In answer to John’s question, my recollection is that you can walk it in half an hour along the Strand. Maybe 45 Minutes. My recollection may be faulty since the last time I was there was a year after 9/11, but my wife and I were there yearly for ten years beforehand.
A posting,from the Occupy Wall Street Thread above, by Mike —
While the US holds teachers accountable for teaching, in Finland ,they hold the students accountable for learning.
Nor THERE'S a novel idea. Perhaps we should try that?
Here we have the beginnings of an excellent series of postings. I am thrilled to see them, yet a bit surprised.
John asks, in post 184
"While there is little grading and in essence no tracking in Finland, ninth grade does become a divider for Finnish students. Students are separated for the last three years of high school based on grades. Under the current structure, 53% will go to academic high school and the rest enter vocational school."
And just how far would that get with Democrats?
I imagine the question of education came up in a couple of different ways. I can’t be sure. One might be a comment made by LR about the hash that the Republicans appear to be making of the educational system in Wisconsin. Another might be a comment about college education not being a human right in this same thread quite a while before.
Since humanity predates colleges, I suspect that it’d be a hard case to make that College education is a human right.
I also suspect that it’d be a poor move to make college difficult for deserving students to afford in any country that has hopes for industrial and technological authority in the 21st century. Making college a difficult burden for future students and making them pay a penalty for stepping up and doing themselves and the country an economic and a social favor by getting a degree in science, math, education or any of a half-dozen or more fields would be a fool move on the part of the government and their fellow citizens, who would reap a lifetime worth of benefits in terms of taxes that would more than repay the costs.
In our case, today, we have decided to screw the potential future taxpayers, limit the amount of future taxes they will be able to pay, and decided to turn over the difference to banks. Banks, seeing to potential to make some money off this potential bonanza, inserted themselves between the government and the students and cut themselves in for a fat interest fee which makes the deal far from the outright encouragement it should have been. Money that could have gone for more loans for more students has been eaten by the banks.
If Congress, in its wisdom, wanted to limit the number of students, that money could have gone to paying down the debt or to paying money to people who don’t have a roof over their heads or food to put in their own mouths or the mouths of their children. It could have gone into the social security fund. Congress is always borrowing against the social security fund and claiming that there isn’t enough money in it; why not sock a little extra away? Gold-plating the toilet paper at The Bank of America seems to be a bit wasteful. The people at Bank of America should be taking some reasonable risks lending money to buy houses at reasonable rates, or re-financing the loans of people who might save enough money to actually be able to afford the mortgage payments at the new, lower rate.
How would Democrats feel about separating kids at 9th grade depending on grades?
I really don’t know. I’d have to know what the rest of the program was like as well. In some systems, I’d be against it, in other systems I’d be willing to experiment and see how it went. On the whole, I’m for experiment in the educational system as long as the experiments can be evaluated in a decent way, and as long as the experiments are set up more or less in advance as much as possible. I saw one wonderful experimental school near Boston called The Sudbury Valley Day School which was set up along the lines of Summerhill in England. No grades, but the students evaluated each other’s work and they had to produce a significant project at the end of their time there to graduate. They also knew what the Massachusetts was, and each kid was responsible for mastering it using whatever resources the school could offer him.
It was a brilliant success.
When other area schools had snow days, the kids at this school were pushing their parents to get them there. Amazing. This Democrat was all for it.
I was very impressed by the four points raised by Mike in his posting # 185. I was so impressed that I checked out the article he quoted. I found the remaining six points even more impressive than the four he quoted, and I would urge those interested in real education reform to have a look at them as well. I feel that they offer an important addition to the four points that Mike raised.