Économie et Statistique n° 459 Household tax burden and transfers: different redistributive channels in 1990 and 2010 - Memberships and donations to associations: permanence and change (2002-2010) - The winding road to the Baccalauréat: repeat years, reorientation and school drop-out
The winding road to the Baccalauréat: repeat years, reorientation and school drop-out
Although French secondary school education is often seen as a long uninterrupted road leading from the sixième class to the Baccalauréat, only one-third of pupils entering the sixième actually pass this diploma within the time initially planned. The road is actually littered with repeat years, reorientations and drop-outs throughout the schooling process. This article studies this diversity in schooling, using a 1995 panel constructed by the Ministry for National Education tracking 17,800 pupils who entered the sixième class in September 1995 through to 2006. The construction of a schooling typology using an optimal matching method highlights a phenomenon that stems from the way pupils and their families integrate the hierarchy of educational tracks: the ability to remain in a more highly-valued track than previous educational achievements would allow, at the cost of repeat years and, sometimes, reorientations. The analysis also shows big differences in the way the career path is initiated: certain educational processes are characterised by a lack of qualifications while others are characterised by an accumulation of several vocational diplomas. The breakdown of pupils between these different types of educational paths remains socially marked. Access to the Baccalauréat has been generalised but is still determined by origins, and new segmentations have been created in the population of Baccalauréat holders: social origin affects both the type of Baccalauréat obtained by the pupil and the complexity of the trajectory taken to pass it.