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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I understand that they are all good & equal
but i also understand some are better than others ...
more due to socioeconomic & ethnic makeup of the student body

so .. where do i find school scores ? (both elemetary & college schools )

thanks all
R
 

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They don't do school scores in France, as the schools are officially NOT competing with one another.

You could perhaps try finding something on pass rates for the bac - I believe these may be posted by school, but that will really only tell you about the lycées.

There are sites where you can look up the average income of various towns (like Salaire moyen 2012 par métier et par ville, département ou région. Salaire brut net, gratuit, retraite, rémunération des français) and that's often a pretty good indicator of the socioeconomic level. Ethnic makeup is something more difficult to determine, as officially that information isn't collected in France. Try the INSEE site - that's the official French statistical office and then sometimes have some information about foreigners and where they live in France.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I think you have to go by word-of-mouth. Some schools report a great success rate on the bac, but then when you look more closely they are only counting one type of bac, or else they have a lot of students in vocational training. But I am probably biased because I live in the South, and everything is word of mouth here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
we are headed to Montpellier
& correct lycees info wouldn't help us much

so what is the real issues in the lower grades (college,elem.)?
violence ? harassment ? non french ? or just a poor education ?
or (e) all of the above ??

we've been given a vague warning so quite curious .... what the issues are ...
 

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if you're living in a "nice" neighborhood you don't have to worry much. As for what makes a school problematic, it really depends who you talk to. I've had people tell me to avoid one of our neighborhood schools (even though I know several parents who are happy with it) because it has a lot of immigrants - some French people have the idea that the level will be lower if the kids don't speak French well. And then there are neighborhoods that are a bit rougher, so there might be more schoolyard incidents - kids hitting each other, stuff like that. One thing that you'll see in certain areas is that many families will choose to send their kids to private school in order to keep them away from what they call "mixed" schools - meaning schools with a lot of socioeconomic and ethnic diversity. And of course the result is a lot of segregation.
 

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As qiubuo says, it's pretty much a matter of "nice town, nice schools" "tough town tough schools". If you're headed to Montpellier, you might be interested to know that the Monpellier academy (i.e. the school district) is the most popular in all of France for teachers looking for transfers. Which says something about the schools, though I leave it to you to decide exactly what.

There are also the standard "culture shocks" in the schools for anglo-saxons or North Americans on their first encounter with the French public schools. One of which is that teachers don't generally do playground or lunchtime patrol duty - the school districts hire special monitors so the teachers can have a break from the little darlings. Depending on the quality and source of the monitors, the playground can get a bit rough and the monitors aren't always quick to intervene. If your kids stay at school for lunch, the mealtime often becomes a "learning experience" meant to introduce the kids to proper French cuisine - and (I kid you not) in some schools the role of the lunchroom monitors is to get the kids to eat foods they don't like or don't want to try. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it may not be what you were expecting from the public schools.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Living in a "bad" area insures that the teachers who have a choice, won't choose to live there. But living in a "good" area does not insure that good teachers will be able to be there. It means that the teachers with the highest points will get first pick and probably pick those areas.

I had a French class taught by a former primary teacher and she went over the intracacies of the French school system and her frustrations with it. Each school may have a director, but his/her job is way different than that of a principal in a US elementary school. The director has no say in the hiring or firing process. It's a public service job that is regulated by some body (I can't remember the name) and seniority is the biggest thing that impacts who gets to teach where.

Which is a long way of saying that crappy teachers really can't be fired. I live in a "good" area by socioeconomic measures. But that doesn't mean there aren't teachers who yell, scream, and belittle students. The biggest problem is teachers not showing up (or going to school and then taking ill) and students are then re-distributed to other classrooms where they sit and doodle all day. They will sometimes get substitute teachers for primary, but in collège, they just cancel the class if a teacher is out. Even if it's the math teacher who will be out for a week. No math for a week.

Enrollment is a tricky thing, and the number of classrooms each school is allowed to have is controlled. This year, there is a combination CP (1st grade) and CE2 (3rd grade) class. We just received official notification that because registration is down for next year, my kids' primary school will be losing a classroom. They're already at an average class size of 23, so this should be interesting. Everyone is predicting lots of mixed-grade classes, which I don't belive function nearly as well as single-grade ones.

Bev touched on the playground issue (and play ground is literally a ground that you play on). In some ways, it can be "Lord of the Flies" out there. Kids are left to their own for the most part. It takes something major for one of the monitors to intervene.

But, hey, it builds character and is good for them. (At least that's what we're supposed to believe.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
this is fascinating -- we inquired directly to closest public school to where we expect to live , & they wouldn't tell us anything - either "we are just like every other school" or " I cant say anything about that " to every question

another problem is - we have also inquired with the local private schools & they are all full & have waiting lists ..

currently our children go to very diverse schools (my guess is ~30% european heritage) so that wouldn't be an issue, but violence would be ..

(not real interested in home schooling them - neither feel confident or the desire )
 

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another problem is - we have also inquired with the local private schools & they are all full & have waiting lists ..
My interpretation of that one (which may or may not be even worth 2 centimes) is that the local school isn't great if there's that many people trying to get out of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My interpretation of that one (which may or may not be even worth 2 centimes) is that the local school isn't great if there's that many people trying to get out of it.
& that is what we fear ...
the plus side the children will get an authentic French experience if we send them to public schools
- possibly with a different opinion of France than we wanted/expected ..
memorable non the less

c'est la vie ..
 
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