and integration with the municipalities guarantees that the decentralizing process would not be barely a reduction of costs but a real attempt to bring public school closer to the community that it serves.
Albano, Celina, and Valéééria Pena. n.d. Educaço -- Colegiado -- Relatório de Pesquisa. Unpublished research report
Albano, Celina, and Valéria Junho. 1995. "Colegiado: a comunidade dentro da escola." Mimeo
Castro, Cláudio Moura, and Martin Camoy. 1997. "Como anda a reforma da educaço na América Latina?" Rio de Janeiro: Editora da FGV
Fundaço João M. G. Pinheira 1995. "Autonomia escolar: uma estratégia de avaliaço." Belo Horizonte: Relatório final, Mimeo
Gomes, Cândido Alberto. 1994: "Gestão participativa nas escolas: resultados e incógnitas." In Gestão escolar: desafios e tendências, Série IPEA, 145. Edited by José Amaral Sobrinho, Antônio Xavier, and Fátima Marra. Brasilia: IPEA
Jornal Do Brasil. Special edition for 1997. encarte especial em 02 de novembro de 1997