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Smithsonian. It was the end of term at Kirkkojarvi Comprehensive School in Espoo, a sprawling suburb west of Helsinki, when Kari Louhivuori, a veteran teacher and the school’s principal, decided to try something extreme—by Finnish standards. One of his sixth-grade students, a Kosovo-Albanian boy, had drifted far off the learning grid, resisting his teacher’s best efforts. The school’s team of special educators—including a social worker, a nurse and a psychologist—convinced Louhivuori that laziness was not to blame. So he decided to hold the boy back a year, a measure so rare in Finland it’s practically obsolete. Finland has vastly improved in reading, math and science literacy over the past decade in large part because its teachers are trusted to do whatever it takes to turn young lives around. This 13-year-old, Besart Kabashi, received something akin to royal tutoring.

Years later, a 20-year-old Besart showed up at Kirkkojarvi’s Christmas party with a bottle of Cognac and a big grin.

Art-y Blogs

A Proposed New Constitution by Al Carroll. How Would You Change the Constitution? How would you change the constitution if it were up to you? How should we as a nation change the constitution? Even asking the question gets angry and outraged responses. This is so even though parts of it are poorly thought out, anti democratic, and have done tremendous damage to the nation. For America’s constitution is a sacred cow. There is, among those on both the political left and right, what can only be called widespread constitution worship.

This constitution worship is every bit as blindly enthusiastic as it is unknowing of the actual history of the constitution, and how and why it was adopted. For the founders themselves did not think much of the constitution. I often tell my students that America is great not because of the constitution, but in spite of it, and especially in spite of the founders. 1. Each of these proposals have widespread bipartisan support and are hugely popular across the political spectrum by great majorities. Constitution worship is the reason. 1.

Intelligence (or lack thereof)