But I've also been to Finland, and my best guess is that Finnish success is a function of four main factors: fair distribution of school funding, a strong social safety net combined with high-quality family services for all, an unusually smart and well-trained teacher workforce, and a standard, high-quality national curriculum. American teachers unions are, as a rule, in favor of the first two of these things and may yet come around on the fourth. [emphasis mine]Since we're guessing, I say if you provide the first 2, the next 2 become irrelevant. You see, even Finland doesn't rely on their "unusually smart and well-trained" teachers, if indeed they are unusual, (maybe you could develop an international standardized teacher test to determine the unusualness of teachers?) because they have "fair distribution of school funding, [and] a strong social safety net combined with high-quality family services for all."
When you have a reasonably good life, or reasonably good prospects for one, education becomes important. That's what Finland has that we don't. It's not that they have better teachers.
And let's not talk about the apples to oranges comparison that one makes when comparing tiny, homogeneous Finland with America. How people like you get listened to is beyond me.