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.


FrédéricLN said...

I don't know about the evidence regarding RAR (I haven't read these reports).

I fully agree with the diagnosis that the issue with the schools, esp. collèges and lycées (10 to 18 years old), is about security, discipline, a work atmosphere. And that's the motivation nr#1 for parents who queue to get places in private schools (15% of pupils in "les écoles sous contrat" (not far from Charter schools)- this % is decided by the State, who pays the teachers despite the fact these schools are privately owned - most of them belong to Roman Catholic institutions).

But the main reason for this security / discipline issue, is the suppression of the jobplaces for supervisors of different kinds (professional ones, part-time students. By the present Administration and the one in place before - say, since 2002.

In the 80's-90's, teachers were often striking for their wages of in order to get less pupils per class. Now they strike to obtain supervisors, not to be alone and powerless when one or two pupils just refuse to work and make a mess in the classroom.

If this government does not recreate these missing jobs, if he talks of cameras and IT, you'll know Eclair is blank.

FrédéricLN said...

Oops, some words missing : (professional ones, part-time students, volunteering senior parents). Thousands of these jobplaces were suppressed, ...

FrédéricLN said...

Valuable reading!