Finnish Content: There Are Now Enough Immigrants To Finland That We Can Tell Their Education System Isn`t Magic

Finland: the border with Sweden isn`t mined.

Because Finland scores well on PISA tests, there has been much interest in that remote Northern land`s rather laidback public education system. But that raises a problem: Finland hasn`t been very diverse until recently despite having a huge border with a much poorer country (secret: land mines). So, many accounts of Finland`s education system in America simply assert that immigrants do great in Finland. Only problem: not true. From a Google Translate version of a Finnish government account of the results of the latest PISA test, this one on “problem-solving:”

Immigrants fared poorly compared to the native population differences between the native population and the migrant pupils` problem-solving skills were high in all the participating countries. In Finland, the main population, representing the students `scores averaged 526 points, while second-generation immigrant students` backgrounds ¬ an average of 461 points and a first-generation 426 points. In Finland, migrant and native population, the difference between success was greater than in the participating countries on average.