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You are here: Home Newsroom Education News Roundup Archive 2010 October 2010 My crush on Finland

My crush on Finland

  • 10-06-2010
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Blog by Lesley Chilcott/Huffington Post

I have a crush on Finland. I didn't know this was possible, but there you have it. Throughout the making of Waiting for 'Superman', I kept finding myself looking at the amazing academic success of Finland. I dismissed it as an "apples and oranges" comparison to the United States initially, because most people in Finland are...well...Finnish. It's a very different country; Finland is smaller and more homogeneous in culture, and more advanced when it comes to health and welfare services provided by the government. School doesn't even start until the age of six or seven and is structured differently. Finnish kids have shorter school days, but slightly longer school years; they have a national curricula and a healthy unionized teaching force; they spend less on education than the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) average while the United States spends much more. And, when you look at the numbers, Finland is number one in math, number two in reading, and number one in science. Education is considered a civil right and the Finns emphasize quality and equity for everyone. (more…)

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