Saigon University Foreign Languages Department

AMERICAN STUDIES
Assignment: American Education
Teacher : Hoàng Thị Thanh Tâm Students:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Nguyễn Thị Hiền Nguyễn Thị Thu Hiền Nguyễn Trí Long Nguyễn Thanh Nhàn Hồ Thị Thùy Trang Ka Wuín

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United States of America has one of the most effective educational systems in the world because it ensures quality to the children of the country.9%. 72 percent aged 12 to 17 were judged academically "on track" for their age (enrolled in school at or above grade level). below that of most developed countries. up to twelfth grade. Census Bureau. o Statistics In the year 2000. there were 76. ranging from kindergarten (followed by first grade) for the youngest children in elementary school. Of these. Public education is universally available. with independent officials and budgets. Of those enrolled in compulsory education. The exact age range of students in these grade levels varies slightly from area to area. middle school (sometimes called junior high school). state. and local. education is divided into three levels: elementary school.4 percent) were attending private schools. The 2010 unemployment rate for high school graduates was 10. Child education is compulsory. The country has a reading literacy rate at 99% of the population over age 15. The Federal Government has enforced strict laws to make sure that each and every person is benefited with basic knowledge regardless of their financial conditions.000. . School districts are usually separate from other local jurisdictions. Post-secondary education. there was a 77% graduation rate from high school. School curricula.6 million students enrolled in schools from kindergarten through graduate schools. In almost all schools at these levels.S. with control and funding coming from three levels: federal. while ranking below average in science and mathematics understanding compared to other developed countries. In most public and private schools. The system is highly sophisticated and constructed with special care given to the educational needs of the student community. the final year of high school. funding. children are divided by age groups into grades. Among the country's adult population. 5. better known as "college" in the United States. and other policies are set through locally elected school boards with jurisdiction over school districts with many directives from state legislatures.000. It begins from ages five to eight and ends from ages fourteen to eighteen. In 2008. state-certified private schools. Education in the United States is mainly provided by the public sector. and is described in a separate section below. or an approved home school program. Compulsory education requirements can generally be satisfied by educating children in public schools. exceeding the national average of those without a high school diploma by more than $23. the rate for college graduates was 4. employment. over 85 percent have completed high school and 27 percent have received a bachelor's degree or higher.2 million (10. is generally governed separately from the elementary and high school system. according to a 2005 study by the U. and high school (sometimes referred to as secondary education). teaching. The ages for compulsory education vary by state. The average salary for college or university graduates is greater than $51.8%. Educational standards and standardized testing decisions are usually made by state governments.

In addition. School grades Most children enter the public education system around ages five or six. . after the traditional summer recess.The poor performance has pushed public and private efforts such as the No Child Left Behind Act. Typical ages and grade groupings in public and private schools may be found through the U. The American school year traditionally begins at the end of August or the day after Labor Day in September.[13] After pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Children customarily advance together from one grade to the next as a single cohort or "class" upon reaching the end of each school year in late May or early June.[13]. The American educational system comprises 12 grades of study over 12 calendar years of primary and secondary education before graduating and becoming eligible for college admission. the ratio of college-educated adults entering the workforce to general population (33%) is slightly below the mean of other developed countries (35%) and rate of participation of the labor force in continuing education is high. Children are assigned into year groups known as grades. the student will enter junior high or middle school and then high school to get the high school diploma. Department of Education. followed by kindergarten and culminating in twelfth grade. After completing five grades. beginning with preschool. A 2000s study by Jon Miller of Michigan State University concluded that "A slightly higher proportion of American adults qualify as scientifically literate than European or Japanese adults". there are five years in primary school (normally known as elementary school).S.

Undergraduate degrees may be either associate's degrees or bachelor's degrees (baccalaureate) Community college typically offer two-year associate's degrees. Four-year institutions may be public or private colleges or universities. but often 18–22 (Freshman. Some community college students chose to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree.Education in the United States Elementary school Preschool Kindergarten 1st Grade 2nd Grade 3rd Grade 4th Grade 5th Grade Middle school 6th Grade 7th Grade 8th Grade High school 9th Grade (Freshman) 10th Grade (Sophomore) 11th Grade (Junior) 12th Grade (Senior) Post-secondary education Tertiary education (College or University) Vocational education Graduate education Adult education Ages vary. . Junior and Senior years) Ages vary Ages vary Ages vary 14–15 15–16 16–17 17–18 11–12 12–13 13–14 4–5 5–6 6–7 7–8 8–9 9–10 10–11 Students completing high school may choose to attend a college or university. although some community colleges offer a limited number of bachelor's degrees. Community colleges are generally publicly-funded and offer career certifications and part-time programs. Sophomore.

Preschool In large cities. In some cases.Most public institutions are state universities. federal grants. are completely funded by the federal government.g. an undergraduate student will be able to select an academic major or concentration. Ph. Age 25 and Over (2009) Education Percentage . Graduate degrees may be either master's degrees (e. Curriculum varies widely depending on the institution. and students may change their major one or more times. Elementary and secondary education Schooling is compulsory for all children in the United States. but the age range for which school attendance is required varies from state to state. one for each branch of the armed forces. the academies train students (cadets or midshipmen) to be commissioned officers in exchange for a mandatory term of military service. Most children begin elementary education with kindergarten (usually five to six years old) and finish secondary education with twelfth grade (usually eighteen years old). other states require students to stay in school until age 18 Educational attainment in the United States. focus. M.S.S.. Some private institutions are large research universities.. Typically. Some private universities are nonsectarian while others are religiously-affiliated. while professional school (e. State universities are organized in a wide variety of ways. a number are for profit. Academia-focused graduate school typically includes some combination of coursework and research (often requiring a thesis or dissertation). Student health According to the National Association of School Nurses. tuition. and proceeds from endowments.W. a growing body of preschools are adopting international standards such as the International Preschool Curriculum.. and operation.. not all public institutions are state universities. business) grants a first professional degree and aims to prepare students to enter a learned profession.D..B.g.g. which are sponsored by state governments and typically receive funding through some combination of taxpayer funds. some local governments (counties and cities) have four-year institutions of their own . However. Some states allow students to leave school between 14–17 with parental permission.D. M.A. before finishing high school. Additionally. While most private institutions are non-profit. typically those with a bachelor's degree. M.D. which comprises the main or special subjects. Some students. The five service academies. while others are small liberal arts colleges that concentrate on undergraduate education... pupils may be promoted beyond the next regular grade.). sometimes there are private preschools catering to the children of the wealthy. Because some wealthy families see these schools as the first step toward the Ivy League. M. private donations. there are even counselors who specialize in assisting parents and their toddlers through the preschool admissions process. Increasingly. and many are part of a state university system.) or doctorates (e. Private institutions are privately funded and there is wide variety in size. medical. may chose to continue on to graduate or professional school. J. 17% of students are considered obese and 32% are overweight. law.one example is the City University of New York.

