America Should Abandon Its Competition Based Education System

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While education in America has stagnated, Finnish students are demonstrating impressive academic growth. This surprising trend leads experts to question how the tiny country could out perform the wealthiest nation of all. When observing the United States’ school system, however, the permeation of competitive ideology becomes evident. Ironically, America should abandon its competition-based education system if American students are to compete with Finnish students whose country employs an innovative approach to education. The United States’ school system is based on competition, and competition promotes disparity. Because some schools have more resources to compete, public schools differ in their abilities to adequately educate students.…show more content…
This educational gap becomes obvious when standardized testing is performed. Standardized tests are issued vigorously in the United States, for test results are used to compare students, teachers, and schools (“Standardized Test” par. 1). These isolated measurements of student ability are picked apart by government officials to praise some schools and to chastise others. Scores are also used to designate which teachers receive merit pay; only teachers with the best scores are awarded the extra stipend. Many problems arise from this form of salary distribution. Merit pay is unfair for those who teach struggling students whose scores will not qualify their teachers (Ramirez par. 22). The chance to earn extra money causes conflict and distracts from the goal to educate (par. 30). Teachers are only human, and money is an excellent motivator. In this case, however, money motivates teachers to work against one another to earn higher wages. A system based on competition, disparity, and comparisons cannot properly educate the majority, which should be the goal in a large, diverse country such as the United States. In contrast to America’s competitive system, Finland’s school system is structured on equity and cooperation. While American schools compete among themselves, Finland’s public schools are assured to be equal in their abilities to educate. Following a series of trials that included war, oppression,
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