Priority education map: what changes for which policy?

a stand OZP (Observatory of Priority Zones)

In a recent column for Le Monde, the minister responsible for national education makes the second of the three “equal opportunities” demands. It is in this context that he wants to work on the issue of social diversity and start reviewing the priority education map.

Priority education policy should be included in all improvements in the education system and should focus on real equality.

Priority education policy cannot be reduced to its map, because we know that the success of working-class students depends on many factors that are necessary for the development of multi-directional, determined, sustainable and systematic action. This policy actually falls under three requirements identified by the minister, for example, it is important to better replace teachers who are not in priority education to ensure teaching time, and consultation and training time in REP+ has been disrupted this last time. It is desirable to have a weighting system of 2no limit, the degree we see, be replaced by a body of special replacements such that any teacher replaced is in service in the network during these replacements, as in the first degree.

A priority education policy is not an equal opportunity policy that calls into question the real political choice: excellence for all (and therefore actually the most advantaged) or success for all (and therefore social justice). It is difficult to convince people “at the same time”, because in this case liberalism always prevails over equality. The priority education policy should be one that aims unequivocally for both the quality of the education system (such experienced teachers, buildings of the same quality, etc.) and real equality that requires results for all.

Yes, the priority education map should be reviewed.

Changes in the priority education map have been highly uncertain over time due to political choices not designed to increase its effectiveness for the success of working-class students. In 1981-1982, there were elected officials who wanted it, and there were those who did not; indicators were fragile. In 1988-1990, the priority education policy was linked to the city’s policy and made it dependent on the signing of political agreements. The political shift in the number of networks in 1997 undermined the idea of ​​priority. In 2006, there were more serious requirements for the creation of RAR on objective grounds. But in 2010-2011, the claim was made to turn the priority education policy into a policy of combating violence, and it was forced to lose its social orientation.

It was only until 2014 that the overhaul of priority education combined the strong idea of ​​a systematic social and pedagogical policy in education with its reference system and the development of a map focused on truly priority networks. A study by two INSEE statisticians shows that even without a social position index, this targeting is indeed well done. However, from 2014 we knew there was still a long way to go to achieve a fairer menu. A review was therefore planned for 2019 and was not carried out because Minister Blanquer did not want it, in favor of a priority for the rural world, which of course needs a policy, but which cannot be of the same nature as priority education. It should also be noted that in only three academies, little has been done for “rural education areas”, and moreover, the principle of progressive allocation of resources established in 2014 has weakened during this period.

Better express the search for social diversity and priority education policy

Social disruption is not an educational panacea that will magically solve all school problems. Where there is social diversity and therefore heterogeneity of the school audience, success is not automatically achieved for all. Working-class children often fall behind in school outcomes, but we know it’s worse for those concentrated in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. Therefore, social mixing is preferred whenever possible. It cannot absolve management and teams from thinking and doing deep work on learning environments and ways of teaching that are conducive to everyone’s success. Surely we can improve the situation of “orphan schools” through local work on social diversity. We must also develop comprehensive schools that include general, technological and vocational training, because it is vocational education that concentrates students from the working class.

Social diversity should always be sought as a priority. We expect how the private sector will contribute to this, because on the contrary, it acts as a supporter of the most privileged, the oldest remembers that they were able to mobilize against Alain Savary in 1984… We also, as a study by Botton and Souidi shows, housing and urban planning, as well as looking forward to how co-education can be achieved with in-depth work on relationships with neighboring colleges, as complacency is out of the question. logical bus It involves moving students from working class to more privileged families and never moving children from the most privileged to working class…

Furthermore, along with a truly determined policy in this direction, the principle of progressive distribution of resources must be clearly reinforced, so that those who really have less really have more money than the state.

Priority education should remain an ambitious school-college general policy based on recognized professionals.

Throughout its history, priority education policy has been drawn in this direction in accordance with political orientations. so-and-so minister believed that “centers” or “sectors” are enough to change the social composition, so-and-so presidential candidate wants priority education to disappear, so-and-so minister does not want diapers. A school like DGESCO wanted it to be the “spearhead” of the so-called policy of excellent boarding schools, when the policy was to empty institutions of its best students into working-class neighborhoods. It cannot become the politics of individuals, the politics of schools or institutions, as liberals want. This should remain a network policy as continuity of care for pupils aged 12-15 is essential.

If we really want this to be a policy aimed at democratizing the education system for the success of all, the priority education policy should place kindergarten in two years of well-adapted settings (two to three years of classes to develop language). exchanges with adults), it must rely on training-supported teams to identify pedagogical organizations conducive to shared observations and shared learning, which encourages working-class students to consider their difficulties in understanding what is expected of them. It should encourage the integration of tools and procedures (in this respect, the closure of the CANOPE site dedicated to priority education on November 15 was a bad sign). Above all, it must rely on well-trained supervisory and training bodies in appropriate management and support. While benefits are important, the best job recognition comes from conditions that foster professional development, something to be proud of.

Finally, the priority education policy should be strongly tested at the central level.

The entire history of priority education policy shows that without central control, this policy is implemented very unevenly. This should concern all of France in working-class neighborhoods where the “disadvantaged” population is concentrated, with a strong eye on the outer areas that should benefit from the new developments. But at the same time we must be clear that this policy cannot be extended, because if we want a real priority, we know that we have to stay in 20% of the public system and in about 7% (REP+) the action has to be strengthened. Good use of the so-called IPS, sometimes in a dubious way (some engage in classifications whose purpose is to encourage evasion, while others are content to talk about averages without personal mention and without going into real complex things), should allow us to seriously work on it. The private sector that is not subject to the school map and chooses its own students should not enter the map, and any network that appears to be close to the public IPS average (above 85-90) should leave the map as planned for 2019. This policy only makes sense when directed at schools and colleges with a concentration of working-class students. The changes in the current map are not self-evident, as the issue of classes and allowances in 12th has made them subtle.

Marc Bablet, for OZP

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