who attended one of 132.823. one-tenth of students are enrolled in private schools. the curriculum in public elementary education is determined by individual school districts. Elementary school Elementary school includes kindergarten through fifth grade (or sometimes. There are more than 14. In elementary school. According to government data. there were 3. and school systems vary widely not only in the way curricular decisions are made but also in how teaching and learning take place.2 million students between the ages of 16 and 24 in 2007 dropped out of high school.54% 7.60% 38. Learning Standards are the goals by which states and school districts must meet adequate yearly progress (AYP) as mandated by No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Some states and/or school districts impose more top-down mandates than others. Teachers worked from about 35 to 46 hours a week in a survey taken in 1993. including nearly three of 10 Hispanics.6 million children in each grade in the United States. The school district selects curriculum guides and textbooks that are reflective of a state's learning standards and benchmarks for a given grade level. sixth grade or eighth grade). States do not require proper reporting from their school districts to allow analysis of efficiency of return on investment. teachers play a significant role in curriculum design and there are . Parents may also choose to educate their own children at home. In 2010.142 teachers in public. There are (as of 2001) about 3." or "gym"). with the exceptions of physical education ("P. basic subjects are taught. and Catholic elementary and secondary schools. however. charter. Most states require that their school districts within the state teach for 180 days a year.94% Most parents send their children to either a public or private institution. Approximately 85% of students enter the public schools. and art classes.62% 2. music.High school graduate Some college Associates and/or Bachelor's degree Master's degree Doctorate or professional degree 86. and students often remain in one or two classrooms throughout the school day. 1. library.7% of children are educated in this manner.000 school districts in the country. Typically.E. Nearly 6.68% 55. In others. largely because they are tax-subsidized (tax burdens by school districts vary from area to area).203.656 schools. They taught a total of 55. to fourth grade. private.000 students. This description of school governance is simplistic at best. More than $500 billion is spent each year on public primary and secondary education.

Teachers typically earn either a Bachelors or Masters Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. and in most cases without consideration of NCLB. At times. Learning standards are identified for all areas of a curriculum by individual States. In general. and physiology.[38] There is much discussion within educational circles about the justification and impact of having curricula that place greater emphasis on those topics (reading. writing and math proficiency greatly affect performance in social studies. Many school districts post information about the curriculum and supplemental materials on websites for public access. ecology. Public Elementary School teachers typically instruct between twenty and thirty students of diverse learning needs. and in some programs. state or local history and geography. Some states require content area tests. Most States have predetermined the number of minutes that will be taught within a given content area. and geography. The broad topic of Social Studies may include key events. and reading. Reading. an individual school district identifies areas of need within the curriculum. Junior and senior high school Middle school and Junior high school include the grade levels intermediate between elementary school and senior high school. Curricular decisions within private schools are made differently than they are in public schools. a student learns basic arithmetic and sometimes rudimentary algebra in mathematics. secondary education usually covers grades 6 through 9 or 10 through 12. understandings. physical development. science and other content areas. Teachers and advisory administrators form committees to develop supplemental materials to support learning for diverse learners and to identify enrichment for textbooks. other instructional areas have received less attention. Topics included under the broader term "science" vary from the physical sciences such as physics and chemistry. science. The teaching of social studies and science are often underdeveloped in elementary school programs. including those for mathematics. A typical classroom will include children with a range of learning needs or abilities. teachers attribute this to the priority placed on developing reading. with individual colleges and universities determining the rigor of the college education provided for future teachers. English proficiency (such as basic grammar. documents. Elementary School teachers are trained with emphases on human cognitive and psychological development and the principles of curriculum development and instruction.few top-down mandates. Secondary education As part of education in the United States. writing and math) that are specifically tested for improvement. through the biological sciences such as biology. The range defined by either is often based on demographic factors. spelling. writing and math proficiency in the elementary grades and to the large amount of time needed to do so. athletically or artistically gifted. Certification standards for teachers are determined by individual states. seventh and eighth grade. such as an increase or decrease in the relative numbers of younger or . and vocabulary). however. and fundamentals of other subjects. Because No Child Left Behind focuses on reading and math as primary targets for improvement. "Junior high" typically includes seventh through ninth grade. the fine arts. as well as instructional skills tests for teacher certification in that state. Some attribute this to the fact that elementary school teachers are trained as generalists. from those identified as having special needs of the kinds listed in the Individuals with Disabilities Act IDEA to those that are cognitively. "Middle school" usually includes sixth. and concepts in American history. social studies.

