Finland has built the world’s best schools through equality, not competition. Finnish education has been ranked the best in the world for several years now, by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD) using the PISA survey. An article in the Atlatic describes the main differences between the Finnish education system and the American one, in What Americans Keep Ignoring About Finland’s School Success.
There are no private schools in Finland. For Sahlberg what matters is that in Finland all teachers and administrators are given prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility. The main driver of education policy is not competition between teachers and between schools, but cooperation.
These principles contrasts with the USA education system and approach that is:
How can you keep track of students’ performance if you don’t test them constantly? How can you improve teaching if you have no accountability for bad teachers or merit pay for good teachers? How do you foster competition and engage the private sector? How do you provide school choice?
Sometimes performance and rewards are not the best approach to get results. In education cooperation and equality is the winning approach.
A good book on the subject is Punished by rewards is an interesting book by Alfie Kohn. I posted about this book previously, in this blog.