Among social concerns about educational inequality in Mexico, this paper describes the "Quality Schools Program" (QSP), launched two years ago by the incoming federal government. In a highly centralized education system, this new policy -nurtured from many of the outstanding theoretical and practical movements on school improvement and school effectiveness-, considers school community as the key organization in order to address current problems on quality and equity issues. This article offers a review on QSP origins, goals, premises and theoretical basis, as well as some practical implications of its implementation. QSP most innovative proposals have to do with the design at the school level of three new models: strategic management, flexible teaching practices and school-home partnership, in a course of action that encourages the school will for transformation and parents empowerment. Finally, the paper offers some preliminary results, under the awareness that the real impact, in terms of learning achievement and social efficacy, can only be obtained in the middle and long term.
Keywords: decentralization - school autonomy - quality of education - inequality - school improvement