A reporting project from the Atlantic: “American Futures”, cites Civic Governance, Talent Dispersal, Schools, Libraries, Manufacturing, Downtowns, and Conservation as positive change in the USA. A book is in process.
America is becoming more like itself again. More Americans are trying to make it so, in more places, than most Americans are aware. Even as the country is becoming worse in obvious ways—angrier, more divided, less able to do the basic business of governing itself—it is becoming distinctly better on a range of other indicators that are harder to perceive. The pattern these efforts create also remains hidden. Americans don’t realize how fast the country is moving toward becoming a better version of itself
– James and Deborah Fallows, American Futures
Finnish students have, in the past several years, consistently ranked in the top ten among millions of students worldwide in science, reading, and math.
In Finland, says the Minister of Education, “all the schools are equal. You never ask where the best school is.” It’s also illegal in Finland to profit from schooling. Wealthy parents have to ensure that neighborhood schools can give their kids the best education possible, because they are the only option.
In Finland, no teacher “is allowed to lead a primary school class without a master’s degree in education, with specialization in research and classroom practice.” Teaching “is the most admired job in Finland next to medical doctors.” And as Dana Goldstein points out at The Nation— Finnish teachers are “gasp!—unionized and granted tenure.” Perhaps an even more significant difference the documentary glossed over: in Finland, “families benefit from a cradle-to-grave social welfare system that includes universal daycare, preschool and healthcare, all of which are proven to help children achieve better results at school.”