Maryline Baumard, Le Monde, 14.12.03

Apparently, France has dropped again in the PISA ranking. Seriously, it is not a big deal. We lost 2 spots, while Asia just took over the 7 first ones. It is much more interesting to look into the social implications hidden behind the numbers. France has a some serious problems:
1/ The quality of education varies a lot, depending on where you live. Therefore, the results are also extremely different. It is better to go to a posh high-school in Paris 6ème if you want to get into Sciences Po Paris, no doubt.
2/ France has a very elitist and socially reproductive education system. The ones that have an important social, economic and cultural capital generally succeed while the less favored do not have the same chances of succeeding.
3/ French students suffer from stress and anxiety, in a meritocratic system that ostracized less talented kids.

But what is also extremely interesting is to read people’s comment. Especially on newspapers that you would normally not read. I was looking at comments on Le Figaro (why did I do that to myself?) and got horrified. How racist are people? Really? Our ranking got worse because of all those bloody illiterate immigrants, who also steal our jobs (tell me how they do that, if they can’t even read…) and make us feel that France is not France anymore. I know that it is much easier to find a scapegoat and to avoid looking at the reality. But this makes me nauseating. Just disgusting. Also, I am pretty impressed by how bad is the grammar of some of the people posting about education. Just saying.


Listening to: Block B – HER


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