Essay No More Testing: Instead Teach Innovation to Our Students

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Why America’s Education System is Failing Us

Let me point out a fact that people know but fear to admit: America’s education system

is broken. Decades of education policy failures, decades of political involvement, and decades

of educational miscommunication and misunderstanding has reduced it what it is today. Our

students are ranked 21st in the world even though we spend more on education than most

nations. Finland, on the other hand, spends 30% less than America and yet they are ranked

number one, or within a place or two of it, in mathematics, reading, and the sciences. Why is

that? Well, one nation is obsessed with testing and one is obsessed with teaching innovation; take

a guess at which one’s which.

teach to a
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This results not only in a narrow curriculum but also creates a wide educational schism

by paying some teachers better than others. This “measure of progress” is, at its very core, a fund

distribution system that is easily gamed and is unsustainable for future progress.

is no standardized testing except at the end of the student’s high school career. Educational

funding is distributed equally among all systems, not prioritizing high performing districts. In

addition, one of the most glaring differences is the emphasis on teaching ability over testing in

Finland. There, all teachers must know their own subjects and must complete a fifth-year

master’s degree at one of the eight top universities in the country, with everything paid for by the

government, making the occupation hold similar esteem to doctors and lawyers. This contrasts

sharply with the United States, where in some places anyone can hold a teaching post, no matter

how incompetent or with what degree. In addition, national and provincial curriculums were

replaced by guidelines designed by educators and individual teachers. Even though there are

objectives, how to reach them is up to the teacher, unlike here where it is decided by a

boardroom of politically-focused minds hundreds of miles away.
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