An interesting article at open.salon.com speculates about the current drive to privatize American public education.
Inevitably, the author makes the US/Finland comparison. What is missing? He or she never mentions that Finland does not have any standardized testing. Not until students apply to college (which is tuition-free, by the way).
Teachers are respected not only because it is tough to become a teacher–the selection process is rigorous–but because they have wide discretion to exercise their professional judgment once they become a teacher. No one gives them a script. They write their own tests.
There is no value-added assessment, no merit pay, no charters, no vouchers.
And very few children or families are poor.
What can we learn from Finland?