Friday, February 24, 2012

More than tests ...

... Schools We Can Envy by Diane Ravitch | The New York Review of Books.

The main mechanism of school reform today is to identify teachers who can raise their students’ test scores every year. If the scores go up, reformers assume, then the students will enroll in college and poverty will eventually disappear. This will happen, the reformers believe, if there is a “great teacher” in every classroom and if more schools are handed over to private managers, even for-profit corporations.

To an American observer, the most remarkable fact about Finnish education is that students do not take any standardized tests until the end of high school. They do take tests, but the tests are drawn up by their own teachers, not by a multinational testing corporation. The Finnish nine-year comprehensive school is a “standardized testing-free zone,” where children are encouraged “to know, to create, and to sustain natural curiosity.”


  1. Is this a good thing??

    Finland isn't exactly known for accomplishment - in any field.

  2. Well, there is Sibelius. And Ess-Pekka Salonen.