we treat the perspectives for high school education in terms of broader issues that determine them as social totalities. we understand that the educational processes both constitute the society and are constituted by it. we highlight peculiarities of capitalist sociability in dependent countries such as those in latin america, particularly brazil. we then present the theoretical concepts and ideologies that confront in the high school proposals in brazil and some of the biggest disputes in the current educational policies. our closing remarks stress the barriers, challenges and perspectives.