Education in the USA

  • 24 марта 2011 г.
  • 3855 Слова

America has had a great respect for education from its earliest times. Education is now the most important factor in determining a person’s social role and economic prospects.
For someone from another country, the U.S. educational system understandably appears large and varied, even chaotic. Within this complexity, however, American education reflects the history, culture, andvalues of the changing country itself. The American system of school education differs from the systems in other countries. There are state public schools, private elementary schools and private secondary schools. Public schools are free and private schools are fee-paying. Four out of five private schools are run by churches, synagogues and other religious groups.

School education.School education in USA is for 12 years. American children start school at the age of five years. The first year at school is called kindergarten. It is required by all American children to be enrolled in the American education system. The second year at school is considered the first year of primary school and is referred to as first grade. In America, the word “grade” has two meanings: (1) thescore achieved on an exam or in a course, and (2) a year of education in primary or secondary school. Primary school most commonly consists of five years of education, referred to as first through fifth grades. At age five- six, American children begin elementary school by enrolling in the first grade, the first of twelve possible grades. The American school year runs from September to June, with afull summer vacation. There are differing categorizations in some school systems but elementary school usually goes from first grade to sixth grade. Seventh, eighth and sometimes ninth is considered "junior high school" or "middle school," while ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth grades are "high school”. The elementary school curriculum varies with the organization and educational aims ofindividual schools and local communities. Promotion from one grade to the next is based on a student’s achievement of specified skills, although a child is required to repeat a year in exceptional circumstances only. (Some school districts are returning to testing as a means of determining when a child is ready to move to the next grade, in an effort to reduce reliance on ‘social promotion,’ and this isbecoming yet another contentious issue.) Elementary schools provide instruction in the fundamental skills of reading, writing and maths, as well as history and geography (taught together as social studies), crafts, music, science, art and physical education (phys ed) or gym. Foreign languages, which used to be taught at high schools only, are now being introduced during the last few years ofelementary school in some areas (although in some cities, state schools don’t offer any foreign language teaching). Elementary students are usually given regular homework, although in many schools few children complete it. Secondary School Education in USA: The term "secondary school" usually refers to seventh through twelfth grades. High school runs from grades ninth through twelfth. Some schooldistricts deviate from this formula. The most widely seen difference is to include ninth grade in middle school, though it is a relatively old practice which is disappearing. Also, many districts will use an older high school as a separate campus for 9th grade, allowing these students to adjust to a high school environment. In high school, students obtain much more control of their education and oftenmay even choose their core classes. Most students in the United States unlike their counterparts in other developed nations do not begin to specialize into a narrow field of study until their second year of college. However, some schools do encourage students to take electives in the areas they are considering for a career. Generally, at the high school level, they take a broad variety of...
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