Is It True That...? #2

First and foremost, it’s teachers’ children who benefit from school.

The reasoning goes like this: a teacher’s “insider knowledge” of what to learn, how to learn it and ultimately how to prepare for and take a test gives their offspring a net advantage. Most French feel sure that, thanks to this parental coaching, teachers’ children represent a high percentage of those who pass their baccalaureate exam with honors distinctions and who enroll and graduate from the Grandes Ecoles like l’Ecole normale supérieure or Polytechnique.

Statistics confirm this widely accepted idea. According to the 2008 baccalaureate results the success rate is slightly over 91% for students whose parents are teachers while it is only 83,7 % for those from the overall population. Furthermore, while 83% of teachers children signed up to take the Baccalaureat General, as opposed to the somewhat less prestigious Baccalaureat Technique, 93,5% of them were granted an honors distinction, 11,7% of which were the highest reward: mention très bien).

This being said, teachers’ children aren’t the only ones to succeed well in school. The children of lawyers, doctors and engineers do well too. As this article in the French daily Le Monde reminds us, school is designed for those who come from well-educated families, whose parents follow their class work closely, from kindergarten through high school and the bac.


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