You're going to wish that you grew up in Finland after reading this.
Apples and oranges — that's what it's like to compare the education systems of the U.S. and Finland. Finland's is wildly successful — consistently topping international rankings. The United States' lags behind its European and Asian peers.
The numbers alone make a case against drawing lessons from Finland. In Finland, there are approximately 1.2 million total students (of all levels). That's about the same number of students in New York City's public education system. While Finland is relatively homogeneous, the U.S. is home to a diverse, multi-ethnic population. Finland reaps revenue from its large corporate taxes, cushioning its public education system while the U.S. simply does not.
So, why look to Finland? In short, the country has taken calculated risks. It's got their million dollar question right. On the state level, the U.S. could learn a lot from Finland's unconventional moves.