“The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

Socialist Party presidential candidate Norman Thomas

Monday, January 13, 2014

The Finland education model for the US?

This system would work here as long as we take care of the two biggest obstacles: the federalization of education and the teachers' unions.

Finland is a relatively small, homogeneous country where everyone is basically similar. The US is huge and infinitely diverse. Although one could argue that every parent wants the best education for their kids regardless of ethnicity or socio-economic status.

Still, if the responsibility for funding and setting curricula for the schools was a local one, the districts could decide to pay teachers what ever they like. The higher the salaries offered, the more highly-qualified people would compete for those jobs and you could choose the best possible teachers.....that is assuming the unions were abolished, as they should be anyway.

The predictable argument would be that some districts are rich and some are dirt poor and we can't leave education up to the randomness of where you were born. I agree with that. That's why in the US, we institute a federal voucher program. Rather than wasting billions a year on the education lobby with its absurdly top-heavy administrative positions, we assign each student a certain amount of money and parents can spend that money where ever they want their kid to go. Schools then have to compete to get that money by being better schools.

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