Education: reforms initiated by Jean-Michel Blanquer “remain to be implemented”

This is the last return of Jean-Michel Blanquer’s five-year term. The Minister of National Education took office in May 2017, knowing by heart the files that awaited him. What can be learned from the reforms carried out … and those that were not successful?

“Jean-Michel Blanquer became a minister at a crucial time, when a whole series of old methods of operation were working less and less,” recalls Alain Boissinot in an interview with “Echos”, citing high school first.

For this figure in the world of education, former director general of school education and rector of the Academy of Versailles for nine years, the reform of the baccalaureate and the baccalaureate is the “most visible” record of the last five years. “Baccalaureate was the culmination of high school. The reform has led to treating high school as a path to higher education, and the emphasis has shifted from high school to Parcoursup, ”he says with satisfaction. As for the inequalities – social and gender – that are observed in the choice of specialized education for students, it is still “too early”, he says, to take stock.

Jean-Michel Blanquer “has launched major projects”, but “we are in the middle of the ford, the measures remain largely to be implemented”. Under the heading of “great difficulties”, he cites “the recruitment and initial training of teachers with, year after year, difficulties in attracting young people”, and “a low performance in competitions: there are not enough candidates in the major disciplines .

The initial training reform that is being launched this fall, with students in training, “will not solve everything.” Because “future teachers are divided” between preparing for the competition and preparing for the master’s degree: “We have not been able to build a real training course”, considers Alain Boissinot.

The end of the contest?

Therefore, he invites us to “choose” between the two paths and lets go: “Competitions may no longer be necessary. This is, in any case, “one of the possible scenarios.” “A competition is used to select candidates, but we have fewer candidates than places in the competition, so it’s nonsense,” he continues. He invites us to be inspired in Germany, with students who would prepare, in the university, a master’s degree “oriented” to the teaching professions, and the ministry would establish a recruitment procedure.

Another scenario is possible: that of the old normal schools. This would be equivalent to being inspired by the model of engineering schools, “through the hiring of future teachers by competition who would do three years of study in real dedicated schools.”

At the moment, “we are in the middle of the ford,” he laments. And he considers it unlikely that the subject will be invited to the presidential campaign, “because tendering is a bit of a sacred cow.” The former rector of Versailles evokes “clandestine hiring out of competition” which leads the rectors to ask those who have not passed the examinations to come and teach as hired workers.

“A proletarianization of the world of education”

Can the attractiveness bonus paid to young teachers since last May put an end to this recruitment crisis? “We can wait, but I am skeptical because the planned measures are still splashed and barely visible,” said Alain Boissinot, who evoked “a form of proletarianization of the world of education.”

Candidate Macron had pledged to place the best teachers in front of the students with the most academic difficulties. The promise “has not been promised,” the Institut Montaigne said this summer. “The minister is sensitive to this goal,” says Alain Boissinot, “but the health crisis has not helped.” »

On the other hand, he emphasizes “the advancement of human resource management at the level of senior management and heads of establishments”: it is “less visible” to the public but nurtures “a culture of management in national education “.

“The ambiguities of macronism”

Jean-Michel Blanquer also wanted more autonomy for the establishments and, in return, to evaluate them more. The creation of the School Evaluation Council “goes in this direction”, analyzes the rector. But “behind the signs of greater autonomy of the establishments, there is a very Jacobin practice of directing national education,” which he sees as “one of the ambiguities of macronism.” “There have never been so many prescriptive, circular speeches, pressure on management,” he concludes. It is contradictory. »

Leave a Comment