Modernization of the General Education System in 31 Russian Region under Nation Priority Project “Education”
This article aims at discussing general trends and outcomes of the general education system reform in Russia. It focuses on the National priority project "Education" that started in Russia in 2005 and in 2007 - 2009 it included realization of a support programme for regional complex modernization projects in 31 regions of Russian Federation. We analyze the outcomes of introduction of new economic mechanisms in the regions and primarily, the introduction of a new wage and compensation system aimed at increasing teachers' well-being and quality of their work; and transition to per capita financing standard. Then we make an assessment of the regions' achievements in developing schools' network and providing access to quality education regardless of place of residence under the unfavorable demographic conditions. The article summarizes the impact of complex modernization projects in the regions and shows the emergence of "diffusion chain of innovations". But we have yet to introduce efficient mechanisms to promote innovations in the rest of the Russian regions, its lack may lead to an increasing gap between leaders and outsiders. Dissemination of the best practices and financial support for further modernization of the education system from 2010 and on will be ensured in frames of National educational initiative " Our New School" approved by the Russian President after public debates.