In a column this week in the Washington Post, Pasi Sahlberg, author of Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn About Educational Change in Finland?, focuses on why we can’t simply copy the Finnish education model with any real hope of success. His idea is simple, but its political ramifications are profound. The Finnish educational system is a vital component of their welfare state that provides child care, preschool, medical care, dental care and public education, all free through the university level. The driving idea behind their system is equity. The same amount of public funding stands behind every Finnish student. In short the Finns have a whole social infrastructure supporting the efforts of their schools and teachers. Sadly, we have nothing even approaching that anywhere in our country. There is no discussion of building an enlightened welfare state here. Our political parties battle over the right amount of funding to cut from social programs. Give Sahlberg’s article a read. You won’t be disappointed.