This paper examines how the main changes in the last Spanish Educational Reform become new forms of state educational control. The article introduces a specific sociological perspective to analyse these changes in semiperipheral social formations. Macro-contradictions embedded in the process of mass schooling in Spain draw a framework to understand the context and the logics of curriculum change. The extremely acute state legitimation crisis in semiperipheral societies has effects on the structure and the content of curriculum change. These effects are analysed, on the one hand, at the level of educational policy, and, on the other, at the level of school practices, showing the importance of cultural obstacles for curriculum change through teachers’ beliefs and practices. © 1995, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.