Sweden, which has long been noted for possessing an excellent education system, has joined the frightened educators of the world who are committed to seizing childhood from children. In America, this is manifested in the notorious No Child Left Behind law which transforms learning into test taking, which focuses on what a child can regurgitate on an examination rather than are children becoming critical thinkers and developing a love of learning. Sweden’s Education Minister, Jan Bjorklund announced that Sweden’s children will now be graded at the age of 7. According to Bjorklund, “Sweden needs to leave ‘fuzzy schooling’ behind and focus more on knowledge-based tests.” Opposition leader Mona Sahlin argued against the proposal on grounds it is too early to subject children to grading and exerts pressure on teachers to be more concerned with test grades than upon learning.
This year, Congress placed on hold renewal of NCLB because of overwhelming evidence it has placed enormous pressures upon American educators and children to place importance on test results, and, in so doing, to damage study of history, literature, music, and the arts. I assume Mr. Bjorklund went to school at a time when 7 year-olds were not being graded.