humanities. German. and Technology Education. wrestling. Anti-drug use programs are also usually part of health courses. The students in these grades are commonly referred to as freshmen (grade 9). Electives Common types of electives include:       Computers (word processing. but may choose additional subjects ("electives") to fill out their required hours of learning. graphic design) Athletics (cross country. Business/Marketing. yearbook/annual. or 10th through 12th grade. precalculus. starting in ninth grade. gymnastics. track and field. lacrosse. with the aim of maintaining stable school populations. Students are required to take a certain minimum number of mandatory subjects. crew. sophomores (grade 10). band. At this time. mountain biking) Career and Technical Education (Agriculture/Agriscience. and even calculus) English (usually four years minimum. golf. art. Senior high school is a school attended after junior high school. High school is often used instead of senior high school and distinguished from junior high school. water polo. Chinese. field hockey. In many cases. Family and Consumer Science. government/economics courses) Physical education (at least two years) Many states require a "health" course in which students learn about anatomy. drama. Health Occupations. football. and dance) Foreign languages (Spanish and French are common. drug awareness and birth control. swimming. orchestra.older students. and Japanese are less common)[42] Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps Advanced courses . however. grades become part of a student’s official transcript. students take a broad variety of classes without special emphasis in any particular subject. chemistry and physics) Mathematics (usually four years minimum. baseball. (choir. geometry. basketball. etc. statistics. Arabic. oral languages. including various history. Italian. juniors (grade 11) and seniors (grade 12). composition. first aid. literary magazine)) Performing Arts/Visual Arts. Ancient Greek. Foreign language and some form of art education are also a mandatory part of the curriculum in some schools. ceramics. including Publishing (journalism/student newspaper.) Social sciences (usually three years minimum. moving to different classrooms for different subjects. Usually. normally biology. normally including algebra. Basic curricular structure Generally. nutrition. including literature. at the high school level. sexuality. Latin. programming. skiing/snowboarding. volleyball. boxing. softball. soccer. cheerleading. students are given more independence. High school usually runs either from 9th through 12th. tennis. and being allowed to choose some of their class subjects (electives). ice hockey. The following minimum courses of study in mandatory subjects are required in nearly all U. photography. high schools:      Science (usually three years minimum.S. options are provided for students to "test out" of this requirement or complete independent study to meet it.

crime. degree. Grading scale In schools in the United States children are continually assessed throughout the school year by their teachers. with students enrolling as freshmen at a younger-thantraditional age. The units earned this way can often be transferred to one's university. loss of income for the schools. but may be taken as early as 9th grade. or lack of socialization with others. including teachers' organizations and school districts. compared with both public and private schools in wealthier neighborhoods.9% of all children. The lack of AP. These are special forms of honors classes where the curriculum is more challenging and lessons more aggressively paced than standard courses. Most post-secondary institutions take AP or IB exam results into consideration in the admissions process. and part-time during the school year.5 million children were homeschooled. Also. Others feel that they can more effectively tailor a curriculum to suit an individual student’s academic strengths and weaknesses. and may even assign classes to different parents. and report cards are issued to parents at varying intervals. post-secondary institutions may grant unit credit. with more elite institutions tending to accept fewer examinations and requiring higher scoring. there are often mechanisms by which gifted students may seek permission from their school district to attend community college courses full-time during the summer." those who prefer a non-standard approach to education. Institutions vary in the selection of examinations they accept and the scores they require to grant credit or placement. Still others feel that the negative social pressures of schools (such as bullying. including fears of poor academic quality. Because AP and IB courses are intended to be the equivalent of the first year of college courses. Other institutions use examinations for placement purposes only: students are exempted from introductory course work but may not receive credit towards a concentration. Some are religious conservatives who see nonreligious education as contrary to their moral or religious systems.S. and religious or social extremism. and can facilitate early graduation. or who wish to add religious instruction to the educational curriculum (and who may be unable to afford a church-operated private school or where the only available school may teach views contrary to those of the parents). drugs. which enables students to graduate earlier. in states with well-developed community college systems. Home schooling In 2007.Many high schools provide Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. AP or IB courses are usually taken during the 11th or 12th grade of high school. and other advanced courses in impoverished inner-city high schools is often seen as a major cause of the greatly differing levels of post-secondary education these graduates go on to receive. Many select moral or religious reasons for homeschooling their children. especially those with singular needs or disabilities. Parents often form groups to help each other in the homeschooling process. Opponents' stated concerns fall into several broad categories. and other school-related problems) are detrimental to a child’s proper development. Department of Education first started keeping statistics. IB. or core requirement. Early college entrance programs are a step further. approximately 1. Generally the scores for . This was 2. similar to public and private schools. Opposition to homeschooling comes from varied sources. The second main category is "unschooling. sex. Most homeschooling advocates are wary of the established educational institutions for various reasons. up 74% from 1999 when the U.

drill teams. Student participation in sports programs. The SAT and ACT are the most common standardized tests that students take when applying to college. however. are not normally allowed to participate. However. These organizations are usually forced to implement time limits on hours practiced as a prerequisite for participation. These activities can extend to large amounts of time outside the normal school day. or U 66– 63 – 62– 60 Below Percent 60 Standardized testing Under the No Child Left Behind Act. the parents. . Many schools also have non-varsity sports teams. the total number of points for a student when divided by the total number of possible points produces a percent grade. and the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS). In other jurisdictions. these tests evaluate the overall level of knowledge and learning aptitude of the students. clubs and activities by the community. N. all American states must test students in public schools statewide to ensure that they are achieving the desired level of minimum education. A student may take the SAT. these are usually afforded less resources and attention. a "D" grade is considered passing in certain classes. During high school. the schools and the students themselves. the "D" grade (or that between 70–60) is considered a failing grade. and spirit groups can amount to hours of practices and performances. Most states have organizations that develop rules for competition between groups.individual assignments and tests are recorded for each student in a grade book. E. students (usually in 11th grade) may take one or more standardized tests depending on their postsecondary education preferences and their local graduation requirements. Example Grading Scale A B + – + 100– 96– 92– 89– 97 93 90 87 86– 83 – 82– 80 C + 79– 77 76– 73 – 72– 70 D + 69– 67 F. such as on the Regents Examinations in New York. No Child Left Behind mandates that remediation through summer school and/or tutoring be made available to a student in need of extra help. I. At any time. or the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). The act also requires that students and schools show "adequate yearly progress. Although grading scales usually differ from school to school. which can be translated to a letter grade. which are shorter exams that focus strictly on a particular subject matter. In theory. Extracurricular activities are educational activities not falling within the scope of the regular curriculum but under the supervision of the school. all these tests serve little to no purpose for students who do not move on to post-secondary education. so they can usually be skipped without affecting one's ability to graduate. along with the maximum number of points for each assignment." This means they must show some improvement each year. and failing in others. home-schooled students. When a student fails to make adequate yearly progress. Letter grades are often but not always used on report cards at the end of a marking period. however. Texas or Virginia for example. or both depending upon the post-secondary institutions the student plans to apply to for admission. bands. In some areas. Most competitive schools also require two or three SAT Subject Tests (formerly known as SAT IIs). the most common grade scale is letter grades—"A" through "F"— derived from a scale of 0–100 or a percentile. although the current grade may be available at other times (particularly when an electronic grade book connected to an online service is in use). such as Hawaii. students being educated at home or in private schools are not included. ACT. Extracurricular activities A major characteristic of American schools is the high priority given to sports.

