Pitt87 wrote: MWB wrote:
Pitt87 wrote:In all seriousness... these are great anecdotes, but Finland is a country of ~5 million people with relatively low population growth rate. Hardly a reasonably comparison to the US.
If the money that is spend on testing and test prep went to proper teacher training instead, that would be incredibly beneficial. That proper initial training would curb other problems that arise and cost money later on.
Not sure how this relates to a country with virtually no immigration and a relatively low birth rate. A significant factor in performance in schools in class size. Hard to argue that its not easier to reduce class sizes when there is literally a smaller volume and proportion of individuals to teach. Not taking anything away from though. They had a problem and solved (are solving?) it.
And yes, your government spends money stupidly, but usually to make sure that they can ask you for more of it later when they screw up.
Class size is a factor in some areas, no doubt. However, my class sizes in 5th and 6th grade have been in the 20-24 range consistently. This is over 13 years and two states. High school classes tend to get larger. If you have more teachers who are well-trained, they can deal with those classes more easily.
There are plenty of schools that do very well at educating children. The problem is, there are some horrible schools and horrible teachers that get plenty of press. Those horrible teachers are most likely the ones who didn't really want to teach to begin with, or are burned out. If you make the training more rigorous, that helps eliminate the former. If you make evaluations more complete, that helps eliminate the latter. And of course, the real silver bullet is that you get all parents involved.