Matt Yglesias on the Swedish school system.

I think there’s something to that. Certainly, the US system of K-12 education has gotten pretty hidebound in ways that other countries have left behind. At the same time, conservatives who want us to learn from Nordic education systems need to understand that these schools are working in a Nordic context featuring, among other things, radically lower child poverty rates:

Yup….that the Swedish school system works very well indeed, is a voucher system, this is true. But we have to solve child poverty first.


Sweden also has no national minimum wage, no inheritance tax and no national health care system. It\’s done by the counties with tax raised by the counties paying for health care in those counties (umm, like the US system for the indigent actually).

Maybe the US should also adopt those policies so as to make the schools better?

5 thoughts on “Eh?”

  1. Of course he is talking RELATIVE poverty rates. Relative rates get our friends on the left very agitated but normal people think they are meaningless.

  2. Vouchers in the USA would lead to a great deal of racial segregation in the schools, like – eh, think of a really horrible example – like, in American cities currently.

  3. “but normal people think they are meaningless.”

    I’m not sure I agree. We’ve discussed on this site before that if you ask ‘normal’ people (in opinion polls, it has been done) what their definition of ‘poor’ is, it seems to rise over time much in line with national income. That’s relative, no?

  4. “Maybe the US should also adopt those policies so as to make the schools better?”

    Does Sweden have teachers’ unions? Because the U.S. does and until they get busted the public schools will continue to suck.

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