Shocking proposals for schools in deprived areas

The major consultation on the school will begin in September, the Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, confirmed last week. But what’s on the menu of the debates? The Institut Montaigne makes proposals in its latest report on deprived areas.

The liberal think tank first proposes to put kindergarten “at the heart of the debate” to avoid inequalities that are difficult to rectify later. The experimental schools deployed in Marseille, which Emmanuel Macron wants to generalize, could provide an opportunity to test, in the most troubled (REP+), a program born in the United States in the 1960s, among supervision of a “professional” (one for every four students). These indentured servants (civil servants, students, retirees, etc.) trained in ‘language games’ could ‘intervene directly in the classrooms’, ‘under the supervision of teachers’.

The Institut Montaigne also proposes to assign the “most effective” teachers to the students who have the most difficulty and to do this “modify” the current mechanism of the scale, which works on the number of points and seniority.

New bonuses for teachers

For the think tank, this measure is “the logical addition” to the duplication of lessons implemented during Emmanuel Macron’s first five-year term. It would make it possible to halve school absenteeism in a short time [les] neighborhoods”.

In order to “attract the most effective teachers to the REP+ split classes”, the report recommends several measures: new bonus of €2,000 per year for all teachers in major section, CP and CE1 in REP+; help with paying rent; totally free transport, museums and national monuments for the teacher, his wife and his children; five-year bonus (1,000 euros) for the purchase of computer equipment; bonus (1,000 euros) over five years to equip his class with teaching materials; choice of assignment after ten years working in the same location; and disruption of the rules for assigning the children of these teachers.

“Strategic Lessons”

They would “be given priority to integrate the institutions of their choice, from primary to higher education, outside of any selection procedure”! “We have to pragmatically remove certain barriers,” explains Baptiste Larseneur, responsible for education affairs for the think tank. This proposal is “negotiable”, to see to what extent it can be “operational”, he tempers. It would be limited to “strategic lessons for learning to read” (large proportion, CP and CE1).

Emmanuel Macron’s 2017 program included the promise – which has not materialized – to assign experienced teachers with at least three years’ seniority to priority education. However, nothing says that the executive will engage in this way, all the more sensitive in the current political context.

“Capturing” the responsibility of teachers

The Institut Montaigne also raises the question of the “sustainability” of the second recruitment competitions for the Créteil and Versailles academies by pointing to the “level” of “candidates who have failed the competitions of other academies”. And rather proposes to “strengthen” the device of student teachers, allowing students to work in schools from the second year of the license.

For the Institut Montaigne, the fight against school failure also means more parental involvement and a teacher can monitor their students throughout primary school. In return, the teacher could choose his students “in consultation with the head of the institution”, after an interview with the parents who would “present” their child at the end of the major section or at the beginning of CP.

“Every year the pupils move from one teacher to another and no one is responsible for the overall result”, laments the Institut Montaigne, which “would like to take on much more of their responsibilities towards the families” with “the introduction of the national assessments for every elementary school class.

“Assessing the added value of teachers”

How do we evaluate teachers based on the results of their students? “In any case, it comes down to assessing the added value of teachers,” explains the think tank, which sees it as a way of “giving full measure to duplicating lessons”. “There are different results depending on the teachers, as in any profession”, defends Baptiste Larseneur.

National assessments make it possible to “compare the number of points of pupils of equivalent socio-economic level and thus know which teachers have helped their pupils the most”, according to the Institut Montaigne, for whom this would be the means “to influence have on the most effective teachers in strategic classrooms”.

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