Thursday, November 29, 2012

Finland has the best schools in the world, again

Finland has the best schools in the world, again
This time the British education publisher Pearson made Finland top dog in education, with South Korea in second and Hong Kong third.
yle UUTISET: 11.28.2012

The study, written by the Economist Intelligence Unit, found that the top two performers develop high-quality teachers, value accountability and have a moral mission that underlies education efforts. The report compared literacy rates, school attendance and university graduation rates.

“[In Finland] kids start school later; school hours are shorter than most others; they don’t assign homework; their teachers are in front of kids less. By one estimate, Italians go to school three years longer,” said Robert Schwartz from the Harvard Graduate School of Education of the Finnish system.

.     .     .     .     .

According to Schwartz, the PISA data (the OECD's world education ranking) shows that very few Finns take prep lessons. "Those who do typically do worse on standardised tests, suggesting that this is largely remedial help," he said.

Mexico, Brazil and Indonesia ranked at the lowest end of the table of 40 countries. But while income matters, culture may matter more—that is the level of support for education. READ MORE !

Top 10  [ US: 17th ]
South Korea
Hong Kong
New Zealand

Friday, November 9, 2012

Election Day Literacy Story

An Election Day literacy story
Star News Online: 11.06.2012 by Ben Stellman

James Tremble, 65, began tutoring through the Cape Fear Literacy Council three years ago. This year, the Wilmington resident voted for the first time in his life.

Tremble, who’s been working with volunteer tutor Cathy Webb, cast an absentee ballot, so he would have more time to navigate the printed form.

Tremble — better known as the local DJ Jimmy Jam — had spent a lifetime of ingenuity working to navigate in the printed word. He labeled his records with a complex letter-and-color code so he could tell them apart. He waited by the restrooms until another man walked in or out, so he’d know which door to use. And he never voted.

Now he can, thanks to Webb and all the other folks at the Cape Fear Literacy Council, a tiny non-profit that manages on a shoestring budget. READ MORE ! (includes a video).