April 2, 2014

Mandatory Finnish Content

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.
   

34 comments:

Gustavo Mannerheim said...

So their migrants drag down the average.

Cui bono?

Big Bill said...

It would be interesting to see what racial difference in scores is all across Europe.

France, for example.

How do the Celtic+Norman phenotypes in Brittany compare to the North African phenotypes in Southern France?

Even if they merely provided scores on a district-by-district basis it would be helpful.

Anonymous said...

In Finland, migrant and native population, the difference between success was greater than in the participating countries on average.

Not just that. The gap is more than twice the OECD average (however comparable that is), and the biggest in OECD (just behind Shanghai). However, they don't, at 3.4% of the population, account for much of the Finnish relapse in the latest PISA (about 2.5 point annual decrease in scores). Anyway, many of the immigrants are rude and noisy and speak gibberish. I really wish the hairier ones went back home.

Another interesting example from the Nordics is Sweden. In PIAAC (the adult PISA) the Swedes aged 55-65 were second only to the Japanese. The youngest in the workforce on the other hand were much closer to the OECD average, and much behind the Finns of the same age. It might have something to do with the fact that almost 1/3 of Swedish residents of that age cohort have an immigrant background.

The collapse in societal standards in Sweden will be something spectacular. In schools it already is, as PISA shows. Demographic dividends.

Anonymous said...

Here is the official translation by Ministry of Education. You don't actually have to use Google translator. Just press the link that says "press release"

"Immigrants performed poorly compared to Finnish majority population

Disparities in problem-solving between students of Finnish origin and those with an immigrant background were significant in all participating countries. In Finland the average score was 526 points among the majority population whereas the score for second-generation immigrant students was 461 points, and that for first-generation immigrants was 426 points. The disparity between immigrants and native students in Finland was wider than the average for all participating countries. Finnish-speaking and Swedish-speaking schools both performed almost equally well."

Paul said...

My uncle was Norwegian. He called them "China Swedes," and said never turn your back or you'd get a puukko in it. Maybe he was on to something with that slur, since they seem to have Asian test-taking skills.

Anonymous said...

With high test scores, one would expect a growth of prominent Finns in hard sciences. Is this happening? Do Finns dominate European physics and math doctoral programs?

Game and Honey said...

It's very interesting that Finland and Estonia are always at the top of the European scores. I believe it has something to do with their high genetic contribution from the "Ancient North Eurasian" population, which today peaks in Finns, Estonians, Scots, and some Russians. More about that here: http://eurogenes.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/ancient-human-genomes-suggest-three.html

On that note, why not compare Finland's education system to Estonia's? I would guess they are quite different yet the results are basically the same.

Anonymous said...

Politically correct apologists will somehow come up with a way to blame this on nativism and racism I'm sure.

Native peoples discriminating and holding the poor, oppressed, minority immigrant down. In a state of arrested development. The Finns need to take some courses in white privilege, micro-aggressions and the evils of European colonialism. That should held lower those scores, er, raise them.

Anonymous said...

Finland is full of Finnish people.

Don said...

Holy smoking lies. Can the education establishment tell the truth about anything?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have data broken down by race? How well do the whites in Finland do vs whites in America

Anonymous said...

Another thing to note about Finland is that they speak Finnish. Finnish is a difficult language for English speakers to learn (almost every language from India to Iceland is Indo-European, but not Finnish, Hungarian, Estonian and a smattering of some small languages). However, for native speakers, it's fairly standardized. The language wasn't written much until the 1800s (Finland had been occupied by Russia and Sweden, so the elites didn't speak Finnish). Thus, when it was standardized, there's a fairly straight forward spelling system. There's almost no concept of a Spelling Bee in Finland. No F vs. PH or X vs. KS or whatever.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:56

When you put it this way, the Finns actually serve as the single best counterexample to all those ridiculous liberal concepts you mention. After all, Finland was a province of two larger empires for most of its history (colonialism). From what I understand, Finns are the butt of jokes from their neighbours (microaggressions). And Finland was the poorest part of Scandinavia for most of its history.

