After examining the state of play presented by the French General Commission for Strategy and Foresight (France Stratégie) in its document “What France in ten years? “, Explore the proposed paths to improve the situation in education.
For France Strategy, “school failure is a major dysfunction of our republican equality model. It is also an economic handicap for the nation “. The organization intends to set itself an ambition for the next ten years: to divide the proportion of pupils leaving primary school without having mastered the French language (20% today) and to reduce the proportion of pupils by one third Not mastering the main scientific elements (29% today).
Education, like other public services in France, must go through a “redefinition” of its mission. For France Strategy, the mutation to be carried out is imperative to respond more to the disparity of situations and issues, and to “move from an obligation of means to an obligation of results”. This raises the question of genuine equality, not that which is reflected in a uniform approach (the same for all), whether in terms of means, staffing or working methods. Rather, it is a matter of “guaranteeing all citizens equal access to essential goods”; Education is one.
Initially, France Stratégie calls for action upstream of the school, so that entry into schooling is not, for some children, “the first step in a journey of obstacles along which they will go Constantly stumbling “, hence his proposal to invest in socialization and early childhood care. How? By guaranteeing, within ten years, access to a mode of care (collective or individual) for all children from 6 months to 3 years. This requires a high-quality reception (involving the training and professionalization of staff) and the search for educational continuity with the school so that the child’s learning path is coherent. Certainly this has a cost but for France Strategy, “it is an area in which we must not hesitate to invest public resources”.
In a second step, France Stratégie proposes to “reduce the educational divide” by investing in quantity and quality on the primary level. If there is to be a quantitative effort, this must be accompanied by “a qualitative improvement in the ability of the school system to reduce the influence of social origin on academic achievement”. How? Strengthening the training of teachers and “valuing their work”, as well as differentiation and experimentation in terms of organization and pedagogy, to ensure a better match between the means deployed and the needs of the field.
For France Stratégie, stronger incentives are also needed for experienced teachers to intervene in difficult institutions. On the part of principals, there is a call for greater autonomy and responsibility in order to adapt the means and the methods of organization according to their needs.