Pasi Sahlberg is the great Finnish educator whose book Finnish Lessons gave us a vision of a nation that succeeds without high-stakes testing, without standardized testing, and without charter schools or vouchers. He wrote of highly educated teachers who have wide scope and autonomy in their classrooms and who collaborate with their colleagues to do what is best for their children. He wrote of a national school system that values the arts, physical activity, and play. And, lo and behold, the OECD calls it the best school system in the world!
So entranced was I but what I read about Finland that I visited there a few years ago and had Pasi as my guide. The schools and classes were everything he claimed and more.
Pasi, like many other education experts, is aghast at the GERM (Global Education Reform Movement) that has swept the world. The agency that has spread…
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