The first part of this study was presented as the basis for FONDEF Project D04I1313, which is currently being executed. It consists of the construction of a model for evaluating the quality of schools’ responses to student diversity, paying special attention to those that have special educational needs. The second part provides a thorough analysis of the concept of quality in education and the quality of education from a perspective focused on the school establishment. A review of quality constitutes the nucleus of the evaluation model being developed.
Various countries are currently carrying out major initiatives and investing important resources aimed at incentivating processes of continued improvement in schools in order to enhance the students’ learning results and increase the levels of quality and equity in education. The difficulties of reaching a consensus about what is a successful and efficient school, and the ensuing concepts of quality and equity; what are good educational results and how to identify and evaluate them, are issues that are currently at the heart of the debate on education in Chile.
The focus adopted in the inclusive evaluation model, considers inclusion and a response to students’ diversity as key factors for quality. It adopts a concept of quality that incorporates a preferential provision for more vulnerable groups of students, be it because they have some type of special educational need, or due to their unfavourable social or cultural situations. This perspective is based on the premise that there is no quality education without equity and no equity without quality.