I am from Australia and as a counselor who specializes in children I see a lot of educational problems.
In Australia we have both private and public schools. There are differences but not necessarily the ones you think. We have many great public
schools that teach and teach well. But, we are slipping, in public schools only.
So ask the important question. What makes the difference between schools.
In the US, so much of the education system is driven by profit. So many times we see school decisions based on getting the students to school so they
can be counted as in school so the budget is maintained. Education driven by profit sucks big balls.
There are two primary things that Finland is doing right. The first is that the education system is based on learning outcomes for the entire
population. Learning outcomes are vastly different from test outcomes. Test outcomes are based on which school is better / which school gets more
children and thus we are back to profit.
Finland does not care about profits because there are not any profit generators in the system.
So, back to the important question, what makes the difference.
In Australia, the parents that send their children to a private school want their children to achieve. Provide a whole school where the attitude of
the parents as a collective is that the children need a good education and you can let peer pressure do the rest for you.
It is not only peer pressure on the children but it is peer pressure on the teachers and the whole school by the parents.
Finland has a system based on achievements in learning, they have engaged the children to do their best, whatever that may be and critically, they
have engaged the parents.
Of course their scores will be at the top. That is a function of averages. In the US, the top % of students who work to achieve score well, the
middling students keep the scores at an OK level and then the bottom % drag the scores way down.
OP, thank you for a great thread, It is of great interest to me.
Finland, well done, well done indeed.
I have always been happy with my children as long as they do their best. Scores do not matter. All children are different and we should celebrate