Does the Number of Foreigners in a Class Determine the Success Rate?

mixed classroom

Three pupils from a school in Neuköln in Berlin have gone to court claiming that their failure during their trial year was due to the fact that their classroom had more migrant pupils that the average in many other classrooms. The three pupils whose parents are also migrant argued that they felt discriminated thus the bad grades at the end of their trial year. 

The students who had gotten above average grades before proceeding to the Leonardo-da-Vinci Gymnasium shockingly scored very poor scores after only one year at the school. The pupils whose class had at least 63% migrant pupils had the highest number of non-German students while the other classes only had 13%. The students’ lawyer said that the lawsuit was to expose the discrimination found in schools.

The court ruled against the pupils and according to the FAZ, “the school should have the freedom to allocate students to different classes without any given formulae”. The court also argued that a few years ago a class at the same school with 63% migrant pupils had only one student fail while the class with 14% had five students failing thus rubbishing the claim that the number of migrant pupils played a role in how many pupils excelled.

The CDU education expert Hildegard Bentele told the Tagespiegel that “the students had the freedom to choose any school of their choice had they felt discriminated at the one they were attending”.

This brings out another discussion on schools not being allowed to send away students with bad grades from joining the Gymnasium. A new law planned to come into practice later this year plans to have parents to pupils with a grade lower than 3.0 go through counselling and maybe they can reconsider joining the Gymnasium.

My Take:

My greatest issue with the German society is the constant denial of discrimination of foreigners in this country. A study (Read: Discrimination in German Schools) already showed that very good students with a migration background don’t get a recommendation to a Gymnasium. The study showed that a straight A pupil with a migration background had lower chances of getting a recommendation to join a Gymnasium than a B German student. The study was run by Germans (thank God) which removes the chances of people arguing that it’s foreigners complaining as usual and still even with such findings from a reputable agency, people think when foreigners complain of discrimination it’s a figment of their imagination.

My greatest worry is that such claims are quickly rubbished without looking at evidence or even listening to those affected.

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