Why does no-one mention Finland?

Here is a table that gives the latest PISA results in science, reading, and math.

The NYT highlighted Shanghai, Macao, and Hong Kong, individual cities within China. A number of people have pointed out that Shanghai, in particular, probably attracts some of the brightest students within China.  I don’t think there is any way that American students would tolerate the extremely long hours and hard work that Chinese students put in.

Notice that I highlighted Finland.  Finland used to score at extremely low levels on international tests like this, but has risen dramatically in the past few decades. But NOT by using any of the methods currently popular among the US Educational Deform movement. Instead, they do just about the opposite. See my previous blogs on that.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Guy I’ve heard that many other countries do not test all students keeping out some subgroups that drag our scores down. I don’t remember the reference for that but it may be that some of the reasons we don’t do well is that we test all children.


  2. Guy, If I could bump this post I would.

    Mary- The PISA test is overseen by scores of observers to make sure that it draws a random sampling from each country. (Although this years surprise showing from China is drawing a lot of scrutiny). Therefore each country has its best, worst and average students being tested.

    Having said that Erling Boe did a study with PISA results and concluded that if you stripped out minority test scores and compared what was left against the other G-6 nations the U.S. came out way ahead of them. (He only looked at G-6 nations because essentially that is our competition on a global level. Finland is 60 times smaller than we are so apparently doesn’t warrant comparison)

    There are many many ways you can interpet his study and I don’t have the time to go over each one. My takeaway is that rather than cherry pick numbers we should concentrate on the whole and the whole indicates that Finland on a student to student basis is better educating its youth that we are. Why we don’t implement their methods is beyond me. Cost isn’t the issue because on a per pupil basis they spend less than the U.S.

    My question then is what are we doing waiting?


    • what does it mean to “bump this post”?


  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tom Whitby, Milton Ramirez. Milton Ramirez said: Why [we neglect] to mention Finland? http://bit.ly/hquF8k #edreform […]


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