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Why does Finland do so well in international measures?

I came across this article recently. It is an interesting account of the successes Finland seems to have had for a number of years in international testing programmes.

We hear a lot about how we should ‘lift the tail’ in NZ and not too many would disagree with this. The solution being offered is to have schools measure students more often against a set of standards. This has been very controversial amongst many with some schools going so far as to refuse to comply.

The article presents a different approach, with ‘equity’ considered as being more important than ‘accountability.’ The argument presented suggests this is why Finland has dome so well over the last 10 years or so. “Equity’ has been the primary focus. That is to lift the achievement levels of all students. Large scale, high stakes testing do not feature in Finland’s approach.

It is interesting that a country with no high stakes testing, with ‘equity’ being the primary goal. has consistently been so successful, yet we see a country like the USA, with perhaps the greatest high stakes testing in schools, as consistently performing poorly in the international testing stakes.

Is there a message there for us?

Check it out here

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