Middle and high school rankings 2024: a more realistic view thanks to new criteria

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    Like every year, the data provided by the Directorate of Evaluation, Prospective and Performance (Depp) to the Ministry of National Education made it possible to publish a ranking of the best middle and secondary schools. With a novelty: the consideration of more realistic criteria than just the success rate.

    This is a ranking expected by many parents: that of the best middle and secondary schools, both public and private, and their success rate (both high school and high school). But it is clear that this success figure really has no weight for a long time, since it seems to have increased: thus, in 2023, the success rate of the general baccalaureate rose to 90.9% when the patent one reached 89.1% . How to differentiate the establishments?

    Values ​​added to the exam results.

    Therefore, in published rankings such as that of Le Figaro, the evaluated criteria are refined this year. In addition to the data provided by the Directorate of Evaluation, Foresight and Performance (Depp) of the Ministry of National Education, value-added indicators were added for secondary schools (Ival) and universities (Ivac).

    These allow us to evaluate the real performance of the establishments, comparing what was expected of them according to their starting level, their social origin and the results of their students.

    Also part of the criteria is the rate of access to the baccalaureate or certificate from the second or sixth year until the exam, that is, the fact that students have been able to complete all their training in the same establishment.

    Thus, the prestigious Stanislas College (6th grade in Paris), for example, which has the best average of the schools in the ranking, sees its grade drop due to the fact that 12% of 6th grade students must leave the establishment before obtaining the certificate.

    The rate of “very good” mentions, on the other hand, does not appear in the data provided by Depp.

    A criterion that highlights progress in priority areas

    The weight of social determinism and the difficulties of the most disadvantaged institutions also become evident when only the percentage of success is taken into account: thus the World of this day demonstrates that the differences extracted from ministry data are eloquent:

    “The average certificate approval rate is 99% in private establishments under contract, 91% in public establishments without priority education, 84% in priority education network (REP) and 81% in reinforced priority education network ( REP+).Almost 4 points out of 20 difference between the results of private establishments under contract (12.8) and those of REP+ (8.9).”

    However, the study of the “added values” of universities helps to mitigate this dark observation. “If no priority education establishment is among the 500 best universities according to the scores obtained in writing, almost 16% of them are included in this list if we take the criterion of added value.

    Overall, more than 70% of REP+ universities provide added value to successfully complete the certificate, according to the criteria established by the Ministry of National Education. One establishment in five even has an average success rate 10 points higher than expected. Enough to have a more lucid look at the surrounding establishments.

    Wellbeing at school, the missing element in this ranking

    At a time when anti-bullying plans and student mental health are under scrutiny, these rankings instead say nothing about student development due to a lack of available data.

    Not because this criterion is perceived as less important (than success), but because nowadays it is difficult to measure the degree of satisfaction with the educational establishment itself. Therefore, well-being has more or less broad definitions, which have recently been studied in certain areas. A study carried out in 2015 in the Nantes region, for example, lists five elements that constitute a scale of well-being at school, according to the students surveyed: the relationship with teachers, school activities, the climate in the classroom, the feeling security and the relationship with evaluations. But a student’s point of view cannot be neutral and also depends on other parameters (his family environment, his personality, his cultural norms). Therefore, it seems difficult to establish a strict scale in this regard.

    To discover the added value of your middle or high school, visit the education.gouv website.

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