One of the really difficult aspects of assessing education is there is so much conflicting information. For instance in the UK, you’ll find league tables which rate each school but also several forms of these tables – some assessing overall performance, others based on value added and yet more trying to assess the improvement in schools and exams results. The result is that a school may look wonderful and high ranking on one table and a complete disaster in another. A high ranking school for example will struggle on the tables that rate year by year improvement simply because there isn’t as much room for improvement!
It is the same when you start to look at different countries and their education systems. One moment you’re reading a report on how wonderful and cost effective the French education system is and the next minute a scathing article in the Figaro proclaims that French schools are failing miserably. This latest attack on the much maligned but often praised French education system is by Natacha Polony a respected journalist.
She claims that French schools are not concentrating enough on teaching pupils the simple basics i.e. to read, write and count. She states that modern parents are partly to blame with a ‘consumerist vision of schools’. They are focussing too much on ‘skills’ teaching kids about stuff like hygiene, relationships and road safety instead of concentrating on simply knowledge and academic subjects.
Schools she suggests should be concentrating on teaching children to read and write and parents should not be expecting them to bring up their kids completely. Her views have found favour in the French press and media certainly – you can access their views from outside France by using the method in this video entitled France Proxy
There is genuine concern by many involved in the education fields in France that illiteracy is on the rise and the problem is in our schools. There is great criticism when children are introduced to such subjects as ‘gender theory’ in the curriculum before they’ve mastered the basic skills of reading and writing.
Mmme Polony has previously criticised the French education system when she published a book in 2007 entitled – “15 ways to Save Schools”, he arguments centered on making the system closer to that proposed by Nicolas de Condorcet an 18th century mathematician and philosopher.