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Study Uncovers Discrepancies in German Primary Schooling

A study on German primary school children presented in Berlin on Wednesday showed that the social background rather than the performance of children forms the basis of recommendations for further education. Almost half of all primary school children receive wrong recommendations for taking admission in one of Germany’s three types of high schools, according to the study. The report proved that only about two-thirds of students, who had fared well, received a corresponding recommendation for the coveted college-oriented Gymnasium school, while ten percent of poorer students snapped up the rest. German Education Minister Edelgard Buhlmahn described the conclusion as "lopsided" and "alarming." One of the study’s authors and education scientist Wilfried Bos said children from migrant and socially-weak families were usually the losers. "The daughter of the Polish cleaning lady has it much tougher despite a good performance, to get admission to the Gymnasium than the son of a doctor, who only has average grades."