Reason And Intelligence Boost Finland. The United States? Not So Much

Over at Common Dreams David Sirota takes on the nonsense that passes for education in the United States, noting in disgust that the Department of Education wants to “subject 4-year-olds to high-stakes testing”.

Though bobo evangelists like David Brooks insist — without data, of course — that reduced testing “leads to lethargy and perpetual mediocrity,” Hammond notes that “nations like Finland and Korea — top scorers on the Programme for International Student Assessment” have largely “eliminated the crowded testing schedules used decades ago when these nations were much lower-achieving.”

Sirota does fail to note that Brooks apparently ignores the success of American education in all those years before the bureaucrats decided to institute high-stakes testing in order to make the life of the bureaucrats easier. Yes, it’s true: high-stakes testing has much more to do with letting bureaucrats do budget math more easily because they don’t have to work with the messy numbers that individuality and creativity on the part of millions of students create.

And of course there is the general attitude about education nurtured by the general culture and by the right wing and the wealthy:

Where Finland rejects testing, nurtures teachers, and encourages its best and brightest to become educators, we fetishize testing, portray teachers as evil parasites and financially encourage top students to become Wall Streeters.

The ruling class in America sees education as a production line building factory drones and paper-pusher drones and obedience drones, while reserving the best jobs for their own warped progeny who, after a couple of generations of this behavior, have no clue what meaning, or what little meaning that remains, once lived in the idea of America.

Even if education were still a genuine American value, most people can’t get a good education here anymore. Too bad the poor and the middle class can’t outsource their kids to Finland, which is closer to being a real America than this bloated, ugly thing, this rotting toy of the upper class that this country has become.



5 Responses

  1. The decline of education, the failure to even know anymore what constitutes a great education is the thing that makes me least hopeful about the future. I mean the fact that we only create shit jobs for shit wages, that’s frightening. But knowing students are being dumped out into the world ill-equipped…it’s a Dantesque proposition. The last election…hope sold, people were hungry for it, and in the meantime we’re left to hope for hope while given infinite reasons to despair.


    • Chin up, woman, chin up! The world’s still got you and me poking sticks at it.


      • Since I’m the old woman who lives in a shoe, I have to feign optimism even when I don’t feel it. I guess I just have to pretend we’re living in that part of the Great Novel where forces of shit amass and congeal into this horrible monster that wants to destroy everything….so, I can wait for the hobbits, elves, wizards, and man or be them.

        😆 I just thought of our community blogs as a swords. 😆


      • I think you’re thinking of The Blob and Steve McQueen.

        Swords is good. Word swords. Razor edges slashing and stabbing at the forces of shit.

        Are you familiar with Harry J. Gensler, SJ? Wrote Introduction to Logic? Best logic book I’ve found. It’s a weapon.


  2. There is so much that goes into the failure that is the American education system. The testing is part of it. It’s not about real learning anymore, but learning how to do well on those tests.

    The Right wing view of education is that if you get too much of it, you’re an elitist. Their constituents want leaders who are just like themselves. I want them better. A lot better.


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