Amanda Ripley

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The Quest Begins

9th May 2011 posted in Education

There was a time when a reporter on the road just needed a pad, pen and a corporate credit card. But today, as I head to the airport to go to Finland, I feel more like a secret agent. I have a magic pen that records what you are saying (for real!), a tricked-out camera that also captures hi-def video, a shotgun microphone for said camera, a teeny tiny tripod, a webcam, and 57 chargers, USB cables and assorted other crap to go along with all of them. Oh, and no corporate credit card at all whatsoever. Times have changed.

Anyway, despite all this baggage, I am excited. After a year of research, interviews and reckless speculation, I am headed off to investigate how other countries built smarter, cheaper, fairer public schools—all while spending far less money than we do per student. I’ll visit 5 cities in Finland and then 2 cities in Poland. I’ll meet up with the American kids and teachers I’ve been relying on for on-the-ground intel and finally see what they are talking about up close.