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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Setting Record Straight

   In the biz, this is called a "make-good."  It seeks to correct several erroneous conclusions that were drawn by some who read the recent blog/column on the Finland school system.
   For those who missed it, and shame on you, it noted that somehow the Finnish had found a way to grind out smart students without a ton of government interference and minus a boat load of "reforms" designed to boost test scores.
    On the whole that country is clearly onto something but two important factors were left out of the original story.
    High school kids in Finland score very high on tests compared to the rest of the world.  Come to find out, that is due in part to the weeding out of lower performing students who are not allowed into high school.
    Or put another way, if this country had the same policy most of the under-achievers would be shuffled off to some other program and would not get a chance to finish high school.  That would certainly produce a higher graduation rate and test scores off the charts.
    Secondly, it was reported that Finnish kids do not enter school until age seven but that was misleading in that that country offers a host of pre-school services to those children before they enter school.
     Hence the impression that pre-schoolers were left to play with their Game Boys, and nothing else, was misleading.
     Turns out this new data turned up after the publication of the first story and the corrections came from American educators who felt slightly abused.  Apologies to all and hope this sets the record straight.


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