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Pondoora
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I’ve had enough of all the glassy-eyed admiration of Finland, unless we become willing to use more information about it to help chart our course. The Superman school movie is a piece of propaganda rather than a respectable documentary because it doesn't bother to include these facts: - Trade union membership: Finland is tied for second place at 76%; the U.S. is # 17 at 13%. Perhaps children do better in school when their parents belong to unions. - Child poverty in North American and European countries: The U.S. is #2 at 22.4%; Finland is #21 at 4.3%. Pathetic. - Prisoners (per 100,000 people): The U.S. is #1 at 715; Finland is tied for #113 at 71. The unvarnished truth. From Michelle Alexander, author of “The New Jim Crow”: “The number of incarcerated African Americans has increased 800% since the 1950s, despite only small fluctuations in the violent crime rate in the past 35 years. We’ve gone from 300,000 people in jails and prisons in 1972 -- to 2.3 million today, with an additional 5 million on probation and parole.” She continues, “I believe that the mass incarceration of people of color in the United States is the most pressing racial justice issue of our time." Sorry to be blunt, but our society has deep, deep problems that those teachers who have been willing to work in the poorly-funded, segregated urban schools didn’t cause, and will never be able to fix. Or should we be blaming the difference in educational achievement on soft drink consumption? In the U.S., people drink 216 liters/year. Just as with our incarceration rate, we are easily the winner at #1. The Finns only drink 52 liters/year. In other words, if we truly wanted our education system to do as well as Finland’s, we're going to have to change a lot more than our schools See more insightful comparisons @ http://perimeterprimate.blogspot.com/2010/03/very-important-collection-of-other.html
Pondoora. I'm removing your comment because it's not germane to my post. If you wish to email me with information about the Sonoran Science Academy and other similar schools, you may do so at safier@schooltales.net. As you may know, I have written about the topic in the past and have concluded that there is not enough there to object to strenuously. But I am always happy to learn more information, and I am open to changing my mind if I see compelling evidence.
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Aug 1, 2010