And Finland is no different. In fact, the autonomy and decentralization we see in Finland today came after more than two decades of tightly controlled, centrally driven education reform that systematically adjusted curriculum, ...
As Richard Elmore ( HGSE) has said many times, education in the USA is a "profession without a practice"
"....As the McKinsey study demonstrated two years ago, school systems that aren’t working don’t magically achieve greatness by merely “trusting teachers” and loosening control and regulations. And Finland is no different. In fact, the autonomy and decentralization we see in Finland today came after more than two decades of tightly controlled, centrally driven education reform that systematically adjusted curriculum, pedagogy, teacher preparation, and accountability. It was only after this top-down systemic reform moved Finland from poor to good that they shifted to a more flexible approach aimed at turning the system from a good one to a great one. And so, as we look to emulate Finland, we should more directly ask ourselves whether our state and district school systems more closely resemble the Finland of yesterday or today.A brief history of education reform in Finland
In the 1960s, Finland’s education system looked far different than it does today. Achievement was much more uneven and not all students had equal access to quality schooling. In 1968, as part of a nationwide focus on better preparing students to compete in the knowledge economy, the Finnish Parliament enacted legislation to create a new basic education system that was built around the development of a common “comprehensive” school for grades 1–9—a system that spread to every municipality in the nation by 1977. Three things characterized the new Finnish standard:
1. The development and adoption of a mandatory national curriculum that ensured all students were held to the same rigorous standards.
2. Dramatic changes in teacher preparation and certification requirements.
3. A central state inspectorate that evaluated school-level teaching and learning