Parents do not challenge children to be gifted

Parents do not challenge children to be gifted

The figures from the ministry of education speak a clear language: in the district of starnberg, about 58 percent of children attended a grammar school in 2010, in the district of regen in the bavarian forest just under 30 percent. If bavaria's divided school system is really geartungsgerecht, love that only one possible explanation to: in starnberg live twice as many children with the necessary gymnasialintelligenz as in the homeland of minister of agriculture helmut brunner (CSU).

But all experts actually assume that the young people of lower bavaria are at least as smart as the young people of starnberg. The reason for such regional discrepancies is only partly to be found in the school system. The figures also provide clear evidence that many parents are not lucky when it comes to choosing the right school.

"This is the problem of the gymnasium", says hans-herbert mooser, executive director of the bavarian philologists' association (bpv). "Not all suitable children are sent, but some who were not suitable are pushed, pushed, pushed."

"Gifted and talented" – or not?

The main argument of the defenders of the divided school system has always been that, in contrast to comprehensive, community or unified schools, it is suitable for gifted children. But in the first G8 class, almost 30 percent of the students did not make it from the fifth grade to the abitur. And that was already a significant improvement, because in the days of the nine-year gymnasium, the percentage of students who failed at and in the gymnasium was even more than one-third. In a truly gifted school system, such high failure rates were quite inexplicable.

In fact, far fewer children are sent to grammar schools in bavaria after the fourth grade than are recommended by elementary schools. "We simply have the fact that 50 percent of the children in bavaria get a recommendation for transfer to the gymnasium, but only 40 percent transfer to a gymnasium", says education minister ludwig spaenle (CSU). "The percentage of gymnasium students would be even higher if all parents followed the recommendations for transfer."

But in rural regions like regen, many parents prefer to send their children to a middle or intermediate school, even though the elementary school recommends a higher type of school. And in starnberg, for example, many parents use every means at their disposal to send their children to gymnasium, even though the elementary school does not consider this to be the right thing to do.

Threatening the lawyer

Many elementary school teachers have encountered angry parents who categorically demand better grades for their offspring. "Mache come already almost with the lawyer in the elementary school", says green education expert thomas gehring. "Academic parents manage to get their children the grades they want." Minister spaenle therefore wants to improve parental counseling in particular. "We have to intervene, but that can only be done through intensive parental counseling, says the CSU politician.

However, neither the minister of education nor the philologists' association consider the abolition of recommendations for admission to higher education, as demanded by the greens, to be sensible. According to educational researcher jurgen baumert, this would be at the expense of children from the so-called educationally disadvantaged classes. "Some send their children to grammar school when they have black on white from elementary school that their child is suitable", says spaenle. "If there is no recommendation, they do not trust themselves to do it."

But grunen school expert gehring believes that the abolition of transfer recommendations will at least ease relations between parents and teachers. In gehring's opinion, intensive counseling of parents could replace the recommendations for transferring to a new school. "So at least you could take the pressure off the system."

Spaenle: "the structure must remain"

Education minister spaenle still does not believe it makes sense to abolish the divided school system in general. His recipe is to open up the higher schools for advancement from below. "Our way is, that there is a connection for every graduation." 43 percent of university entrance qualifications are no longer obtained through the traditional high school diploma, but through technical and vocational high schools.

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