• L’Education Nationale Française et les Comparaisons Internationales

    February 10 2009, 12:30 - 12:30
    Location: Cercle de l'Union Interalliee, 33 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore, 75008 Paris

    Minister of National Education of France, Xavier Darcos, spoke to AmCham and American Club of Paris members on February 10th, 2009. Minister Darcos' speech was focused on the subject of educational reforms and layoffs proposed by President Sarkozy, which has stirred attention in the media, and made his role a more interesting one.


    Xavier Darcos, whose entire career has been devoted to education, assumed his current term as Minister of Education in May 2007.  He started his career teaching classics in Perigueux and then preparatory courses (prepa) in Bordeaux and at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris.  In 1992 he became a national education inspector, and served as dean of the corps from 1995-98.  From 1993-1994 he was advisor and then cabinet director of Minister of Education Francois Bayrou, and from 1995-97 education counsellor of Prime Minister Alain Juppé.  He has also taught comparative literature at the Sorbonne.  Mr. Darcos' political career included terms as mayor of Perigueux (1997-2008), Senator for the Dordogne (1998), Vice President of the cultural affairs commission of the Senate (2001), and regional counsellor for the UMP Aquitaine (since 2004).  Darcos previously served as Minister of Education from 2002-2004 in the Raffarin government and then as Minister for Cooperation, Development and the Francophonie from 2004-2005.  Since 2005 he is also France's Ambassador to the OECD.
    The post of Minister of National Education is one of most important in France, a country with a centralized education system where teachers are civil servants and represent a powerful political force.  Mr Darcos’ role has become even more pivotal since certain lycéens and professors have called for a "hot winter" starting in January to protest against educational reforms and layoffs proposed by President Sarkozy.

    This event was in conjunction with the American Club of Paris