Education: Fate Worse than Exams

French schoolchildren, who have long quaked at their formidable baccalauréat exam, last week were faced with an even worse fate—no exams. Demanding an $80 million raise, France's 325,000 teachers threatened to suspend next summer's bachots. For 180,000 lycee students, no bachot meant no entrance to universities, no draft deferment—and, for men, a possible call to Algeria.

What incited the teachers was the government's earmarking of $40 million-$60 million to pay 30,000 teachers in Catholic parochial schools—while it offered public school teachers only a $32 million raise. By such tactics as refusing to mark report cards, the fiercely anticlerical teachers have focused...