So really, based on liberal dogma, Finland should have some of the worst scores in Europe, not the best.

Anonymous said...

So, Finns are basically Meztisos?
What gives?

Anonymous said...

Re Anon 7:55 AM

I don't think this is true in general, but I've seen evidence that Finland has low SD's on these tests. I believe Steve Hsu pointed that out of number of years ago. As a result, they tend to have smaller groups in the highest-performing categories than their high averages would suggest.

Finland doesn't do particularly well in things like the International Mathematical Olympiad, especially compared to Hungary, which does significantly worse on PISA type tests but hits way above its weight in things like math (both research and contests). What separates Hungary is they have a country-wide habit of identifying and nurturing top mathematical talent that's been in place for nearly a century.

jaakkeli said...

"On that note, why not compare Finland's education system to Estonia's? I would guess they are quite different yet the results are basically the same."

They're very similar. Lutheran countries carbon copied the Prussian model for ages of grades, splitting age of secondary education and vocational training in trades etc. They've diverged a lot since the 19th century but the basic model is similar enough that Germans, Scandinavians and Finns/Estonians can pretty easily swap systems as the levels and types are still pretty interchangeable while someone moving to America will find concepts like "high school" and "college" with no Prussiasphere equivalents.

The divergences are not surprising at all. For example, Sweden has wrecked much of its education by ideas like almost completely eliminating grades, a result of egalitarian political ideologues banding together with teachers who didn't want to be blamed for the terrible grades that minorities were getting. They really didn't realize how badly their schools were collapsing and now the PISA results are a front page scandal (with no one of course comparing Swedish performance with minorities without obfuscating factors like counting Sweden-born Arabs as Swedes).

Estonia had some major educational reform after communism but their end result looks like a copy of Finland. The main differences are that they somehow manage to get the same results with much less money (the comparison report I'm looking at suggests that the Estonians have a good sense of which parts are the expensive bullshit that you can cut, like the Finnish habit of expensive musical instruments) and that Estonia offers much less public funding for university degrees (and they seem to be pretty good at cutting out the bullshit here, too, skipping women's studies in favour of technology...).

jody said...

"It would be interesting to see what racial difference in scores is all across Europe."

there's already a lot of evidence in germany, where they're pretty sure the ethnic germans have a mean IQ of 102, but the average for the nation is brought down to 99 or so from all the eastern europeans and turks.

it's funny being somewhat knowledgeable about germany, and knowing that germans are disappearing from the earth at a rapid rate - faster than even the japanese - then hearing all the russia haters say that russia has terrible demographics.

do these people realize germany is only about 80% german, and has lost 2 million people in the last 10 years? 2 million people net. germany had about 82 million people 10 years ago, now it has 80 million people. and only 80% of them are german. so really there are less than 70 million germans on earth, and vanishing very quickly.

japan is also literally losing 200,000 people per year. the population used to be 128 million at it's peak, it's gonna drop to 126 million in a year. every year there are less japanese humans on earth.

meanwhile, russia has grown since then, and not just random groups in siberia. the ethnic russia population has been going UP the last several years, and with the annexation of crimea, just went up another 2 million.

the idea that russia has 'terrible' demographics might be true - if germany and japan have demographics that are a complete disaster. yet i don't hear predictions that germany and japan have terrible, awful futures. in light of that i find all the fear mongering about russia's 'horrible' future to apply much more to france, the UK, germany, italy, and japan. even korea is a little better than those, for now.

russia is decades behind the demographic collapse already underway in the west. how does this relate to the topic? the natives are being replaced with dumb third worlders. what will be the mean IQ of the school population in 15 years in the west?

jody said...

"With high test scores, one would expect a growth of prominent Finns in hard sciences. Is this happening? Do Finns dominate European physics and math doctoral programs?"

as i've posted before, there's only 5 million of them. that just isn't enough people to do anything except in maybe 1 or 2 industries.

how much effect would 5 million koreans have on the world. they would be a blip on the radar.

even when you are smart you need a critical mass of people to have a real effect. 15 million? 20 million? i don't know exactly how many, but unless you are getting lots of outside help, you need more than a couple million.

