2 February 2024

We could have stopped believing it. And yet, the baccalaureate specialty tests must take place on March 20, 21 and 22. For the first time, they take place on the dates provided for by the reform of high school and the baccalaureate, thought up by the academic Pierre Mathiot and announced by Jean-Michel Blanquer, the previous Minister of National Education, in February 2018. Stated objective : allow the results of these tests, which count for 32% of the final grade, to appear in Parcoursup.

It is therefore a “normal” session – if it is not too disturbed by calls for a strike by certain teachers’ unions to contest the pension reform – that the national education system promises today, without hiding its relief from be able to keep the schedule. Because the “bac Blanquer” has experienced many adventures: in 2021, the very first cohort did not pass these tests, deleted at the end of a first quarter largely disorganized by the Covid-19. In early 2022, as France emerged from the Omicron wave, the specialty tests were postponed to May, de facto removing their primary function, that of helping to decide between candidates in Parcoursup.

But, while the “bac Blanquer” can finally take place as it had been thought, the disputes of the device are still as strong, including on the part of actors of the education system favorable to the initial project to simplify the baccalaureate by giving it back its meaning.

“The objective has come unstuck”

This is the case of the union of school heads SNPDEN, for whom the old formula baccalaureate – a week of tests in June – was too heavy to organize. But since then, the principals have widely expressed their dissatisfaction. In the union’s annual survey released in September 2022, 52% of the heads of establishments questioned demanded the return of the tests in June, and 22% their displacement in May. Only 25% agreed with the current schedule. “We have never been particularly favorable to the March eventsrecalls Bruno Bobkiewicz, the general secretary of the SNPDEN. We were defending the idea of ​​reducing the baccalaureate and having grades in Parcoursup. We hadn’t anticipated that the events would be moved so early in the year. »

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The problem is indeed of a pedagogical nature: the tests come early and put the first part of the final year under great pressure. In addition, Jean-Michel Blanquer having promised a baccalaureate “remuscled”the specialty programs are dense… but only part of them is likely to fall on the test too early to require mastery of all of the knowledge. “We can see quite clearly how the objective has become disjointed, under the effect of various and contradictory procedural questions”, notes Alexis Torchet, of SGEN-CFDT. According to him, the tests were positioned in March because the superior threatened to postpone the entire Parcoursup procedure and to start the university year later.

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