“There will be no level class”: Nicole Belloubet qualifies the criticized measure

The Minister of Education assures that classes will remain heterogeneous and that level groups will only be organized for fundamental subjects.

“There will be no level class”: Nicole Belloubet qualifies the criticized measure

The Minister of Education assures that classes will remain heterogeneous and that level groups will only be organized for fundamental subjects. The contours of the measurement are just becoming clearer.

Since his time at the Ministry of National Education, the Prime Minister has not hesitated to defend the establishment of level groups in middle school, convinced of the benefits of the system in raising the academic level of French students. Nicole Belloubet, new minister installed at rue de Grenelle, prefers to take a more careful approach and qualify the notion of “level class”. “There will be no level class” began by asking the minister at the microphone of France Inter this Tuesday, February 13 before specifying that “the classes are heterogeneous [and] we are setting up groups to take care of the students in the fundamental subjects", namely French and mathematics.

Initial details given to reassure teachers and educational staff who, for some, have warned against the effects of grouping students by level - harmful for some, non-existent according to others -, particularly for children who encounter the most difficulties. These conclusions are also those which emerge from a report from the IDEE program (Innovations, data and experiments in education) from December 2023 in which it is written that “permanent groupings such as level classes are ineffective”. The same document adds that this can even have the opposite effect by reducing the demands of teachers on lower-level classes.

Forgotten therefore the level class for the Minister of Education, on the other hand Nicole Belloubet judges that creating groups according to the abilities of the students within a heterogeneous class is not an "uninteresting" solution to meet the particular expectations of the students. students. The tenant of rue de Grenelle therefore draws the outlines of the system, but refuses to give the precise terms before having discussed it with the unions. According to her, these modalities "have not been definitively decided because [she] precisely wishes to dialogue with the actors who are on the ground." But the ministry will have to find solid arguments to convince teachers and make them accept the establishment of level groups. Nicole Belloubet is already clinging to an “observation” which “seems to be shared, including by teachers, and which is that of the insufficient effectiveness of our school system”.

According to the announcements made by Gabriel Attal in the fall of 2023, level groups must be set up for French and mathematics from the start of the 2024 school year in all 5th and 6th grade classes.

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