High school athletic competitions often generate intense interest in the community. Some research has refuted this claim. Critics assert that placing at-risk students in the same classes as these disabled students may impede the educational progress of both the at-risk and the disabled students. 5% of students in 2009 have a seizure disorder. marching bands. Public and private schools In the United States. and federal government funding. especially football and/or basketball. and clubs focused on an academic area (such as the Spanish Club) or cultural interests (such as Key Club).[47] All students with special needs are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). student government. According to the National Association of School Nurses. Students must be placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE) that is appropriate for the student's needs. debate teams. public schools vary widely in the resources they have available per student. Education of students with special needs Commonly known as special classes. or privately-funded private schools. state. Because a large portion of school revenues come from local property taxes. In addition to sports. K-12 students in most areas have a choice between free tax-funded public schools. are taught by teachers with training in adapting curricula to meet the needs of students with special needs. are major events for American students and for larger schools can be a major source of funds for school districts. as defined by the law. Schools meet with the parents or guardians to develop an Individualized Education Program that determines best placement for the child. The Federal Department of Education plays a role in standards setting and education finance. Class size also varies . Public schools that fail to provide an appropriate placement for students with special needs can be taken to due process wherein parents may formally submit their grievances and demand appropriate services for the child. Criticism At-risk students (those with educational needs that aren't associated with a disability) are often placed in classes with students with minor emotional and social disabilities. science fairs. musical groups. Activities include Quizbowl. Educating children with disabilities The federal law. numerous non-athletic extracurricular activities are available in American schools. and has suggested this approach increases the academic and behavioral skills of the entire student population. Public school systems are supported by a combination of local. school newspapers.Sports programs and their related games. another 5% have ADHD and 10% have mental or emotional problems. state and local government have primary responsibility for education. and some military primary and secondary schools are run by the Department of Defense. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to ensure that all government-run schools provide services to meet the individual needs of students with special needs. both public and private.

expert college placement services. Private schools in the United States include parochial schools (affiliated with religious denominations).3 students. the school's expenses. Private schools offer the advantages of smaller classes. with a nurturing. emotional. Average school size was 150. The number of students per teacher was about 11.200 separate public schools. they should be able to take the funds that the public school no longer needs and apply that money towards private school tuition in the form of vouchers. 2000 article by the Chicago Sun-Times refers to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago Office of Catholic Schools as the largest private school system in the United States. The largest public school system in the United States is in New York City.5% of these were Caucasian. Some people have argued that when their child attends a private school. non-Hispanic. the federal government has limited influence. such as textbooks. To compensate for differences in school quality based on geography. This special enrollment is usually decided by lottery with equal numbers of males and females chosen. Some cater to families seeking a small school.6% were American Indian. College and university . An August 17. 74. Private schools have various missions: some cater to college-bound students seeking a competitive edge in the college admissions process. Although reputed to pay lower salaries than public school systems. 5. supportive environment. some churches partially subsidize private schools for their members. other than tuition. Some magnet schools cater to gifted students or to students with special interests.6% were Hispanic. Admission to individual public schools is usually based on residency. non-profit independent schools. others are for gifted students. private schools usually cannot offer the services required by students with serious or multiple learning. or behavioral issues. There were 456. and the availability of funding from sources. Admission to some private schools is often highly selective. private schools have no legal obligation to accept any interested student.from one district to another. 65% of seniors in private schools in 2006-7 went on to attend a 4-year college. a locally elected school board runs schools. a disciplinary option not legally available to public school systems. Unlike public school systems.8% were African American. this investment in faculty development helps maintain the high quality program that they offer. Private schools also have the ability to permanently expel persistently unruly students. students with learning disabilities or other special needs. 9. Private schools charge varying rates depending on geographic location. According to elite private schools themselves.072. For example. 9. Because of its immense size – there are more students in the system than residents in eight US states – the New York City public school system is nationally influential in determining standards and materials. such as the sciences or performing arts. and . and for-profit private schools. private schools often attract teachers by offering high-quality professional development opportunities. In most districts. Unless specifically designed to do so. a higher teacher/student ratio across the school day.740 private elementary and secondary schools in 2007. greater individualized attention and in the more competitive schools. where more than one million students are taught in 1.451 students attended 33. The school board appoints an official called the superintendent of schools to manage the schools in the district. or students with specific religious affiliations. school systems serving large cities and portions of large cities often have "magnet schools" that provide enrollment to a specified number of nonresident students in addition to serving all resident students.266 teachers. This is the basis of the school choice movement. under twenty students in a typical elementary classroom.4% were Asian or Pacific Islander. 5. including tuition grants for advanced degrees. for example. Curriculum decisions in public schools are made largely at the local and state levels.

