What are the best educational systems doing? A 2011 study by a consortium of educators in Europe, the U.S., and Asia identified the top performers,the top five nations in Europe whose culture is closest to our own.
The five are joined by S.Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore,and Canada in the top 10. The U.S. is 19.
Common elements of the top rated:
- Equitable funding for all schools set by national standards
- National, stable curriculum standards mixing subject mastery and learning skills with creative/independent thinking in flexible school day structures.
- Individualized instruction/learning using the most up to date computer tutoring, record keeping,communication between teacher/student/home,with teachers as coaches,educational plan creators, and evaluators/assessors.
- No advancement without mastery of skills demonstrated by multiple assessment tools using complex assessment matrices.
- Streamlined educational options, direct links to work, professional training,skilled labor and university prep.
- Virtually no extra-curricular activities, clubs/teams are neighborhood based organizations.
- Top notch teachers are drawn from the nations best students. Very well trained, highly respected by students,parents, administrations with strong job satisfaction and competitively paid.
- Small neighborhood based schools with small physical plants.
- Small administrations.
- Emphasis on professional control of educational system with parental input.
The funny thing is Finland bases its system on ours. The sad thing is people like Phil Berger, Paul Stam, and Jerry Tillman, when given a blueprint for success invoke the Costanza Rule and do the opposite.