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54 | septembre 2010
Palmarès et classements en éducation

League Tables and Ranking in Education
Palmarés y clasificaciones en la educación
Edited by Michel Lussault
Palmarès et classements en éducation
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ISBN 978-2-85420-582-4

Contemporary societies are penetrated by the need to assess and compare public institutions, public policy and the ensuing actions. In today’s world nothing escapes the influence of ranking.
While education long remained untouched by this drive, it too is now under close scrutiny, the growing impact of assessment provoking strongly contrasting opinions, commensurate with the issues at stake.
Performance indicators, league tables and rankings have the devastating power to expose misfires in the workings of our institutions. They invariably raise fundamental political questions: What function does society attribute to knowledge? To the act of generating and transmitting knowledge?
As this trend gains ground, arousing increasingly heated debate, the recent issue of the Revue internationale d’éducation de Sèvres examines the question in terms of its impact on compulsory education (through education system assessments) and higher education (through university ranking).
In a series of articles based on international comparisons, this issue reveals the weight of social, national and supranational contexts, while attempting to explain the major global trends unveiled by this analysis.