We analyze how international trends and changing structural limitations intersect with political, institutional, and technical aspects of education policy. Our purpose is to better understand how these issues variously combine to encourage or impede policy implementation. The research for this study focused on three cases of education policy from El Salvador during the period 1990-2005. These policies related to the Education with Community Participation (EDUCO) program, gender equality in education, and the teaching of values. Our findings show that it is not only actors, ideas, and constraints from the international realm that impact national-level political and institutional dynamics, but rather also that national-level political preferences and other local-level constraints can facilitate or impede the selection and implementation of a policy's technical elements. Our case studies provide multiple examples of how these elements combine, and with various consequences for implementation.
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