Steve Sailer said...

Finns dominated the global cellphone business for 10 or 15 years. I'm impressed.

Anonymous said...

"i don't hear predictions that germany and japan have terrible, awful futures"

The UK financial and liberal press (is there a difference nowadays between the Economist and the Guardian) frequently has dire prognostications about Japan - unless Japan let lots of immigrants in, of course.

You also get the converse - "without immigration the UK could have a Lost Decade like Japan's".

No one worries about Germany's future though - she's seen as the Master Of Europe - "nothing happens in the ECB/Commission without Berlin's say-so". Only evil racists like Sarrazin worry.

jaakkeli said...

"Finland doesn't do particularly well in things like the International Mathematical Olympiad, especially compared to Hungary, which does significantly worse on PISA type tests but hits way above its weight in things like math (both research and contests). What separates Hungary is they have a country-wide habit of identifying and nurturing top mathematical talent"

Actually it's because they have Jews. Finland has never had enough Jews to call them a minority so we avoided all the nuttiness around that question but we also were left out from claiming some famous Jewish scientists under our flag.

Back in the 1990s when communism had collapsed, Hungary was a fad with hbd-unaware Finnish teachers (like Finland is a fad with hbd-unaware teachers today). They had all these famous scientists and mathematicians and they did so magically well in the math olympiads!

I kept getting myself into trouble with my annoying Hungary-going teachers by asking whether in all this frenzy to learn from the Hungarians we should actually notice that those famous people are Jews and start learning from Hungarian Jews instead of just Hungarians...

I also bet that Hungary's average test scores are dragged down by a certain minority. We have some of that too but few enough and unlikely enough to actually visit school on the PISA test day (an unofficial part of the Finnish school system is this tradition where they pretend to send their kids to school and the teachers pretend to see them at school).

dearieme said...

"that remote Northern land": from California everywhere civilised is remote.

Cogswell said...

"Finns dominated the global cellphone business for 10 or 15 years. I'm impressed."

That was impressive. Given the size and importance of the cell phone industry, that was never going to stay that way. Finland's labor pool was simply too small to compete. They could've let their country be completely overrun by immigrants and they still would've lost. What is interesting is how well South Korea does (esp. Samsung) while having no diversity at all.

Anonymous said...

"I kept getting myself into trouble with my annoying Hungary-going teachers by asking whether in all this frenzy to learn from the Hungarians we should actually notice that those famous people are Jews and start learning from Hungarian Jews instead of just Hungarians."

Looking at Europe, it seems that the countries which had few Jews, or kicked their Jews out sooner, today have smarter native populations than those which were home to lots of Jews more recently. England, France, Germany all kicked their Jews out around AD 1300 or so. Scandinavia historically had very few Jews. Today those countries' natives are the smartest in Europe, while Eastern Europe does poorly. It's almost as if by filling roles that would have been filled by a native middle class, Jews took all the oxygen out of the room.

Anonymous said...

Finns dominated the global cellphone business for 10 or 15 years. I'm impressed.

Keep in mind while they were dominating cellphones, their neighbor Sweden wasn't exactly doing bad with Ericcson. Together Nokia and Ericcson really did dominate. Other than Motorolla I don't know if anyone was even close to them in the 1990s.

Anonymous said...

Actually Jaakkeli, you sell your Ugric cousins short. It's absolutely true that prewar Hungarian maths was dominated by Jews, but after the holocaust Hungary continued to produce great mathematicians, even after its Jewish population took a nosedive. While it's true that Hungary has yet to produce another John von Neumann, neither has the rest of the world (the closest we've gotten is Terry Tao). But unless I'm wrong, people like Laszlo Lovasz, Laszlo Babai, Endre Szemeredi, Eva Tardos, Miklos Ajtai, Mario Szegedy and Bela Bollobas are all ethnic Hungarians. One would imagine that if they had the slightest hint of Jewish blood, they would have been claimed on wikipedia or jinfo by now given their professional success.