class ranking. a personal essay.W.S.Phil. Schools differ in their competitiveness and reputation. or . community colleges are operated either by a division of the state university or by local special districts subject to guidance from a state agency. Graduate study. a Bachelor of Science (B.F. are offered as graduate study after earning at least three years of undergraduate schooling or after earning a bachelor's degree depending on the program. and senior years (alternatively called first year. While colleges will rarely list that they require a certain standardized test score. and standardized test scores (Such as the SAT or the ACT tests). Bachelor of Engineering (B.). though medicine. Bachelor of Social Work (B. Admissions criteria involve the rigor and grades earned in high school courses taken. Some community colleges have automatic enrollment agreements with a local four-year college.S. Master of Science (MS). The community college awards the associate's degree. see articulation). the students' GPA. and dentistry. where the community college provides the first two years of study and the university provides the remaining years of study. or GPA for admission. Community colleges may award Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree after two years. sometimes all on one campus. generally.) Professional degrees such as law.) Five-Year Professional Architecture programs offer the Bachelor of Architecture Degree (B. Those seeking to continue their education may transfer to a four-year college or university (after applying through a similar admissions process as those applying directly to the four-year institution.) or Bachelor of Philosophy (B. (Some students enroll in double majors or "minor" in another field of study. the most prestigious schools are private. 57% completed their undergraduate requirements in six years.). the four undergraduate grades are commonly called freshman.). students engage in undergraduate study. at the same college they first enrolled in.Eng. rather than public. junior. These professional fields do not require a specific undergraduate major. Some students choose to attend a community college for two years prior to further study at another college or university. Once admitted. There are 4.). In most states.A. Most colleges also consider more subjective factors such as a commitment to extracurricular activities. Students traditionally apply for admission into colleges. which consists of satisfying university and class requirements to achieve a bachelor's degree in a field of concentration known as a major..Post-secondary education in the United States is known as college or university and commonly consists of four years of study at an institution of higher learning. and dentistry have set prerequisite courses that must be taken before enrollment.A. The U. leads to a more advanced degree such as a master's degree. second year. Like high school. which could be a Master of Arts (MA). pharmacy. or sometimes another bachelor's degree such as Bachelor of Fine Arts (B. ranks 10th among industrial countries for percentage of adults with college degrees. universities. Master of Business Administration (MBA). conducted after obtaining an initial degree and sometimes after several years of professional work. and an interview. each college usually has a rough threshold below which admission is unlikely. and the university awards the bachelor's and master's degrees. medicine. class ranking. and junior colleges in the country.S.Arch.495 colleges.). sophomore. 36% of enrolled students graduated from college in four years. etc.) The most common method consists of four years of study leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B. In 2008. pharmacy.

have formal apprenticeship procedures postgraduation. average annual tuition at a public university (for residents of the state) was $7. which rely on state funds to make up the difference. and Master of Fine Arts (MFA). or the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). degree. Most. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. Doctor of Psychology. annual graduate program tuition can vary from $15. most public universities charge much higher rates for out-of-state students. business school candidates are usually required to gain a few years of professional work experience before applying. proceed directly into the workforce.000.) or other doctoral degree. Doctor of Pharmacy.9 percent of students receive postgraduate degrees. After additional years of study and sometimes in conjunction with the completion of a master's degree and/or Ed.020. Because each state supports its own university system with state taxes. In 2009. although students can often qualify for state residency after their first year. Entrance into graduate programs usually depends upon a student's undergraduate academic performance or professional experience as well as their score on a standardized entrance exam like the Graduate Record Examination (GRE-graduate schools in general). Private schools are typically much higher.D. Other professional programs like law and business have no formal apprenticeship requirements after graduation (although law school graduates must take the bar exam to legally practice law in nearly all states). the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). such as Doctor of Arts. Annual undergraduate tuition varies widely from state to state. Depending upon the type of school and program. students may earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. Doctor of Osteopathy. Doctor of Podiatry Medicine. however. Tuition for public school students from outside the state is generally comparable to private school prices. and many additional fees apply.). Doctor of Medicine. Doctor of Education. private universities charge much higher tuition than their public counterparts. although scholarships (both merit-based and need-based) are widely available. such as residencies and internships. or Juris Doctor. Doctor of Physical Therapy.S. although prices vary widely from "no-frills" private schools to highly specialized technical institutes. Generally. Note that these prices do not include .S. Some programs. which must be completed after graduation and before one is considered fully trained. Many graduate and law schools do not require experience after earning a bachelor's degree to enter their programs. Doctor of Theology. after obtaining their bachelor's degree. Some students pursue a graduate degree that is in between a master's degree and a doctoral degree called a Specialist in Education (Ed. A few charity institutions cover all of the students' tuition. 8.000 to as high as $50.other less common master's degrees such as Master of Education (MEd). such as medicine and psychology. Cost Study comparing college revenue per student by tuition and state funding in 2008 dollars.

This has led to debate over funding at both the state and local levels.000 per class for a tenured professor. From 2002 to 2004 alone. The debt of the average college graduate for student loans in 2010 was $23. These fees. Two-thirds .967 (per year) Private University (4 years): $40. To combat costs colleges have hired adjunct professors to teach. tuition rates at public schools increased over 14 percent. in constant dollars. Between 1982 and 2007. college tuition and fees rose three times as fast as median family income. can range from $6.476 (per year) Total.000 per academic year (assuming a single student without children).800 per 3-credit class as opposed to $8. the median salary of an individual who has only a high school diploma is $27. four year schooling:   Public University: $81.345. A 2010 study indicates that the "return on investment" for graduating from the top 1000 colleges exceeds 4% over a high school degree. In 2008 these teachers cost about $1.200. An increase of 6 percent occurred over the same period for private schools. etc. room and board). room/board.904 College costs are rising at the same time that state appropriations for aid are shrinking. books and supplies. especially room and board. such as in engineering. largely due to dwindling state funding. The mean annual Total Cost (including all costs associated with a full-time post-secondary schooling.com for 2010:   Public University (4 years): $27. The median salary of an individual who has a bachelor's degree is $47. Certain degrees.000 to $12.967.) or additional fees that schools add on such as "activities fees" or health insurance. From the US Census Bureau. typically result in salaries far exceeding high school graduates. such as tuition and fees. as reported by collegeboard.living expenses (rent. whereas degrees in teaching and social work fall below.356 Private University: $161.

