The first specialty tests of the new baccalaureate, which account for a third of the final grade, are canceled in favor of continuous monitoring due to the health crisis, according to a letter from Jean-Michel Blanquer sent to teachers on Thursday evening. The teachings of these specialties “will not be evaluated through tests in March but on the basis of the averages of the three terms of Terminale of these lessons”, indicates this letter of which AFP has obtained a copy. The Minister of Education explains that he had to “take into account the effects of health crisis“.
“In the words of the students, I heard the concerns expressed in front of the difficulties of preparation for the tests of the specialty lessons” and “in those of the professors, I was sensitive to the expression of an experienced fatigue in what is experienced as a race against time, ”he describes.
Unions relieved but mixed
For several weeks, teachers, students, parents and unions have been asking for the cancellation or postponement of these tests scheduled for March, while 70% of high schools have implemented hybrid education for nine weeks.
For Philippe Vincent, the general secretary of SNPDEN, the first union of school leaders, the cancellation of the specialty tests is “a reasonable and pragmatic decision in the current context”. Sophie Vénétitay, from Snes-FSU, the first secondary school union, was more mixed. “We note the fact that the minister heard that the tests could not decently be held in March, this will help to lower the pressure but it raises the problem of continuous monitoring which can be a factor of inequality,” he said. -she regrets.
In a press release, the SE-Unsa for its part welcomed “the choice of recourse to continuous assessment, the only one which allows subjects to be adapted to real progress and the only one which guarantees that the pupils will be well evaluated”.
The (secondary) Snalc wrote to him in another press release that this decision does not “correspond to the expectations of the majority of (its) members, who requested a postponement in June”.
Adaptations for the final philosophy and French exams
Regarding the Parcoursup platform – which was to integrate the marks of the March exams – Jean-Michel Blanquer specified that it “will take into account the averages which are given in the reports of the first two quarters, as well as the assessments of the teachers”.
In his letter, the minister also announced “the adaptation made to the final tests of philosophy (choice between three subjects instead of two subjects) and French (tightening of the number of oral texts).