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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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The Ministers of Education under pressure to act: Hurrah for a silly result

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The Ministers of Education got the curve again at the last moment. Pressed from left and right and – because of their inability to act – under the constant fire of almost every German education expert, they surprised on Friday with a compromise on the contested special program for socially disadvantaged schools.

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The compromise is that five percent of the education billion promised by the federal government should go specifically to the countries that have particularly high poverty rates. The “remaining” 95 percent is distributed with the watering can.

The mere fact that the ministers presented such a silly result with relief and obvious pride shows the extent of the misery in which the federal educational structures find themselves: For those who normally tread water, even a double step is a big deal.

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The situation is comparable to the other resolutions that the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK) announced at the same time on Friday: It took them a mere six years to align the Abitur requirements, and when there was a shortage of teachers, they again served no more than the usual mix of could-have-could-want.


percent of the education billion are distributed by watering can

And yet the mini-compromise on the education billion shows that the ministers can move if the pressure is great enough. Whatever prompted you to pull yourself together and spend the night negotiating – at least the message seems to have gotten through that things can’t go on like this.

So far, the office of the KMK President has rotated

If the Hamburg education senator’s story is true that it was he who “made the breakthrough and got through all 16 federal states”, this would be an argument for the fact that the KMK does not work without individual strong leaders.

So far it has been a coincidence whether there are any in the group of education ministers. The least that the ministers would have to achieve now would be to change their own leadership structure and, instead of an annually rotating random presidency, to appoint a president elected for several years, who would then have to moderate further changes. That would be a start.

The pressure to act has never been greater. Regardless of whether Berlin’s former State Secretary Mark Rackles (SPD) certifies the KMK “institutional arthrosis” or the former CDU Chancellor’s Office Minister and current Chairman of the Telekom Foundation, Thomas de Maizière, the relationship between the federal states and the federal government to the information service “bildung.table” as “Constitutionally completely chaotic” – the finding is clear, only the medicine has not yet been found.

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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