Emmanuel Macron’s educational program, a copy-paste of LR’s proposals? “The copier was drooling,” laughs Max Brisson

Earn more, but on condition of teaching more. Emmanuel Macron presented his re-election program during a press conference by the river on Thursday. And as announced in his letter to the French, with which he formalized his candidacy to succeed him on March 3, he intends to make the school one of the main projects for a second five-year term. Emmanuel Macron promises to invest 12 million euros in education and youth. He wants to draw up “a new pact for teachers”, which is to be defined at the beginning of his term of office through broad consultations at the national level “of all those involved”. The goal: to define the framework conditions for an increase in teachers’ salaries. However, Emmanuel Macron hinted that this would be done on the basis of “new missions”. Instead of a general increase, as proposed by some presidential candidates such as Anne Hidalgo, the head of state wants to link the salary increase to the implementation of specific educational tasks, such as replacing an absent colleague, participating in extracurricular life or investing in individualized care for students.

A teaching concept inspired by the business world

Another flagship measure: increasing the autonomy of institutions, with the possibility for directors to “challenge profiles (of teachers) and participate in the decision to hire others. “We are facing the abandonment of the Republican model in favor of an Anglo-Saxon business model,” condemned Pierre Ouzoulias, communist senator from Hauts-de-Seine, also vice-president of the culture and education committee, to the public senate and communication. This elected official points to the establishment of an accounting logic driven by profitability factors. “We tend to make the head of the establishment the business leader, after all, a leader is made to be a leader,” he frets.

Emmanuel Macron also intends to publish the results of the national assessments organized in CP, CE1, 6 and 2 by institution but also by class to “see what support methods and teaching practices exist” to identify and to spread “Good Practices”. “Publishing the ratings will give parents of pupils an indication to put establishments in competition,” continues Pierre Ouzoulias. In his eyes, the measure is based on a “reform of the school sectorization that does not give its name”, with the risk of “educational ghettoization”. “The publication of these results is implicitly an evaluation of the farms. And if you notice, it’s meant to give families a choice. What will happen is that struggling public schools will be abandoned by the wealthiest families in favor of the private sector,” argues this elected official, who also laments “the lack of social diversity policies.”

» Read our article: Emmanuel Macron wants a new pact for teachers

“Emmanuel Macron has only one choice: to make Senator Max Brisson Minister for National Education,” said Pierre Ouzoulias ironically. “His program is identical to that of Valérie Pécresse and everyone knows that Max Brisson is the origin of the educational component. After leaving Jean-Michel Blanquer in office at National Education for five years, it is a pity to see the outgoing President copying the full copy of the law. In fact, the autonomy of the institutions and the increase in the remuneration of teachers who accept additional assignments are part of the “presidency project” of Nicolas Sarkozy’s former Minister of Higher Education. Just like the reintegration of mathematics into the common core, which Emmanuel Macron also mentioned on Thursday.

White cap, white cap?

“It’s true that we followed this conference with…a little surprise,” says one of Max Brisson’s associates. Senator LR does not hide the fact that on Thursday afternoon he was “amazed to see how much Emmanuel Macron used the copier”. “But a photocopier who was drooling,” he insists. He assures him that if certain actions are similar, the philosophy of the project is not the same. “By giving school leaders more autonomy, Emmanuel Macron risks capitalizing on the teaching staff. We’re talking about giving all teaching teams more freedom,” he nuanced.

Regarding the publication of the results of national assessments, a measure not found by Valérie Pécresse, Max Brisson, like his colleague Pierre Ouzoulias, denounced the risk of “competition between institutions”. “Especially since we know very well that the conditions and quality of teaching also depend on the environment of the institution and the resources made available to the employees. »

When it comes to remuneration, however, the discount is more subtle. “Valérie Pécresse points out that teachers are already doing a lot of things that are not paid. There is a standardization of remuneration, while trading itself is not uniform. Emmanuel Macron wants to load the boat with additional missions. You will appreciate it”, the chosen one tries to defend. Yet a closer look at candidate LR’s project, online on her campaign page, reads the following suggestion: “Increase the pay of early-career teachers who accept additional missionss who teach in remote rural areas or in particularly difficult facilities. »

“His promises are weighed down by the balance sheet”

It is understood that Emmanuel Macron’s education program risks forcing LR to perform a difficult balancing act: denouncing a project that in many ways looks like two drops of water to her. “We will tell the French two very simple things: copy and paste does not honor the person doing it and prefer the original to the copy,” sweeps Max Brisson. “There is one big difference: the candidate has been in business for 5 years. As early as 2017, he spoke of imparting basic knowledge and the autonomy of institutions. In 2022 he says the same thing again. This is proof he has failed, his promises are weighed down by the balance sheet,” scoffs this former inspector general of the National Education System.

He wants proof of this in the information report that he presented at the end of February with his colleagues Annick Billon (centrist) and Marie-Pierre Monier (PS), which looks back on the five years that Jean-Michel Blanquer spent in the rue de Grenelle . A rigorous assessment that particularly highlights the lack of reassessment of the teaching profession, the rush to implement certain reforms, or the lack of funds to support the doubling of large section classes in CE1. “This five-year term was also that of circulars and vademecum to reduce the autonomy of companies,” adds Max Brisson, who thus points to a contradiction to the announcements made on Thursday.

» Read our article: The Senate takes Jean-Michel Blanquer’s record seriously

deepen education reform

The last area of ​​education that Emmanuel Macron mentioned on Thursday: the vocational high school. The candidate wants to expand the apprenticeship reform introduced during his first term in office, in particular by “de-referencing” vocational training courses that “do not provide sufficient qualifications or do not lead to permanent jobs”. Here, too, Pierre Ouzoulias denounces a neoliberal vision that forgets republican principles. “We are shifting to a totally utilitarian vision of knowledge and knowledge as we rely on the labor market to define what is to be taught,” he laments. A short-term vision, too, because the upheavals required by the energy transition and the decarbonization of our economy, according to the senator, point to a major change in the world of work. “We cannot know what the jobs of tomorrow will be. On the contrary, we should rely on formations that are as wide as possible,” he argues.

At this point, Max Brisson criticizes the tenant of the Elysée for not giving “a place to the world of work, to companies that take the path of professionalization and to the communities that are guarantors of the general interest”. Valérie Pécresse, who is committed to bringing vocational schools and companies together, actually wants to entrust the management of her program to the regions.

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