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ERIC Number: EJ994317
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0009-4056
Social Welfare and Minding the Achievement Gap: A View from Denmark
Ringsmose, Charlotte
Childhood Education, v88 n3 p185-188 2012
In Denmark, the welfare system has evened out the gaps between rich and poor. Schools and child care settings all over the country have an equal level of resources provided by the state, and are financed through taxes. Schools and child care settings in areas with families of lower socioeconomic status (SES) get extra money and resources. All teachers in Denmark are educated to the bachelor degree level, as are all the professionals in child care. Parents receive one year of maternity/paternity leave to secure children a good start in life. Ninety-seven percent of children are in professional child care before they start school (ages 3-5) (Statistics Denmark, 2011). All children go to school for nine years, and have access to further education without any payment. Illiteracy has been virtually eradicated in Denmark. Schools and child care settings must adhere to high standards for buildings and materials. Consequently, Denmark has the most expensive school system in the world. Given these factors, one would think that people would have achieved much in terms of mending any achievement gaps in Denmark. Yet, they do have such gaps and inequalities in their education system. In this article, the author talks about social welfare and the achievement gap from Denmark's point of view. She contends that the answers to the question of the achievement gap likely will not be the same in Denmark and the United States. Solving the problems of poverty could make a difference in United States, and would probably help the children perform better in comparative studies (such as PISA). In Denmark, educational and political efforts affecting schools are paramount. (Contains 5 figures and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark