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Let's Finnish Education

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Message Joe Maness

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This subject matter is all about education in our public schools. Specifically, there's a right and wrong way to go about its process. And some feel we're going about it in the wrong way in our county. That being said we are not writing this post merely to criticize. Rather, the intention is to show cause why and how the education system in this country can be revamped, starting with the machination of the "system."

The following steps manifest how to absolutely guarantee that the United States becomes number one in the world in education. By no means is the list inclusive, but these points highlight the marrow of the matter and provide a likely start to get us finally headed in the right direction.


Education Reform Requirements

Realistic and authentic education reform should include the following features:

  • View education as nation-building
  • Allow only former teachers to be superintendents
  • Have parents induce a culture of reading with their children
  • Have regular parental contact with their teachers
  • Make the teaching field itself very prestigious, on the level of a doctor
  • Make primary school start at age seven
  • Combine Primary schools and Secondary schools, so that there are no interruptions at age thirteen
  • No standardized tests
  • Have less instruction time per year
  • Have ninety-eight percent (98%) of teachers belong to a union
  • Place two (2) teachers into every classroom

Pretty amazing, huh? I think that last bullet item is the best one. Can you imagine all the learning that would take place with two qualified teachers in every classroom?


Meanwhile, questions abound.

  • What about the cost?
  • Wouldn't implementing the list hurt education? For instance, isn't it more cost effective to have 40 students per teacher? That way a teacher can give even more time for each student, right?
  • What about the cost?
  • You really want two unionized teachers? In every classroom?
  • What about those added costs?
  • Won't taxes have to be raised? I mean, it's not like taxes are the price we all have to pay to live in a civilization, right? Right?
  • Wouldn't it be more cost effective to give the money to for-profit charter schools? That way schools would be obligated to the shareholders rather than to the students. Oh wait...
  • How is the testing industry supposed to make money without legislatively-mandated standardized testing?
  • What about the cost? Again.

Our answer to all that: What -- we don't want to be number one in the world in education? Why not? Do you think the reason possibly relates to money, as in we don't have the funds to do? Please. Private schools cost a lot of money, and nobody blinks an eye.

As a matter of fact, there is plenty of money for education. And here's proof for the proverbial pudding... Right at this very moment, affluent people in the United States of America are avoiding paying their taxes by hiding trillions of dollars in offshore accounts; We should take back all the money that is rightfully owed to the American people, and at the same time allow these conniving, criminal types to do the right thing. It seems that we have a win-win situation here, no?

Regardless what we do, however, the inescapable fact is that these offshore accounts really do SPEAK VOLUMES about our national priorities: our country cares more about billionaires than it does about children. Is this hyperbole and high drama on our part? Our proof is in the previous paragraph.

Of course, this sort of thing is called an investment for all those still concerned about money (read, "obsessed and covetous"). All investments cost money, don't they? And granted, all investments demand a reasonable rate of return. OK, so how about a bad ass educated populace that eventually builds the first FTL spacecraft? That good enough of a return that embraces rather than sequesters?


So, you might be wondering how can we be so sure that all of the bullet items listed above would actually work. First, let me say that it's not like there's a country somewhere on the planet that has implemented every single item on the list above, and is now ranked number one in the world in education, right?

Second... there really is. Finland has already implemented every single item on the list above, and they are consistently ranked near the top of the world in education.

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Joe Maness is a High School Mathematics Teacher. He is writing a S.T.E.M. Lab textbook along with Dr. Holtzin.

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