It made sense to reward, train, and dismiss more teachers based on their performance, but that approach assumed that the worst teachers would be replaced with much better ones, and that the mediocre teachers would improve enough to give students the kind of education they deserved.However, there was not much evidence that either scenario was happening in reality.
In Poland, Ripley found a place that’s begun to find success untying that knot.
The country had undergone a tumultuous economic transition following the collapse of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc.
And the students behave like normal teenagers in Oklahoma, with one big difference.
They all, without very few exceptions, took school seriously.
There were no high-tech whiteboards or other gadgets that have become common in American schools.
Oklahoma Council Of Public Affairs Essay
Students also have plenty of free time and independence.They also faced a much higher bar to become teachers.Teacher colleges in Finland are highly selective, and teachers must complete a lengthy research project and a year-long residency as a student-teacher before fully entering the profession.One of those students was Kim, who traveled from Sallisaw, Oklahoma at age 15 to spend the 2010-2011 school year in Finland. She was a curious and intelligent girl who didn’t share most of her classmates’ and teachers’ enthusiasm for football.Her urge to experience something else was so strong that she funded her trip to Finland in part by selling beef jerky and Rice Krispies Treats door-to-door. Despite its reputation as being the best school system in the world, she finds simple no-frills classrooms.In her new book, “The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way”, Amanda Ripley describes the challenge: “A stranger who parachutes into a faraway country ends up, as the Koreans would say, ‘licking the outside of a watermelon,’ unable to get beneath the surface into what matters.” To get a deeper perspective on these foreign systems Ripley conducted numerous interviews of educators, parents, officials, and others connected to the school system.But her primary entry point was through the experiences of three American exchange students, who got to experience firsthand the differences in education.Nearly 1 in 6 Polish children live in poverty (that’s high, though not as high as the 1 in 4 Oklahoma children who live in poverty).Beginning in 1998, the nation’s leaders launched an ambitious new plan to improve education.Early next month, the education advocacy group Stand for Children Oklahoma is hosting a lunch with keynote speaker Amanda Ripley, a journalist and author of the recent non-fiction book, “The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way.” Ripley’s book looks at how the US education system compares to Finland, South Korea, and Poland — three countries where students excel on an international test of critical thinking skills.In this comparison, Oklahoma plays a prominent role.