Education Reforms in France Under the Hollande Presidency: Assessing the 2013 Law on the “Refoundation of the School"

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gilbert Scott Conference Room - 250 (University of Glasgow)
Marie-Christine Weidmann Koop , World Languages, Literatures & Cultures, University of North Texas
Several reforms have been at the forefront of the news under the Hollande presidency, but the 2013 law to reform the education system in its foundations has taken center stage by virtue of its extent and importance for the nation. The French education system, which had traditionally prided itself on its excellence, has not been able to adapt to the growing demand that followed World War II. Remaining elitist and theoretical in nature, it has failed to integrate many students from underprivileged background who drop out of school. With the increasing number of terrorist attacks in France, the education system is blamed for the high rate of academic failure in poor neighborhoods which are considered as a breeding ground for the radicalization of young people who are unemployed, feel like outcasts, and often question their identity. In order to remedy the situation and reduce social inequalities, a reform of elementary and secondary education was proposed by the new government shortly after Hollande’s election. Some measures deemed as urgent were immediately adopted while a national consultation was launched in order to evaluate the areas which needed improvement. Based on that consultation and educational research, the law for the education reform was quickly drafted and finally voted in 2013. Its gradual implementation was spread over five years in spite of the controversy and strikes that it generated. This presentation will review the main measures of this reform and try to assess its achievements based on concrete results and reactions from various sources.
  • Koop Summary-CES Glasgow.pdf (108.1 kB)