Few things in France can provoke heated debate faster than moves to tinker with the country's vaunted public-education system, which embodies republican values that date back to the French Revolution. It's especially true when the changes involve an idea as capitalistic and nonegalitarian as paying certain students — the ones most apt to fail and drop out — to attend classes and get good grades.
This is exactly what's happening in a pilot program that started this month at three vocational high schools in disadvantaged suburbs of Paris. Accounts will be set up for two classes in each school, each containing around $3,000 apiece. If the students maintain good attendance records and reach performance targets agreed upon with their teachers, reward payments will be added to their class account. But here's the catch: the students can't go and spend the money on a new iPod or an Xbox at the end of the year. Each account, which could reach a maximum of $15,000, can only be used to finance a school-related project or endeavor, such as a class trip abroad to improve foreign-language skills, computer equipment for the classroom or driving lessons to obtain a license. Still, not a bad deal.
nonegalitarian:που δεν ανήκει ή αναφέρεται στην ισονομία ή την ισοπολιτεία