Danish Round-Up: Education minister wants grade system that rewards exceptional work – The Post

Danish Round-Up: Education minister wants grade system that rewards exceptional work

The Egtved girl, meanwhile, keeps on changing, whether she likes it or not. Danish, German … and now very possibly Swedish or Norwegian

Humanity can now cure cancer … but there were some fundamental weaknesses in unimportant areas, so let’s call it a 7 (photo: dst.dk)
August 23rd, 2019 1:29 pm| by Ben Hamilton

Ane Halsboe-Jørgensen, the education minister, has indicated she wants to change the grading system currently used by Danish educational establishments, but not in the same way as her predecessor, Tommy Ahlers.

Ahlers announced in the spring that he wanted an additional grade of 12+ to be added to the seven grades currently handed out: -3, 00, 02, 4, 7, 10 and 12.

Flawed system
Halsboe-Jørgensen would prefer a system that isn’t obsessed with weaknesses, which tends to presume a score of 12 and then subtract for errors.

Instead, she wants the grades to have more leeway to recognise exceptional work, even if it is error-strewn.

Municipality spending breakdown ever more revealing
The country’s 98 municipalities spent 55.7 billion kroner on elementary schooling in 2018 – approximately a sixth of their total spending, which amounted to 343.2 billion kroner. The sum spent on education includes subsidies paid to private schools and friskoler – which stands at 76 percent per student – as well as funding for special needs schools. An additional 47.7 billion kroner was spent on people with special needs – almost 13 percent more than the 42.5 billion spent on the elderly. In previous accounts, the elderly and special needs costs were lumped together. Other significant costs included benefits (34.3 billion kroner), municipal admin (32.0), healthcare co-financing (30.6), daycare (26.9) and getting people into work (14.5 – a further 9.5 was reimbursed by the state). That amount has risen by 20 percent since 2016, with cost varying across the country. While spending is low in Zealand, in the Jutland municipalities of Ringkøbing-Skjern and Thisted it averages out at 3,900 kroner per inhabitant per year.

Egtved girl probably from Sweden or Norway, claims expert
The Egtved girl has changed her nationality more times than Albert Einstein. For many years experts concurred the Bronze Age woman, who died in around 1370 BC, was Danish – most probably from Vejle in southeast Jutland where she was discovered in excellent condition in an oak coffin in 1921. Recently the National Museum concluded she was German before Aarhus University again insisted she was from Jutland. Now, Dr Sophie Bergerbrant from Gothenburg University contends she is definitely Scandinavian, but probably not from Jutland. Writing on videnskab.dk, Bergerbrant argues that the items on her person suggest she came from Bornholm, southeastern Sweden or southwestern Norway.

All-time record number of cats in nation’s animal shelters
At the end of July, there were 1,525 cats in residence at the country’s eight animal shelters – the highest ever number. The previous record-high was 1,246 cats in 2014. A fair number are kittens – a development blamed on owners failing to get their pets neutered – but in general, most of them are eventually picked up, leaving the adult cats in residence struggling to find a new home. Funen’s Internat has the highest number, with almost 400 cats waiting for a new home.

Historic hotel picked up by Swedish investment company
Marienlyst Strandhotel in Helsingør has been sold to the Swedish investment company Midstar, raising expectations that more money will be spent in the future on making the legendary hotel even more luxurious. It is believed Midstar, which specialises in hotels, paid the owners, Borris Tangaa Nielsen and the asset management company Artha, something in the region of 500 million kroner. Nielsen redeveloped the hotel after acquiring it five years ago, investing 200 million kroner, which resulted in a rise in its annual revenue from 44 million kroner in 2014 to 132 million last year.

Major movement of people to Denmark during the Bronze Age
A new Danish study led by the National Museum, which has been published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, concludes there was a major movement of people to Denmark starting in approximately 1600 BC during the Bronze Age. Based on a strontium isotope analysis of 88 skeletons from the second and third millennia BC, the study concludes that Bronze Age people travelled more widely than those living in the Stone Age (a period that ended in 2000 BC).