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With the new Affelnet, more diversity in Parisian high schools

Presented in March 2021, the new Affelnet assignment platform had unleashed passions. It put an end to the possibility of requesting any establishment in one of the four major sectors of the capital. Since then, if they want to be almost sure of obtaining one of their wishes, future high school students have an interest in placing in order of preference the five high schools of a much smaller sector, near the college of attachment.

→ REREAD. Anger of Parisian parents after the announcement of new methods of assignment to high school

Nearly a year later, the rectorate draws up a very positive assessment. “Down since 2016, the satisfaction rate for wishes 1, 2 and 3 has risen by 5 points to reach 85%”, rejoices Claire Mazeron, the academic director of the national education services.

Segregation down 30%

The overhaul also aimed to reduce the pressure on the most popular high schools and to reduce social and academic disparities. “Republican promise kept”, assures the rector Christophe Kerrero. “Previously, Parisian high schools were extremely segregated: 1.2 times more than the national average on the social level, 4.8 times more from the academic point of view”, abounds Julien Grenet, chairman of the Affelnet monitoring committee. “With the reform, segregation has fallen by around 30%, both socially and academically”, observes this researcher from the CNRS and the Paris School of Economics.

Admittedly, most of the points are linked to sectorization (32,640 out of approximately 44,000, if one chooses among the five secondary schools to which they are attached). But there is an individual bonus for scholarship holders in the first round (600 points), as well as a collective bonus for candidates from a socially disadvantaged college. These earn 1,200 points, against 0 for those coming from a college with a high social position index, which takes into account in particular the profession of the parents.

Students “more isolated”

“Our students are more isolated”, reacts Mohamed Sadli, former FCPE manager in the 20and borough. “But despite a smaller choice, candidates from working-class neighborhoods are quite happy with their assignment. »

Departmental secretary of the SNPDEN, union of school heads, Didier Georges judge “a rather successful trial run”. The priority education college he led until last year posted 100% assignments in the first round and “a lot of wishes 1, 2 or 3 satisfied”. ” Never seen “, he swears. Conversely, notes Didier Georges, “some colleges in the hypercentre, used to sending almost all their students to reputable high schools, regret that this is no longer so systematic”.

Soon quotas for Henri-IV and Louis-le-Grand?

Some sectors should be redesigned for more social and academic balance. But another planned development is provoking strong reactions. The rectorate is preparing to review the terms of assignment to Henri-IV and Louis-le-Grand. With one goal: to increase the rate of scholarship holders, “which peaks at 8% in seconds”, notes Claire Mazeron.

These high schools could continue to recruit on file, throughout France. Nevertheless, each application could be examined – manually – in the light of certain Affelnet criteria (scholarship candidate or not, social position index of his college of origin). “We could then apply quotas”, she says.

“We want to transform our elite high school into an ordinary Parisian establishment”, chokes a math teacher from Louis-le-Grand, convinced that such a reform would play into the hands of large private high schools. The students, too, are puzzled.“Meritocracy consists of accepting the best, regardless of their background”, wants to believe Marwan, who comes every day from Noisy-le-Grand, in Seine-Saint-Denis.


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