The level of French progresses in primary and stabilizes in college

Pupils’ performance in French improved slightly in CM2 and remained almost stable at the end of middle school between 2015 and 2021, but with large differences depending on social origin and whether or not they are enrolled in priority education, according to studies. .

In 2021, at the end of primary (CM2), 62.5% of pupils have a satisfactory command of the skills required, compared to approximately 60% until 2015, according to the national evaluation by discipline (Cedre system) of the Ministry of National Education, published Wednesday.

The average score up slightly

The average score of students goes from 251 to 254 points between 2015 and 2021, while it has been stable since 2003, adds this report, renewed every five or six years. It covers a representative sample of 264 schools, totaling 7,886 young people.

This increase in the overall level is “all the more notable as it comes one year after the closure of schools in March-April 2020 due to the health crisis”, notes Depp, the statistics agency of the Ministry of Education, which is conducting this survey.

It specifies that the 2021 test concerns pupils who entered mainly CP in 2016, i.e. one year before the implementation of the policy of duplication of CPs in priority education.

Marked level differences

This increase is also driven by students in the public sector excluding priority education. Those who are in priority education or in the private sector do not see their performance change significantly.

The differences in levels are also very marked by the social origin of the students, the average score progressing as the social level increases, underlines the study.

According to a second Cedre study, relating to the college, the level of students in French in the 3rd grade experienced a slight drop between 2015 and 2021, but not significantly.

The weight of social origin

Behind this overall stability, the Depp points in particular to a drop in results in priority education. Pupils enrolled there have seen their performance drop since 2015, while performance has been stable in the public sector, excluding priority education.

In priority education, 30.2% of pupils are in low-level groups and can be considered to be in difficulty or in great difficulty, i.e. almost double compared to pupils from the public outside priority education (16.6%).

The weight of social origin on student performance is confirmed, “especially in the most and least favored welcoming establishments”, underlines the Depp, whose study covers 8,000 students, educated in 302 colleges.

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