There are three things that have positively affected the quality of Finnish schools that are absent in American schools. First, Finland has built a school system that has over time strengthened educational equity. This means early childhood education for all children, funding all schools so they can better serve those with special educational needs, access to health and well-being services for all children in all schools, and a national curriculum that insists that schools focus on the whole child rather than narrow academic achievement.
In a guest editorial for CNN, Pasi Sahlberg writes about the elements that make Finland's schools among the best in the world. While arguments can be made about the difference in size and population between Finland and the United States, some of the factors that she writes about seem practical:
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