Oh my goodness. It's a worthless cause, trying to discuss things with people who support public day prison.
Some of us live in countries that invest time, effort and respect into their public school system. The Disunited States are not the whole world, thankfully.
I thought we went over this already? First, no need to bash my nation, thanks. Second no matter where you live a custom tailored education will be of more benefit than "one size fits all" Homeschooling (in any country) will be a superior education 95% of the time. End of story. But you probably STILL haven't read the stats, have you?
Custom tailored clothing is better than off-the-rack as well, but tailors and seamstresses aren't becoming a superworkforce again any time soon.
I don't need to bash your country's education system; you lot have been doing a great job of that. I just don't believe that elitism is the answer to the problem. Yes, I read the stats, get over it and do some light reading of your own instead:
What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success
People keep posting this (I've read it at least twice) but the article doesn't take into account that Finland has a bit less than five and a half million people. The US has over 300 million. Finland is very homogenous. 79% of them belong (at least nominally) to the same Church.
Actually, it does, in the very last section.
Paragraphs seven and eight from the bottom.
Clearly you have to read an article three times sometimes... Mea culpa.
Though, rereading it has brought up a few more points for me. First, they seem to only be taking foreign birth to be a marker of heterogeneity. I do not think this is correct. Of those three hundred million Americans, we are a diverse lot, even those of us born in America to American parents with primarily American grandparents. Southerners and Northerners are different. This goes for blacks and whites. Illegal immigrants are different than legal immigrants and are still different from the children of immigrants - both legal and illegal. Yuppies and country folk. Midwesterners and West Coasters. I have family throughout the US and I have met many foreigners who seem more familiar to me than relatives in Massachusetts (or members from a liberal city yet still Midwestern like Madison, WI.)
Since Finland has a population the size of some US states has anyone compared their rates to specific states rather than US-nationwide rates? Helsinki (the capital) has 1.3 mil people in it's metro area. My hometown has a metro area population of 877k. Not a whole lot less and we aren't even the capital of our state. Chicago (not the largest city in the US) has over 9 mil in their metro area - much more than the entirety of Finland. My point is that I am sure you can find school districts in the US that match Finland's achievements. Expecting a country of 300 mil to match a country of 5 mil is absurd. Now, start pulling out similar sized states and we might see some correlations.
The most important point of the article, is not the "eekwalitie" of the schools, but the focus. Stpaulphillip's complaint that the publik skules in the US make you into an efficient worker is spot on. The focus is still stuck in the industrial revolution more than a century ago. Finland has changed the focus of their schools:
What's more, despite their many differences, Finland and the U.S. have an educational goal in common. When Finnish policymakers decided to reform the country's education system in the 1970s, they did so because they realized that to be competitive, Finland couldn't rely on manufacturing or its scant natural resources and instead had to invest in a knowledge-based economy.
As long as Americans are more interested in Kim Kardashian's latest naughty-tape or those two Brokeback Mountain brothers on The Voice than they are their sinking ship - we are pretty much sunk. We are busily creating yet another generation of stupid people. These sorts of problems become systemic. God only knows how we will fix ourselves, but it is not going to come from the top down. The people need to re-Christianize and educate themselves. They need to create a new culture of excellence. Until then, enjoy the decline.