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The impact of student assignment procedures on social and educational diversity in the high schools of the Paris region

IPP Report June 2014

The impact of student assignment procedures on social and educational diversity in the high schools of the Paris region” (in French)

Authors: Gabrielle Fack, Julien Grenet, Asma Benhenda.

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IPP Policy Brief n°11

Can we increase the social and academic mix in the education system? The impact of allocation procedures on Lycée students in the Paris region

Authors: Gabrielle Fack and Julien Grenet

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Slides, 2nd July 2014

Présentation de l’étude au 4e Atelier de l’Observatoire de la mixité sociale et de la réussite scolaire

Hémicycle du Conseil régional d’Île-de-France

Authors : Gabrielle Fack, Julien Grenet et Asma Benhenda.


Summary

Over the past ten years, the spread of the centralised and algorithm-based Affelnet system for the allocation of students and the introduction of greater flexibility in school choice have profoundly changed the allocation of students to senior high schools (lycées) in France. This IPP Note confirms that the procedures introduced in French education administration, through the academies (education administrative units), to manage the post-junior high school (collège) allocation of students have a determining influence on the academic and social composition of public lycées.  While the social segregation of lycées (according to the socio-professional positions of parents) is generally higher in Paris than in the schools of Créteil and Versailles, the very broad catchment areas for Parisian lycées and the introduction of a specific bonus in favour of scholarship students have both contributed to increasing the social mix in public general lycées in the capital. On the other hand, the weight given to marks in the Paris allocation schedule explains why academic segregation (according to students’ final collège year marks) is much higher there than in the rest of the Île-de-France region. Within the limits imposed by geographical, social and behavioural constraints that condition their effects, the allocation procedures seem to be powerful levers for determining the social and academic mix in the education system

Key points

  • While for the academies of Créteil and Versailles, the geographic proximity criterion is decisive in the allocation for general lycées, the academy of Paris adopted, for the 2008 school year, a regulated system of school choice with very large school districts
  • In Paris, the introduction of a “scholarship” bonus has promoted access for socially disadvantaged students to the most sought-after general lycées and contributed to a growth in the social mix in public lycées
  • In contrast, the weight given to marks in the Paris allocation schedule explains why academic segregation in lycées there is clearly higher than in the academies of Créteil and Versailles