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Jun 13, 2008


Stephen Downes

I think that the article plays on the fact that people confuse Scandanavian countries with each other, and with the Sweden of the past with Sweden of today, which is currently under a conservative government.

Finland is well known to be successful in international testing. Sweden, by contrast, ranks closer to the U.S. in the middle of the pack and is dropping.


Given that the private schools are the major relevant distinction between Sweden and Finland, one can begin making attributions of cause...

Graham Glass

Hi Stephen,

As always, your comments are very welcome - thanks!

I checked out the info that you linked to, and you're right, Finland is doing great and Sweden is generally in the upper half of the pack but not as impressive as Finland.

However, this doesn't seem to be particularly relevant to my post, since 90% of Sweden is educated via their public school system and their ranking would therefore be dominated by performance of students going to public schools.

The key point of my post is that Swedish parents have a choice and are choosing private education over public education.

Here's the Wikipedia article about Kunskapsskolan if you're interested:


I'm very impressed with some of their innovations, even the way that they teach History. So it doesn't surprise me that Swedish parents are choosing this system over the alternatives.


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