Educational Opportunity Works

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Educational Opportunity Works
By Jerry Brownstein
In the French city of Toulouse, bussing disadvantaged students to top-notch schools has led to higher grades, lower drop-out rates and more integration. Three poor suburbs of Toulouse are the home to many immigrants from North Africa and Africa. Their schools are underfunded, and have the worst educational records in the region. In 2017 the city began a radical new program that they hoped would remedy the situation. The schools in the three suburbs with students aged 11 to 15 were closed, and those students were bussed to high-achieving schools in a prosperous area. Regional president Georges Méric stated that, “The young children living in these poor areas have the right to success in life.”





Five years later, it is clear that this attempt to achieve educational equality has proven to be extremely successful. Before this the drop-out rate for students in the poor schools was almost 50%, but now it is only 6%. In addition, their grades on standardized tests have risen by 15%. The project is here to stay, and two new schools have already been built to expand it. Encouraged by these results, several other cities and towns across France are studying ways to launch similar initiatives.

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