" Aside from these aforementioned schools. and volume of faculty research. and also apply to a "safety school". and the Massachusetts and California Institutes of Technology. staff. nomination by a member of Congress. test preparation services such as The Princeton Review or another university itself such as the Top American Research Universities by the University of Florida's The Center. The status ladder American college and university faculty. and Johns Hopkins. there are no public universities at the national level outside of the military service academies. gambling on the chance of acceptance. SUNY is the largest system that includes community colleges. Chicago. can lead to grade inflation.) Most public and private institutions fall into this 'middle' range. selectivity in admissions. 4 of the 10 schools in the University of California system. the US dominates more than half the top 50 places (27) and has a total of 72 institutions in the top 200 table under the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. which may be for-profit or non-profit. Some institutions feature honors colleges or other rigorous programs that challenge academically exceptional students. which individual states usually require to accept all local residents who seek admission. generosity of alumni donors. academic reputations vary widely among the 'middle-tier' of American schools. which has 29. the public Universities of Washington and Wisconsin. Lower status institutions include community colleges. Many community colleges have relationships with four-year state universities and colleges or even private . the private Universities of Stanford. competition for these limited nominations is intense and must be accompanied by superior scholastic achievement and evidence of "leadership potential. students often apply to a range of schools. Academic Ranking of World Universities. Like acceptance to "top tier" universities.S. Some apply to a relatively prestigious school with a low acceptance rate. There are differences of opinion whether these adjuncts teach better or worse than regular professors. especially among engineering and medical schools. Aware of the status attached to the perception of the college that they attend.of college instructors were adjuncts. There is a suspicion that student evaluation of adjuncts. (and even among academic departments within each of these schools. and applicants monitor rankings produced by magazines such as U. Each state in the United States maintains its own public university system. to which they will (almost) certainly gain admission. A small percentage of students who apply to these schools gain admission. These rankings are based on factors like brand recognition. Unlike many other nations. Prospective students applying to attend four of the five military academies require. In global university rankings. Included among the top 20 institutions identified by ARWU in 2009 are six of the eight schools in the Ivy League. who might otherwise attend a 'top-tier' college. and offer associate's degrees or vocational certificate programs. The State University of New York and the California State University are the largest public higher education systems in the United States. Most areas also have private institutions. It has more than twice as many universities represented in the top 200 as its nearest rival. with limited exceptions. while CSU is the largest without. the United Kingdom. These are primarily two-year public institutions. Some of these institutions currently place among the elite in certain measurements of graduate education and research. Also renowned within the United States are the so-called "Little Ivies" and a number of prestigious liberal arts colleges. along with their subsequent continued employment. students. which is always non-profit. alumni. News and World Report. Certain public universities (sometimes referred to as "Public Ivies") are also recognized for their outstanding record in scholarship.

these schools are ranked last in the amount of funding spent on teachers and instruction. as do some DC parent groups. 33% of poor fourth graders in the U. public school district spends $12.. The vouchers were $7. currency). however. Criticism A college economics professor has blamed "credential inflation" for the admission of so many unqualified students into college.S.universities that enable their students to transfer to these universities for a four-year degree after completing a two-year program at the community college. U. many institutions feature at least one distinguished academic department.700 two-year colleges not included among the twenty-five or so 'top-tier' institutions. According to a 2007 article in The Washington Post.[6] Funding Funding for K–12 schools According to a 2005 report from the OECD. with each of those two countries spending more than $11. the United States is tied for first place with Switzerland when it comes to annual spending per student on its public schools. Arizona's public schools spend 50% more per student than Arizona's private schools. to attend private schools. and that the public schools needed more money. during the 2007– . Washington D. if Arizona's public schools wanted to be like private schools.S. During the 2006–2007 school year. According to the study. they make up less than half of the staff at public schools.S. it's 62%. According to the article. the district's students score the lowest among 11 major school districts – even when poor children are compared with other poor children. The parents said their children were receiving a much better education from the private schools.000 (in U.S.500 per student per year. Collins' school was forced to close in 2008 due to lack of sufficient enrollment and funding. In 2004.C. Meanwhile. the opposite of long held notions. Regardless of perceived prestige. In 2007. and science. However. and eliminate 21.400 fouryear colleges and universities or 1.500 for tuition.210 administration employees.C. public schools lag behind the schools of other developed countries in the areas of reading. the slower the economy grows. lack basic skills in math. the United States is ranked 37th in the world in education spending as a percentage of gross domestic product. and most post-secondary American students attend one of the 2. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supports retaining vouchers for the district only. the Washington D. The school district has produced outcomes that are lower than the national average. The same professor reports that the more money that a state spends on higher education.C. and parents said that the school did a much better job than the Chicago public school system.C. In reading and math. He reports that the number of new jobs requiring college degrees is less than the number of college graduates. This is the third highest level of funding per student out of the 100 biggest school districts in the U. nonvoting delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said she wanted the voucher program to be eliminated. The study also says that while teachers constitute 72% of the employees at private schools.979 per student per year. Congress set up a voucher program for low income minority students in Washington D. and first on the amount spent on administration. ranked high because of a low GDP.000 more teachers. but in Washington D. the U. math. they would have to hire approximately 25. a private school in Chicago founded by Marva Collins to teach low income minority students charged $5. However. According to a 2006 study by the Goldwater Institute.S. All but seven of the leading countries are in the third world.

Britain. Funding for college At the college and university level student loan funding is split in half.300 per student was not enough. many longtime residents may find themselves paying property taxes much higher than anticipated. One current controversy stems much from the No Child Left Behind Act. There are more newspapers per capita in the US than anywhere in Europe outside Scandinavia. if a state's population and land values escalate rapidly. Reading and writing habits Libraries have been considered important to educational goals. However. Luxembourg. or even a state is not complying and is making no effort to comply. the Netherlands. Americans buy more books than people in Europe. France. Switzerland and Luxembourg. Chicago public school officials claimed that their budget of $11. must supplement their supplies with purchases of their own. and a few schools will not accept either. Contemporary education issues Curriculum issues . and financial services firms such as Sallie Mae. Some states. California's citizens passed Proposition 13 in 1978. Library books are more readily available to Americans than to people in Germany.2008 year. which severely restricted the ability of the Legislature to expand the state's educational system to keep up with growth. many of whom are teachers. Still others accept both. district. Various groups. credit unions. such as the fact that in many schools funding for classroom supplies is so inadequate that teachers. for a number of reasons. Some schools accept only FFELP loans. Funding for schools in the United States is complex. The average American borrowed more library books in 2001 than his or her peers in Germany. The vast majority comes from the state government and in some cases from local property taxes. federal funding accounts for little of the overall funding schools receive. negatively impacting funding in a slow economy. others accept only FDSLP. First. half is managed by the Department of Education directly. Americans write relatively high number of books per capita. called the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP). France and throughout the Mediterranean. They point to many different situations. In response to this phenomenon. These schemes also have failings. have investigated or implemented alternate schemes for funding education that may sidestep the problems of funding based mainly on property taxes by providing funding based on sales or income tax. under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). in which case students must seek out private alternatives for student loans. Austria and all the Mediterranean nations. Grant funding is provided by the federal Pell Grant program. such as Michigan. especially those at the elementary level. The other half is managed by commercial entities such as banks. The Act gives the Department of Education the right to withhold funding if it believes a school. Ireland. Norway. Property taxes as a primary source of funding for public education have become highly controversial. constantly push for more funding. Austria.

