By Molly Belt
What Americans Keep Forgetting About Finland’s School Success from The Atlantic is yet another excellent article about what Finland is doing right in educating their students.
While we, in America, struggle to educate our kids under No Child Left Behind, with constant standardized testing, charter and private schools, and the threat of punitive measures for teachers whose students don’t successfully jump through each hoop, Finland is turning out some of the best students in the world.
What are they doing differently? They focus on equity. Rather than having expensive private schools for those who can afford it, all students go to public schools, where teachers are respected and paid appropriately for their level of education. The Finnish perspective is that all students should have equal access to a quality education, and they do what is necessary to provide that, including providing meals, medical and psychological services.
In America, too many people feel that we should be in the “business” of educating children. In Finland, they know that education shouldn’t be a business, and they are right. We could learn a great deal from their methods if we would stop listening to the constant drumbeat of “profit, profit, profit, punish, punish, punish.”