Björklund promises evaluation of schools

Education Minister Jan Björklund, head of the Liberal Party, promised that an evaluation of the new school system will be off the ground this winter, TT news agency reports.

“I think we are nearing our goal and that an evaluation will be initiated this winter,” Björklund told TT news agency.

The question is dividing the government, as the Liberal party is alone in its desire to nationalize the school system again. Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt turned a cold shoulder to the demand.

“The government has agreed to improve conditions for teachers, and we are in the middle of implementing what is likely the most reform-intensive year we have ever had in the area of schools. But we are not in agreement when it comes to making the corps of teachers employees of the state again,” Reinfeldt said.

Björklund hopes his coalition will have a change of heart and promises to make this an election issue for 2014.

The National Union of Teachers in Sweden supports Björklund’s position.

“Sweden is sinking in international rankings; teachers have lower salaries here than in most OECD countries; and the qualitative differences among schools are enormous,” Mette Fjelkner, head of the union, told TT.