7 million children aged 5 to 17 primarily speak a language other than English at home. A majority supported teaching intelligent design and/or creationism in public schools. and as such creationist ideas should therefore be taught alongside it as an alternative viewpoint. Of those. at least 46 students and teachers were killed in 27 incidents involving the use of firearms. and there is a strong national tradition of upholding English as the de facto official language. English is spoken by over 95% of the nation.President George W. which is mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act. claimed that evolution is simply a theory in the colloquial sense. Drop out rates are a concern in American four year colleges. English in the classroom An issue facing curricula today is the use of the English language in teaching. Bush signing the No Child Left Behind Act Curricula in the United States vary widely from district to district. This raises the question of government funding vouchers in states with anti-Catholic Blaine Amendments in their constitution. This has produced camps of argument over the standardization of curricula and to what degree. about 1. Many religious and family values groups. Information from the National Center for Education Statistics shows that. students between the ages of 12 and 18 were the victims of 2 million crimes in US . Between 1996 and September 2003. Some 9. Less than 41 percent graduate from the University of Montana. depending on the size and level of the school. Violence and drug use Violence is a problem in high schools. Not only do schools offer a range of topics and quality. on the other hand. Ninety percent of high school teachers believe exiting students are wellprepared. and 44 percent from the University of New Mexico.3 million children do not speak English well or at all. 54 percent of students entering four-year colleges in 1997 had a degree six years later — and even fewer Hispanics and blacks did. but private schools may include religious classes as mandatory for attendance. Evolution in Kansas In 1999 the School Board of the state of Kansas caused controversy when it decided to eliminate teaching of evolution in its state assessment tests. Attainment Forty-four percent of college faculty believe that incoming students aren't ready for writing at the college level. 33 percent of the freshmen who enter the University of Massachusetts Boston graduate within six years. These same groups often are advocates of standardized testing. Scientists from around the country demurred. in 2001. In New York.

and factual and ethical information about abortion.schools. However. sexual orientation. Sex education Almost all students in the U. these states can exert influence over the content of the books." 10 percent believed that their children's sexual education class forced them to discuss sexual issues "too early." while under 17% agreed with the statement that their children were being exposed to "subjects I don't think my child should be discussing. receive some form of sex education at least once between grades 7 and 12. Many states have laws governing what is taught in sex education classes or allowing parents to opt out. what students learn varies widely. varied more widely. 24% of high school students smoked marijuana. Some state laws leave curriculum decisions to individual school districts. STDs. implications of teenage pregnancy. (The margin of error was plus or minus 4. Norton & Company . W. Also in 2001. For example. the Texas Board of Education adopted new Social Studies standards that could potentially impact the content of textbooks purchased in other parts of the country. HIV. 5% smoking right at school. Davis Company W. 24 murders and 8 suicides took place in American schools. In some states. textbooks are selected for all students at the state level. because curriculum decisions are so decentralized. sexual abuse. sex education courses in grades 7 through 12 cover puberty.S. a 1999 study by the Guttmacher Institute found that most U.) Textbook review and adoption In many localities in the United States. Between July 1999 and June 2000. and how to resist peer pressure. Since states such as California and Texas represent a considerable market for textbook publishers. such as methods of birth control and infection prevention. However. In 2010. Over 80% of polled parents agreed with the statement "Sex education in school makes it easier for me to talk to my child about sexual issues. The American people are heavily divided over the issue. a majority of the 1001 parent groups polled wants complete sex education in the schools.7 percent. abstinence. 5% drank right on school territory.S. many schools begin addressing some topics as early as grades 4 or 5. 49 percent of the respondents (the largest group) were "somewhat confident" that the values taught in their children's sex ed classes were similar to those taught at home. Other studied topics. 62% of the crimes were thefts. A. according to a 2004 survey. 47% of American high school students drank alcohol at least once. and 23 percent were less confident still. As of January 2009. The deliberations that resulted in the new standards were partisan in nature and are said to reflect a conservative leaning in the view of United States history. the four largest college textbook publishers in the United States were:     Pearson Education (including such imprints as Addison-Wesley and Prentice Hall) Cengage Learning (formerly Thomson Learning) McGraw-Hill Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Other US textbook publishers include:     John Wiley & Sons Jones and Bartlett Publishers F. the curriculum taught in public schools is influenced by the textbooks used by the teachers. 29% of students who smoke marijuana obtain the drug at school." On the other hand.

S. but ruled that strict point systems are unconstitutional. while schools in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico teach in Spanish. The U." Affirmative action In 2003 a Supreme Court decision concerning affirmative action in universities allowed educational institutions to consider race as a factor in admitting students. claiming that his race played a role in their decision to reject his application for admission. outside the northeast U. are largely independent of the government. Opponents of racial affirmative action argue that the program actually benefits middle. parents. Educational accreditation decisions are made by voluntary regional associations. at the expense of the historic African American community made up of descendants of slaves. and students" to allow for the "expression of diverse teaching philosophies and cultural and social life styles. Department of Education. Prominent African American academics Henry Louis Gates and Lani Guinier. the U. school boards are generally constituted at the county level. federal government exercises its control through the U. the federal government uses the threat of decreased funding to enforce laws pertaining to education. a Chinese undergraduate at Yale University. the District of Columbia. Schools in the 50 states. Like other arrangements between the two. Charter schools have spread rapidly in the United States. have argued that in practice. These poll results cast some doubt on measured academic attainment tests. teach in English. However. the state and national governments have a power-sharing arrangement. while others delegate power to county. Charter schools The charter-school movement was born in 1990. In the current situation. filed a civil rights complaint with the Office for Civil Rights against Princeton University.S. Nonprofit private schools are widespread. Many cities have their own school boards everywhere in the United States. Virgin Islands.S. Some states have a statewide school system. Furthermore. under the Bush administration. Control There is some debate about where control for education actually lies. initiatives such as the No Child Left Behind Act have attempted to assert more central control in a heavily decentralized system. and include secular as well as parochial schools. members. teachers.  SAGE Publications Flat World Knowledge Cheating From 50% to 95% of American students admit to cheating in high school or college at one time or another. Jian Li. Guam. In 2006. With the exception of cities. Education is not mentioned in the constitution of the United States. city or township-level school boards. within each state there are different types of control.and upper-class people of color at the expense of lower class European Americans and Asian Americans. with the states exercising most of the control. and the Northern Mariana Islands. International comparison . it has led to recent black immigrants and their children being greatly overrepresented at elite institutions. while favoring affirmative action.S.

