What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success

Anu Partanen, The Atlantic, Jan 01, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Excellent article about the success of the Finnish educational system, from a Finnish author who makes many of the same points others cited in these pages have made in the past. The Finnish model is exactly the opposite of what is touted as 'reform' in the United States: teachers are unionized, they are highly paid and take responsibility (as opposed to 'accountability), there are no private schools, the overall aim of the system is equity, and success is not based on competition. The comment thread, by contrast, is terribly disappointing, indeed a disgrace, offering tangible but sad proof that a certain readership would rather just change the subject (and play the race card) than deal head on with the proposition that a school system that is most successful is one that focuses on success for all its students, not a selected few. Despite the comment thread, this is a must-read article.
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