The Wall Street Journal recently reported on the fact that the country of Finland scores exceptionally well on an international test known as the PISA, which is the Program for International Student Assessment.
Among the notable facts: Children in Finland do little homework compared with their American counterparts, yet outscore them by at least a grade by the time they are in ninth grade; teachers are paid about the same there as in the U.S., but have more freedom; and the Finnish drop-out rate is 4%, compared with 25% in the U.S. Further, children there are more self-reliant (think: they arrange their own play) than in the U.S.
You can watch a video about the story, here.
Here’s something that’s interesting: Ali Flint, a professor at Columbia University, suggests that small classes are one factor. That’s nothing new (though perhaps oversold). But she also mentions the fact that children don’t start school until age 7.
That’s quite a contrast with the pre-K push in Kansas and in other states.