The Washington Post reports: In “The Smartest Kids In The World,” journalist Amanda Ripley’s new book about effective educational systems around the globe, there’s a scene in which Kim, an American high school student spending a year in Finland, asks her classmates a searching question. “Why do you guys care so much?” Kim inquires of two Finnish girls. “I mean, what makes you work hard in school?” The students give her a puzzled look. “It’s school,” one of them says. “How else will I graduate and go to university and get a good job?” When I reviewed Ripley’s book in The New York Times last month, I highlighted this exchange, writing, “It’s the only sensible answer, of course, but its irrefutable logic still eludes many American students, a quarter of whom fail to graduate from high school.”
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