A highlight of the Roundtable’s visit to Paris was a seminar in which senior Academie de Paris and Paris Rectorat officials exchanged views with Roundtable members. Held in the lovely Salle Laseure, a room in which bullets fired from American weapons during the liberation of Paris during World War II in tribute to American contributions to French liberty, the discussion covered a lot of ground. It addresssed the different structures of education in France and the United States, the challenge of school dropouts, and vocational education’s fall from grace among many Western policymakers. It also touched on the tensions around teaching history and culture in increasingly fragmented and divided societies and the adequacy of the preparation of secondary school graduates for university-level work.
Francois Neville, head of the office of international relations for the Rectorat of Paris, Yves Zarka, deputy inspector, Academic de Paris, and Jean Pierre Prevost led the discussion. At the seminar drew to a close, the American visitors were honored with welcoming words from Claude Michellet, director of the Paris Rectorat and with a brief reception preceding a tour of the building.