Evaluation of schools: towards competition!

Evaluation of schools: towards competition!

Where does this rating come from?

The Blanquer “for a school of trust” law created the School Evaluation Council (CEE) by abolishing the CNESCO, an independent body that was until then responsible for evaluating the French school system. Unlike the CNESCO, the CEE is fully affiliated with the Ministry, both in terms of composition and objectives.

Given the track record of this new School Evaluation Board, which has expanded its duties to include experimental evaluation of schools in addition to secondary schools, An evaluation cycle is foreseen every five years, which means that approximately 20% of the schools are evaluated every year.

What is it about ?

Since the start of the 2021 school year, a few schools have been selected to experiment with these assessments, which should take place in two phases: self-evaluation and external evaluation according to established criteria.

The first phase of “self-evaluation” focuses on the school as a whole: learning, student well-being, school climate, etc. It is managed by a steering committee and presented as a resource for student success. In fact, it is about verifying whether the schools’ practices and objectives are in line with academic and national orientations.

The second phase consists of an external evaluation, which is based on self-evaluation. It should propose actions to improve the “strategy” of each school. The team in charge of the evaluation will consist almost exclusively of staff with a hierarchical function and will involve the integration of professionals from outside the National Education. The final report will lead to the drawing up of a target contract.

According to the Institutional Evaluation Framework, published by the CEE in May 2021, these evaluations would aim to “ to assist schools in fulfilling the mission entrusted by the state in connection with the municipality or the EPCI, in terms of quality and effectiveness of education and training, to give a collective meaning to the action and enhance the sense of belonging.

School is not a business!

Given the terms used and the objectives proposed, the Ministry clearly shows the color: it is about instilling an entrepreneurial culture in schools and build assessments modeled on what is being done elsewhere in the European Union.

JM Blanquer and his ministry have been trying for 5 years to transform and manage the school as a company with a pilot through the evaluation and the indicators, with a confirmation of the functional authority of the directors, with the multiplication of bonuses and a first step towards an à la carte remuneration according to the “level of professional involvement” of the staff.

No to the evaluation gas plant!

If it seems impossible to use the evaluation to classify schools, the risk of competition is real. Even if the CEE ensures that the school evaluation report does not become public, there is no doubt that the systematization of this type of evaluation will have consequences for the teams in terms of educational projects, with a frantic rush for projects that meet institutional requirements at the expense of children’s real needs.

Schools will still be faced with evaluations ordered by the hierarchy that in no way help the teams improve the quality of public education. Plus, it’s still a surfeit of work for the staff, who are already overwhelmed with tasks that take them away from their missions.

The incentive to achieve unattainable goals in the name of efficiency can only play into the game of competition at the expense of cooperation and solidarity, increasing stress and suffering at work, rewarding some and punishing others.

This evaluative obsession is similar to an audit of practices aimed at adapting education to the performance culture that emerges from business management. That is why we must oppose the evaluation of schools!

SUD Education calls on employees and teams not to participate in these evaluations.

SUD Education demands the end of all evaluations that have not been devised by the teams. These evaluations prove time consuming, contribute to a deterioration of our working conditions and in no way improve the learning conditions of the students.

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