Sunday, May 27, 2012

Publicly Funded Private Schools Aren't the Answer

Ever since the Finnish education system as proved itself to be the world's best, the US has been trying to discover the secret to its success. Back in December an article in the Atlantic entitled What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success highlighted the biggest reason for Finland's success and the sad fact that people like Mitt Romney want to ignore the lessons to be learned. Finland has no private schools -- NONE! Not one. There is no competition pushing Finnish public schools to be better. Of course as Americans, we want to believe that competition makes everything better. The evidence that a lack of competition has improved education really doesn't interest us. It doesn't fit in with our American views. Rather than ignoring the obvious facts, possibly it is time to learn from the lesson. You see Finland doesn't have a system in place for wealthy people to opt out of public education; in fact, nobody gets to opt out of public education, so the simple fact is that everybody wants public education to work, because they have to use it. There is a simple solution to our problem and it isn't more competition; it isn't public money being spent on private schools, Mitt. The solution is that Americans need to wake up. We need to stop thinking that we have nothing to learn from other nations. We need to start trying something different, because what we have done in the past is no longer working. The future is going to belong to the countries who educate ALL of their children well, not just some of their children. Finland is going to be successful. The real question is -- are we going to be joining them?