Wednesday, July 8, 2009

McDo Sponsors the Bac

Get your bac results on-line, courtesy of McDonald's. Polly-Vous Français (to whom I tip my hat for this reference) doesn't know whether to be more astonished by the French propensity to strip citizens of their right to be humiliated in private or by McDonald's readiness to help in the stripping.

Maybe this can help us understand attitudes toward the burqa. In America we can cover our faces in public and keep our SAT scores to ourselves, if we so choose. In France, both your face and your scores must be available for public scrutiny. (Insert smiley face here.)

5 comments:

Leo said...

Indeed, you got to the bottom of it: whether boys or girls, all can make faces to those who sneer at their failure. Isn't that the epitome of Republican égalité?

Anonymous said...

out of curiosity I tried to translate into American SAT terms the Bac success rate which has been announced at 78,4% (total for all Bac types).
I figure 78.4% = 22 percentile minimum rate for SATs. For college-bound seniors in 2006 (from the data I could gather), 78 % (or the 22 percentile min.rate) had at least 850 (on the 1600 scale). This score is about the same as the minimum requirement to compete in sports in a Division I school(the big schools like UCLA, Michigan, Alabama, Texas A&M, etc.) for freshman student athletes.
The SAT used to be in two parts (math & verbal giving it 1600 total points) but an additional writing part was added a decade ago.
Considering that the average score for math & verbal hovers at around 500, the average SAT score is about 1000 (again, on the 1600 scale).
For me, at least, this puts things in perspective.


Chris P.

MYOS said...

Chris, your system does not make sense.
You can't "pass" the SAT so there is no "success rate". Plus, the two tests have nothing in common.
The bac is like the APs (a series of tests on specific subjects for which selected students preped all year-long, with a majority of points coming from essays, not from multiple-choice questions), not like the SATs.
Then it'd make sense to compare; compare the percentage of students who got a 3 or higher to the bac's "pass rate". Overall, do AP's get a 78% pass rate?

Perhaps the SATs are like the "evalutions de seconde" or like the Diplome National Brevet for the 3e. There, too, the point seems to be to get as high a score as possible rather than just 'pass' and the test in itself does not garantee anything.
(Right now, 1500 A-grade, post-brevet, pre-bac students are without a school in Paris; it sounds like about 10,000 kids who intend on going on the vocational/professional track are in the same situation nation-wide.)

Rough numbers:
About 30% kids never even get to attempt a bac of any kind.
50-60% get a 10 or higher on the first try.
About 10% fails outright. Of those, they've got 9 chances out of 10 to pass the second year if they apply themselves throughout the year.
Another 25% or so has to take extra exams to demonstrate proficiency, about half of whom succeed.
The total adds up to 78% of those taking the bac passing it.
In addition, the top 20% get honors, the top 5% high honors, the top 2% highest honors.
All added, about 60% French kids 17 to 21 have a "bac" degree (divided into Liberal Arts, Applied Studies, or Professional/Vocational Studies.)

MYOS said...

I got more info on the AP pass rate: nation-wide and accross all subjects, it's 57%, with the caveat that "new" districts (i.e, historically unerprivileged school districts that have been trying to beef up their offerings at the end of high school but are having trouble before those grades) end up with scores of 10-20% pass rate, while most districts are around 70-75% pass rate and top-performing schools are around 85% or more.
The American underprivileged pass rates are notably lower than the underprivileged French schools (which still score about 60%) but otherwise the AP pass rate is similar to the Bac's for the middle class and top-performing schools.

Anonymous said...

points well taken MYOS.


Chris P.