On Global Exams, U.S. Comes Closer to Finland
Educational tourism has become something of an industry for Finland in recent years, thanks to its strong showing on a global exam for 15-year-olds, but new data from a different set of assessments suggest Americans might not need to travel so far to learn about building a strong education system.
The most striking contrast is in math, where the performance of Finnish 8th graders was not statistically different from the U.S. average on the 2011 TIMSS, or Trends in Mathematics and Science Study, issued last month. Finland, which last took part in TIMSS in 1999, trailed four U.S. states that participated in TIMSS this time as "benchmarking" systems: Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Indiana.
Tom Loveless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank, said the new results call for some rethinking of what he calls...
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