Do immigrant-origin students progress faster at school than children with French-born parents? To answer this question, this article analyses longitidunal data from a panel of students entering secondary education in France in 1995. As suggested by part of the significant literature, the empirical analyses on performance in lower secondary schooling presented here reveal that the children of immigrant families progress faster than those of natives. However, this does not mean necessarily that they learn more or that they are more skilled or motivated than their native counterparts, as could be deduced from the positive self-selection hypothesis. On the contrary, the evidence shows that this only happens because they depart from lower grades at the beginning of the period under observation.