On Wed, Oct 10, 2012 at 11:40 PM, Haim <email@example.com> wrote: > Paul A. Tanner, III Posted: Oct 10, 2012 11:49 AM > >>"What Makes Finnish Kids So Smart?" >>http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120425355065601997.html >> >>Quote: "The school, which is a model campus, has no >>sports teams, marching bands or prom." > > Quote: "Finland separates students for the last three years of high school based on grades; 53% go to high school and the rest enter vocational school." > > In other words, for this and several other key reasons, comparing Finnish schools to Americans schools is like comparing Finnish football to American football. It is a stupid comparison since the Finns, whether at football or at schooling, play a very different game. > > Now, if anyone wants to play the Finnish game of school, I am all for it. Let's start with real teachers. > > Finally, I would take Finnish schools more seriously, as a model for us, if somebody would tell me what they do with a student who does not measure up or who is otherwise uncooperative or disruptive. >
I do not know what they do with students before high school that do not measure up academically or disrupt. But I do not think that they do things like US public schools now do, which is force teachers and non-disruptive students to have to endure the disruptions by forcing the teachers to keep the disruptive ones in the classroom. (I think that if we found out what they do, it would include having the disruptive students *immediately* sent out to the offices of the administrators to be dealt with right then and there. I do not think that they the legal situation that we have here in the US, which is that because of litigation being much more common here and because of the case law that has been thus created, the non-disruptive k12 public school student has less legal right to non-disrupted classroom environments than the the legal right of the disruptive k12 public school student to stay and continue to disrupt until finally down the road dealt with by longer term removal from the classroom after much else has been tried. Note: I'm talking k12, not adult college students including community college, where the legal status is reversed - as adult students, the non-disruptive college students have more legal rights to non-disrupted classroom environments than the disruptive college students have the legal right to stay and continue to disrupt.
But we do know that according to what I cited they in top-performing Finland and two other top performing countries Korea and Japan do now allow grade retention. They do not have 14 or 15 year old boys in the same class as your 11 or 12 year old daughter, such phenomenons now common in US middle schools in districts that are "getting tough" on elementary and middle school kids that do not measure up academically.
And I suppose that since there is a place for them to go after middle school, namely the vocational high schools, they are more OK with passing along those that don't do as well academically. At least they don't have such social situations within the grade levels I just mentioned that one has to think can't be good socially or psychologically.
I have repeatedly said that I would like to see the US do what essentially all other countries do, have a high school infrastructure that can support roughly at least half (in Switzerland, it's roughly two thirds) of the entire population going into these vocational high schools, including at least on the order of 100 different vocational areas, including what they include in Finland, which is professional athletics. You are actually OK with that?
And you would actually agree to the deal or exchange I said? I'm speaking of this:
"Would you ever be prepared to see all those extra-curricular school activities that you enjoyed and your children would enjoy flushed so that the schools would then have the money to hire enough extra teachers to see their working time spent in front of a class cut almost in half and thus their working time spent not in front of a class almost doubled, even if the standards in terms of minimum requirements to become a teacher became the highest in the world?
Most people in the US I think like the present setup of public education as much more than simply a place to get schooled. Much more than any other country, probably, public education in the US is an institution that functions as a very comprehensive community center.