S. The academic curriculum was designed to provide the students with a terminal degree. which emphasizes problem solving. English composition. such that. . test booklets. The students obtained general knowledge (such as mathematics. chemistry.In the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment 2003. The rise of the high school movement in the beginning of the 20th century was unique in the United States. the population of the United States is becoming increasingly more educated. The increase in white collar and skilled blue-collar work in manufacturing was reflected in the demand for high school education. the picture changes when low achievers in the U. and 26th of 38 in problem solving. have very high rates of low achievement. 19th of 38 in science. However.S. black and Hispanic students in the U.S. there are significant discrepancies in terms of race. and were decentralized. high schools were implemented with property-tax funded tuition. openness. In the 2006 assessment. scores were behind those of most other developed nations. ranked 35th out of 57 in mathematics and 29th out of 57 in science.) applicable to the high geographic and social mobility in the United States. In the 21st century. Educational attainment This graph shows the educational attainment since 1947. As with income. the U. Postsecondary education is valued very highly by American society and is one of the main determinants of class and status. Reading scores could not be reported due to printing errors in the instructions of the U. the educational attainment of the US population is similar to that of many other industrialized countries with the vast majority of the population having completed secondary education and a rising number of college graduates that outnumber high school dropouts. The provision of the high schools accelerated with the rise of the second industrial revolution. U. are broken out by race.S. American 15 year olds ranked 24th of 38 in mathematics. As a whole. which emphasizes traditional learning. etc. White and Asian students in the United States are generally among the best-performing pupils in the world. US fourth and eighth graders tested above average on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study tests. however. non-exclusivity.S. 12th of 38 in reading.

the country stands tenth. In 2007.S." According to a 2003 study by the US government. the most comprehensive study of literacy ever commissioned by the U. and was designed to represent the U. was released in September 1993. and were unable to "integrate easily identifiable pieces of information. $14 million study of U. Overall the households and demographics featuring the highest educational attainment in the United States are also among those with the highest household income and wealth. The nation stands 15 out of 29 rated nations for college completion rates.700 adults statistically balanced for age. A five-year. a police officer. education level. adults. household configuration and geography. For some high school grades and many elementary schools as well. could not "make low-level inferences using printed materials".             Academic grading in the United States ACT and SAT US education and the welfare state College Board examinations Education in Colonial America Higher education in the United States Lists of school districts in the United States Notable dropouts in the United States Outcome-based education Roots of Empathy Two Million Minutes (documentary film) Race to Nowhere (documentary film) . This government study showed that 21% to 23% of adult Americans were not "able to locate information in text". around 23% of Americans in California lack basic prose literacy skills. ethnicity. population as a whole. suburban. or rural) in 12 states across the U. a direct link between income and educational attainment remains. or SRO (Security Resource Officer). Health and safety Many schools have nurses either full-time or part time to administer to students and to ensure that medication is taken as directed by their physician. Thus.S. while the population of the US is becoming increasingly educated on all levels.age. Department of Education’s 2003 statistics suggest that 14% of the population – or 32 million adults – have very low literacy skills.S.S. It involved lengthy interviews of over 26. Among 25 to 34 year olds. is on site to screen students for firearms and to help avoid disruptions. and location (urban. government. adult literacy involving lengthy interviews of U. slightly above Mexico and Turkey. gender. titled a "resource officer". The U.S. Americans stood second only to Canada in the percentage of 35 to 64 year olds holding at least two-year degrees.S.

http://www. http://www.en.internationalstudentguidetotheusa. college drop-out rate sparks concern) 22.org/International/ICE47/English/Natreps/reports/usa.pdf 10.wikipedia.ed.org 3.pdf (Trends in College Spending 1999-2009) 18. http://www.org/c/home-schooling/schools-education/public-schools/schoolinghomeschooling/charter-school/ 20.com/study-abroad/countries/usa/usa-education-system.unesco.lifeintheusa.htm (Geographic Education and Public Policy) 21.cnn.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-6866663.study_1_dropouts-enrollmentgraduations?_s=PM:US 15.globaled.com/id/10053859/ns/us_news-education/t/us-college-drop-out-rate-sparksconcern/ (U.com/articles/american_education_system.com/overview.html (Sexuality Education in Fifth and Sixth Grades in U. http://geography.com/articles/school-60341-parsons-rise.com/education/index.html 13. http://www. http://www. http://studyadvisor.com/graph/edu_edu_spe-education-spending-of-gdp (Education Spending Statistics) 19.S.html 14.gastongazette.msnbc.com/2009-05-05/us/dropout. http://www.nationmaster.References 1.: Policy and Politics) .ed.htm 6.indobase. http://www.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-institutions-us.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.rate. http://www. http://nces.home-schooling-programs.com/system/education-system-united-states-of-america 9.americanprogress. http://www. http://www.kff.deltacostproject.guttmacher.asp?pubid=2006470 ( National center for Education Statistics) 4.usastudyguide.org/wiki/Education_in_the_United_States 12.msn.html (Home school numbers on the rise) 16.S.html 2.info/tag/private-schools 17. http://articles. Public Schools) 23. http://companydatabase.ph p 8. http://www.htm 7. http://www. www.com/library/misc/bldeblij1.org/resources/pdf/deltanewsreleasesept10.cfm (Sex Education in the U. http://www.org/youthhivstds/3224-02-index.html 5.ibe. http://www.about.usnews. http://www.us/wwcu/background/United-States. http://www.com/education/blogs/high-school-notes/2011/05/25/us-can-learn-from-othercountries-education-systems 11.S.org/pubs/journals/3221200. http://www2.

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