Today Jews are at-most 1.1% of Hungary's population. Compare the International Mathematical Olympics results between Hungary and Israel since 2000. You might argue that this is an unfair comparison since Hungary's population is ~10 million and Israel's is just over 8 million, but since the IMO is a contest for students 18 years old and younger, the relevant number is in fact the number of citizens reaching 18 annually (given by the CIA world factbook as being and ~115,000 for Hungary and ~122,000 for Israel. Since 2000, Hungary's average percentile ranking of at the IMO's was 83.4 vs Israel's 71.7. Granted, Israel contains a lot of Arabs, but it also has the advantage of nearly three million Ashkenazi Jews (and Sephardim are pretty damn smart in their own right). I'm not saying that Hungarians are smarter than Jews (they aren't), just that they're good at math and this can't solely be explained by the historical presence of Jews in Hungary.

Besides, the fact that Jews dominated math in Hungary in the first half of the 20th century doesn't really disprove my point. There were lots of cities/countries in Europe with Jewish communities, but Hungary produced Erdos, Renyi, the Riesz brothers, the Konigs, von Karman etc. Why?

Anonymous said...

Estonian PISA results are also very interesting. There is a huge gap between native Estonians and Russian-speakers. In reading and science native Estonians have 36 points higher result and in math 31 points. The gap is narrowing, but apparently mostly in reading, not so much in math and science. I gather that Russians in Estonia have approximately same score as Russians in Russian federation; Russians in Estonia have only slightly better results. You have to remember that Russian population in Estonia is basically an immigrant minority. They are mostly descendants of Soviet era (1945 - 1991) immigrants.

www.hm.ee/index.php?popup=download&id=12476

William Wallace Say's Sorry said...

Edward I was in addition to being the Hammer of the Scots the designer of the English middle class.

The expulsion of the Jews almost certainly opened up eugenic possibilities for bright Anglos.

Amager Island said...

My take on the Scandinavians + Finns.

They are extremely mellow people who take their productive work super seriously. They tend to live quite wholesome healthy lives. It's an extremely desirable place to live, not least because they are beautiful looking. They also design beautiful things and spend time traveling abroad. The whole cultural package is actually amazing. Their temprements are outstanding. Very cool and calm and practical. They are like an entire nation of Shakers who enjoy sex and pleasantness.

Amager Island said...

One thing you must look at with the Scandinavians is their Diaspora. Sandy Toksvig is a Dane living in London and works at the BBC. She said the following: "it's so nice there because we all take turns living there. I doubt more than 2/3 of the Actual Danes are ever in Denmark. The high ambition one's are in London, Berlin, New York or working overseas on projects. Their apprentices are all over Europe learning trades for example. I saw a welcome home ceremony where these 1800s outfitted Carpenter/metal/mechanical etc etc traveling apprentices had returned from Germany/France/Canada/Russia/Japan and were being greeted in the streets by crowds. Never seen a thing like it before in my life.

Anonymous said...

Finland's alcoholism rate is like the average between Sweden's and Russia's, i.e. very high

Anonymous said...

"Sandy Toksvig is a Dane living in London and works at the BBC."

Not to mention a boilerplate leftist, among other things.

Anonymous said...

Finland and Estonia should be an interesting comparison case also because there are about 50 000 recent immigrants in Finland from Estonia. So almost 1% of the 3,4% of immigrants of Finland should theoretically be estonians (although, perhaps not so many in the 15-year old cohort). Both nations perform similarly in their own countries, but how do estonian immigrants perform in Finland? Do estonian immigrants in Finland share the difficulties of other immigrants? Or do estonian immigrants in Finland perform close to native finns (in which case the rest of the immigrants in Finland would perform even worse than they appear to be at present).

Anonymous said...

Being Finnish, the thought of Estonian immigrants having trouble here made me smile. Estonians probably pick up the Finnish language faster than anyone else on Earth.

The languages are mutually intelligible to some degree and during Soviet rule Finnish TV was the only Western media available in Estonia. That really does teach one something!

PISA scores by ethnicity will be available later this spring. The wailing of our multiculti crowd will reach high heavens when Somali and Arab scores are published.