Saturday, June 11, 2011
Change in the Schools?
An article in Mediapart suggests a sudden change of heart in regard to "priority education," programs designed to give students from poor areas a chance to make it to France's top schools. In 2006, the Réseau Ambition Réussite (RAR) was launched as a potential replacement for the Zones d'Éducation Prioritaire (ZEP). But it seems that the RAR has now been abolished in favor of something called Eclair (Ecoles, collèges, lycées pour l'ambition, l'innovation et la réussite), which aims to control violence in the schools rather than to improve instruction. The new philosophy is that the failure of children in poorer schools to prosper is due more to the climate of violence in the schools than to deficiencies in teaching, despite evidence that the RAR program was having a positive effect.