Bieber fever leads schools in Norway to reschedule exams. Can’t ever see that happening here.

Some schools in Norway are rescheduling exams around a Justin Bieber concert. (AP Photo)

Some schools in Norway are rescheduling exams around a Justin Bieber concert. (AP Photo)

No government official in the United States would shrug off a decision by schools to reschedule exams so students could attend a Justin Bieber concert. Such a decision here would be met with indignant speeches about skewed priorities.

Nor can I imagine any U.S. education secretary saying, “We’ve all been 14-years-old and know that interests can be intense.” Not unless they were willing to dodge brickbats and the histrionics of talk radio.

But education and politics are apparently more relaxed in Norway.

According to the AJC:

Five schools in western Norway have rescheduled their midterm exams to allow students to attend upcoming Justin Bieber concerts in the capital, the country’s Ministry of Education and Research said Wednesday.

The Canadian pop star is scheduled to perform in the Norwegian capital on April 16 and 17 — stoking fears that some students in remote schools will skip midterm exams scheduled to take place at the same time.

Bieber is extremely popular in the Nordic country, where his free concert in Oslo last year resulted in dozens of injuries as teenage girls fought to get better glimpses of the 19-year-old icon. To accommodate this Bieber-mania, five schools in the Alesund region — located some 230 miles (375 kilometers) northwest of Oslo — have rescheduled exams.

Kristin Halvorsen, Norway’s education minister, said she did not intend to intervene with the schools’ decisions. “I am concerned that students should be concentrating when they take tests and midterms,” Halvorsen wrote The Associated Press in an email. “The local schools have the responsibility to schedule the local midterms, and if they think there is any reason to change the dates, they have authority to do so…We’ve all been 14-years-old and know that interests can be intense.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

14 comments Add your comment

Jack ®

April 4th, 2013
5:46 am

Students know more about show business than they know about reading and writing. Bieber is short-term, an education is long-term.

guest

April 4th, 2013
6:01 am

Funny how so many kids have “learning disabilities” but yet can memorize song lyrics in a matter of minutes.

concernedmom30329

April 4th, 2013
6:17 am

Though it is for a silly reason, wouldn’t it be nice if our local schools had autonomy to make those kinds of decisions?

Tom

April 4th, 2013
6:58 am

Guess you would have to understand the bizarre way of thinking in Norway. This is the same country that has put up a mass murderer in a hotel like jail cell, and deny him nothing. Go figure!

Maude

April 4th, 2013
7:29 am

A change in the testing date is sending the message to students that entertainment is more important than education.

Mountain Man

April 4th, 2013
7:44 am

Schhols actually thinking of the STUDENTS and the PARENTS and what goes on after school? NEVER SHOULD HAPPEN. Schools should control all aspects of the students’ and the parents’ lives. They should revolve around the SCHOOL schedule, not the other way around. Sort of like the balanced calendar. (Tongue firmly in cheek – for the obtuse).

Sk8ing Momma

April 4th, 2013
8:04 am

Awesome! This is an example of traditional schools exercising the freedom that we homeschoolers have…Love it! In the end, the students will still take the exams. What’s the big deal if the exam dates are changed? There is no harm to do so. It is in no way a lesson in “entertainment-takes-precedent-over-education.” Rather, it is a lesson of how to be flexible and still achieve one’s goals. Rigidity (and hard deadlines) has a time and place…This is not such a time.

Sk8ing Momma

April 4th, 2013
8:05 am

This is also a GREAT demonstration of local control…Thumbs up!

Sk8ing Momma

April 4th, 2013
8:07 am

It is in no way a lesson in “entertainment-takes-precedent-over-education.”

Oopsie! It should be “entertainment-takes-precedence-over-education.”

Pride and Joy

April 4th, 2013
10:33 am

Norway has the best schools, literally, in the world.
We Georgians have some of the worst. So why are we criticizing Norway?

Maureen Downey

April 4th, 2013
10:37 am

@Pride, That’s Finland. On PISA or the Programme for International Student Assessment, the U.S. outperforms Norway in math and science. Norway is higher than us only in reading.
Maureen

erin

April 4th, 2013
12:43 pm

Schhols actually thinking of the STUDENTS and the PARENTS and what goes on after school? NEVER SHOULD HAPPEN. Schools should control all aspects of the students’ and the parents’ lives. They should revolve around the SCHOOL schedule, not the other way around. Sort of like the balanced calendar. (Tongue firmly in cheek – for the obtuse).

++++++

@ Mountain Man, “Bazinga?” ;)

But seriously … I absolutely cannot ever see such a thing happening in the U.S. But I agree wtih Sk8ting Mama that it does show a level of flexibility unimaginable here in the states. If these schools can reschedule, then why should they not? To me, it shows a much better and more realistic view related to tests than ANYTHING we have here.

Pride and Joy

April 4th, 2013
6:52 pm

Oh, Thanks, Maureen. My mistake. I meant Finland.
but pleaes post this. It is relevant and meaningful:
Guest makes an outstanding point:
“Funny how so many kids have “learning disabilities” but yet can memorize song lyrics in a matter of minutes.”
Ever watch Shool House Rock?
It was a 1970s and 80s era TV show for kids that did exactly as you said — it used music to teach kids the preamble to the constitution.
Remember?
We the people…in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice …
And grammar.
Conjuction junction what’s your function? Picking up words and phrases and clauses.
And government.
I’m just a bill and I’m sitting here on capital hill.
Parts of speech…
Libby libby libby get your adverbs here.
My children learn things by hearing them in a catchy song.
When they were tots as we went grocery shopping, they would sing the jingles associated with the products.

Pride and Joy

April 4th, 2013
9:02 pm

Erin, I love Big Bang Theory too.
Bazinga indeed!