Educational Results Are On The Up, Yet Gaps Are Getting Ever Wider, communication de 2003 à l’Université de Princeton :
The education system has played a central role in French society since the end of the 19th century. This particular situation is not replicated in other countries around the world. From the start, founders of the Third Republic designed the French education system as a key institution. Its role was to instill, from as early an age as possible, core republican values in the minds of youngsters and to shape their behavior. These values were secularism, moral integration through the teaching of citizenship values, equal opportunities, appointment of top civil servants according to educational merit….A hundred years on, what is the situation?At first glance, the education system is being pulled apart by contradictory forces. On the one hand, far from being questioned, its central position in the wider economic, social and political environment has become more encompassing and stronger. This is one facet of the contradiction. On the other hand, schools and teachers are faced, on a daily basis, with new obstacles some of which tend to undermine the very foundations of the system. This is the second facet of the contradiction. [17 pages]
Le mécanisme décrit par l’auteur n’est pas propre à l’éducation, il existe aussi dans le domaine de la santé : lorsque l’espérance de vie augmente dans une population, elle augmente moins rapidement pour les catégories sociales défavorisées.