A lesson to be learned. In Valerie’s column this morning, Pasi Sahlberg of Finland explains why – aside from the fact that most folks are saying about the Finnish ed system “Oh, that would never work here” – the Finn success would not work here. My own take is that we never actually “re-form” education; we simply bat around the edges, expecting “reform” to work like a light switch – flip it and it’s done. While there are many reasons we will fail, there are two primaries: First and foremost, our factory model of schooling will continue to have us treat teachers like dirt (The latest MetLife survey found that the percentage of teachers who say they’ll get out as mushroomed. AND, don’t forget, the best leave first). Second, we will continue to refuse to face the reality that poverty cannot be erased by test-driven “standards” that have been randomly scattered across the grades in the absence of properly developed curriculum. I rant enough for today. I DO have some hope for positive impact from the Common Core, in spite of Diane’s piece.

Here’s Pasi’s final paragraph; the full piece you’ll find on Valerie’s site at http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/what-the-us-cant-learn-from-finland-about-ed-reform/2012/04/16/gIQAGIvVMT_blog.html#pagebreak

What Finland can show to others is how equity and equal opportunity in education look like. However, school reformers in the United States need to be careful when considering equity-based reform ideas to be imported from Finland. Many elements of Finnish successful school system are interwoven in the surrounding welfare state. Simply a transfer of these solutions would add another chapter to already exhausting volume of failed education reforms.