Education in the US has gone to complete shit. From common core to no child left behind. Nothing has been working to better the US education system. There are many countries that spend far less per child for education and they are far more intelligent. Education keeps getting cut, yet we don’t spend the most per child we are #4 in the world market. Finland seems to be the place to get the highest level of education in the world. They even have free college.
We are the 7th richest nation in the world yet we lag behind everyone in education. We should be the best, we are not even the second best. How can a country like the United States have such horrible education stats and standards?
One reason is America’s repeated failure to invest in education. According to the US News, federal funding for education has fallen drastically. Congress has cut funding for K-12 education by nearly 20 percent since 2011—five times more than overall spending cuts.
Another reason for the lack of quality education is standardized testing. Many schools, across the country, give children so many tests. For example, my children take 4 standardized tests per year. The entire school year the children in Texas are being taught a test. In certain grades if you fail the test they hold you behind unless your teachers agree to pass you ahead.
In Texas standardized testing is big money the state has a contract for $468 million with Pearson Education to create and grade the STAAR test. According to the Washington Post, Pearson has solicited for test graders on Craigslist. Texas has the worst high school graduation rate of the entire country. No wonder, the kids get overloaded with pointless tests all year. They learn only what is on the test.
In a two-year testing study in city public schools across the nation, it is found that on average a student takes 112 mandatory standardized tests between Pre-K through 12th grade. It averages about 8 tests per year. The tests alone use 20-25 hours per year. Many of the standardized tests the children take are on the same subjects. The scores end up overlapping.
Statistics show that Finland is by far the best country to live in for a superior education. Not only does Finland spend less per student, than the US does, they also have an exceptional education system.
In Finland, it is extremely difficult to obtain a job in education, in order to be a teacher you must have your Masters Degree. They only hire the best of the best. The Principal runs the school and normally deals with the budget. The parents and educators decide how the school is run. They have the state, federal, as well as county programs that fund the schools. These programs are a perfect example of checks and balances each of the programs check each other to make sure the students being properly educated.
Finnish schools have no standardized testing, they have very little homework, the school hours are half that of the students in the US. The kids have 50-minute recess and free lunch.
“The [Finnish] curricula are very much focused on critical thinking and problem solving, project-based learning, and learning to learn,” she said. “There is a lot of collaboration in the classroom.” – Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish education experience.
That is very different from the way the students are taught in the United States. There are very little debates in schools and no problem solving. Students learning tests is what is happening in America. That is what the country has come down to, let’s test the hell out of you and throw a bunch of bullshit you’ll never need down your throat and send you off in the world broken and half dead.
The bottom line is if Finland can do it, so can we. We are spending more than many and we should be number one in education. It disgusts me that the United States doesn’t make this a top priority. Instead, you hear getting rid of much-needed programs. The department of education is needed. First, it needs to follow Finlands path, standardized testing does not work! Then we need a whole overhaul on how to best spend the money in the budget and where it is needed most. In Finland they give additional money to poor areas, it obviously does the trick.