dear diary



What’s Finland got that we ain’t got?

Link: What’s Finland got that we ain’t got?

NEA – What we can learn from Finland’s successful school reform

Couple of things come to mind: 

  • Finland is a pretty homogeneous place, not a lot of immigrants to accommodate, in either numbers or diverse languages
  • It has a reputation for social equality (as does the rest of Scandinavia)
  • It has some well-known high-tech industries (Saab, Nokia)
  • There are benefits to being a small independent country instead of a superpower.

Couple of things I looked up:

  • Finland’s population is 5,338,395 vs 307 million for the US
  • $34K GDP vs $46K for the US
  • 64% of Finns live in towns, with most in one southern central plain: 81% of Americans live in cities or suburbs, with densities for both countries at 44 and 84 people per sq mile, respectively. 

Interestingly, Finland’s organized labor is more prominent and more powerful than we have here in the US. But they’re not the problem. 

The perpetual school reform movement is a societal and cultural issue more than anything. We talk about equality as a key part of our democratic ideals but our thought leader abandon public schools for private schools as soon as they can. 

quote of the day

designed by engineers, for engineers

Could these boxes be uglier? Can something have a negative aesthetic score?



Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)
1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.

Orthography (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?

Geography (Time, one hour)
1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 from Salina, KS. USA.Each of these sections had about 10 questions. There were no multiple choice answers. 

8th Grade Exam