Wednesday, June 15, 2011


I'm still very passionate about Educational reform in this country.  Therefore, I found THIS article enlightening and profound.

I plan on watching Waiting for Superman, it's the next film in my netflix que.  I also plan on watching The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman (pun on words is extra clever because the man who produced Waiting for Superman also produced an Inconvenient Truth).

When comparing the US's failing school system with the astounding success of Finland's, I find three things most important, and Liz Hoelze (author of the above article) only points out two of them.

1.  Poverty rates for US children are at 20%, Finland sits at about 4%.
2.  Teachers in Finland are the second most respected professionals in the country, falling only behind Doctors.

Other things, like teacher pay, teacher qualifications, lack of grades until age 14, no standardized tests, tech schools and real life skills classes are also important aspects to note. But I think the three key differences I have listed says it all.  If America could fix child poverty, start respecting teachers, and stop funneling public money away to private and charter schools (and finally close them all, in an effort to actually treat ALL MEN AS EQUALS (that's an American motto, right? I've heard it somewhere? Maybe the Tea Partiers could tell me where. . .), if the people of the US would prioritize those three things we'd see the kind of school reform needed to put our Education system on top.

But in all reality . . . it will never happen.  Never.  Happen.

So just make the sacrifices needed to buy the right house in the right neighborhood, and join your local PTA.  It's your kids only chance to catch a ride with Superman.


Kelli said...

It's sad and true. So sad. So true.

Kelli said...

I just read that article. Very interesting. I like the idea of parenting classes :) That would go over well. But seriously, I think that's where it has to start - in the home.

Thanks for sharing.

Polly Blevins said...

If parents would fix their families and people would join the PTA/care about being involved in the schools, that would solve most of AMERICA'S problems including the schools. It is not a gov. problem it's a family problem. I haven't read the article yet but I am going to after my post.

Jen said...

I watched Waiting for Superman. Hated it, obviously. The thing that bothered me the most about it is that they portray the absolute WORST public schools in the country as the norm.

Liz Szilagyi said...

And the absolute BEST Charter schools. In all reality, Charter schools have just as low, if not lower, success rates. Charters are a way to get around all the rules of public school and not have any of the accountability. I would never send my child to a Charter school, not even the few good ones.

Marissa said...

Disclaimer: I have not seen the movie yet.

I think you also have to take into account how multicultural the United States is compared to the fairly homogenous Finland. According to the CIA fact book, Finns account for nearly 97% of the country's population. I would like to see some reforms take place to help out American students. However, comparing ourselves to Finland seems to be an apples and oranges comparison. We are much more diverse (yea!) which means we may want to look elsewhere for answers.

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