Education in the United States | Wikipedia audio article

Education in the United States is provided
by public, private and home schools. State governments set overall educational
standards, often mandate standardized tests for K–12 public school systems and supervise,
usually through a board of regents, state colleges, and universities. Funding comes
from the state, local, and federal government. Private schools are generally free to determine
their own curriculum and staffing policies, with voluntary accreditation available through
independent regional accreditation authorities, although some state regulation can apply.
In 2013, about 87% of school-age children (those below higher education) attended state
funded public schools, about 10% attended tuition- and foundation-funded private schools
and roughly 3% were home-schooled.By state law, education is compulsory over an age range
starting between five and eight and ending somewhere between ages sixteen and eighteen,
depending on the state. This requirement can be satisfied in public schools, state-certified
private schools, or an approved home school program. In most schools, compulsory education
is divided into three levels: elementary school, middle or junior high school, and high school.
Children are usually divided by age groups into grades, ranging from kindergarten (5–6
year olds) and first grade for the youngest children, up to twelfth grade (17–18 years
old) as the final year of high school. There are also a large number and wide variety
of publicly and privately administered institutions of higher education throughout the country.
Post-secondary education, divided into college, as the first tertiary degree, and graduate
school, is described in a separate section below.
The United States spends more per student on education than any other country. In 2014,
the Pearson/Economist Intelligence Unit rated US education as 14th best in the world. In
2015, the Programme for International Student Assessment rated U.S. high school students
No. 40 globally in Math and No. 24 in Science and Reading. The President of the National
Center on Education and the Economy said of the results “the United States cannot long
operate a world-class economy if our workers are, as the OECD statistics show, among the
worst-educated in the world”. Former U.S. Education Secretary John B. King, Jr. acknowledged
the results in conceding U.S. students were well behind their peers. According to a report
published by the U.S. News & World Report, of the top ten colleges and universities in
the world, eight are American (the other two are Oxford and Cambridge, in the United Kingdom).==History=====19th century===
Colonial New England encouraged its towns to support free public schools funded by taxation.
In the early 19th century Massachusetts took the lead in school reform, with programs designed
by Horace Mann that were widely emulated across the North. Teachers were especially trained
in normal schools and taught the three Rs (of reading, writing, and arithmetic) and
also history and geography. Public education was at the elementary level in most places.
After the Civil War, the cities began building high schools. The South was far behind northern
standards on every educational measure, and gave weak support to its segregated all-black
schools. However northern philanthropy and northern churches provided assistance to private
black colleges across the South. Religious denominations across the country set up their
private colleges. States also opened state universities, but they were quite small well
into the 20th century. In 1823, the Reverend Samuel Read Hall founded
the first normal school, the Columbian School in Concord, Vermont, aimed at improving the
quality of the burgeoning common school system by producing more qualified teachers.
In the mid-20th century, the rapidly increasing Catholic population led to the formation of
parochial schools in the largest cities. Theologically oriented Episcopalian, Lutheran and Jewish
bodies on a smaller scale set up their own parochial schools. There were debates over
whether tax money could be used to support them, with the answer typically being no.
From about 1876, thirty-nine states passed a constitutional amendment to their state
constitutions, called Blaine Amendments after James G. Blaine, one of their chief promoters,
forbidding the use of public tax money to fund local parochial schools.
States passed laws to make schooling compulsory between 1852 (Massachusetts) and 1917 (Mississippi).
They also used federal funding designated by the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Acts of
1862 and 1890 to set up land grant colleges specializing in agriculture and engineering.
By 1870, every state had free elementary schools, albeit only in urban centers. According to
a 2018 study in the Economic Journal, states were more likely to adopt compulsory education
laws during the Age of Mass Migration (1850-1914) if they hosted more European immigrants with
lower exposure to civic values.Following Reconstruction the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute
was founded in 1881 as a state college, in Tuskegee, Alabama, to train “Colored Teachers,”
led by Booker T. Washington, (1856–1915), who was himself a freed slave. His movement
spread, leading many other Southern states to establish small colleges for “Colored or
Negro” students entitled “A. & M.,” (“Agricultural and Mechanical”) or “A. & T.,” (“Agricultural
and Technical”), some of which later developed into state universities. Before the 1940s,
there were very few black students at private or state colleges in the North, and almost
none in the South.Responding to the many competing academic philosophies being promoted at the
time, an influential working group of educators, known as the Committee of Ten and established
in 1892 by the National Education Association, recommended that children should receive twelve
years of instruction, consisting of eight years of elementary education (in what were
also known as “grammar schools”) followed by four years in high school (“freshmen,”
“sophomores,” “juniors,” and “seniors”). Gradually by the late 1890s, regional associations
of high schools, colleges and universities were being organized to coordinate proper
accrediting standards, examinations, and regular surveys of various institutions in order to
assure equal treatment in graduation and admissions requirements, as well as course completion
and transfer procedures.===20th century===
By 1910, 72 percent of children were attending school. Private schools spread during this
time, as well as colleges and – in the rural centers – land grant colleges also. Between
1910 and 1940 the high school movement resulted in rapidly increasing public high school enrollment
and graduations. By 1930, 100 percent of children were attending school (excluding children
with significant disabilities or medical concerns).During World War II, enrollment in high schools and
colleges plummeted as many high school and college students—and teachers—dropped
out to enlist or take war jobs.The 1946 National School Lunch Act, which is still in operation,
provided low-cost or free school lunch meals to qualified low-income students through subsidies
to schools, based on the idea that a “full stomach” during the day supported class attention
and studying. The 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board
of Education of Topeka, Kansas made racial desegregation of public elementary and high
schools mandatory, although white families often attempted to avoid desegregation by
sending their children to private secular or religious schools. In the years following
this decision, the number of Black teachers rose in the North but dropped in the South.In
1965, the far-reaching Elementary and Secondary Education Act (‘ESEA’), passed as a part of
President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, provided funds for primary and secondary education
(‘Title I funding’). Title VI explicitly forbade the establishment of a national curriculum.
Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 created the Pell Grant program which provides
financial support to students from low-income families to access higher education.
In 1975, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act established funding for special
education in schools. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act
of 1965 made standardized testing a requirement. The Higher Education Amendments of 1972 made
changes to the Pell Grants. The 1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EHA) required
all public schools accepting federal funds to provide equal access to education and one
free meal a day for children with physical and mental disabilities. The 1983 National
Commission on Excellence in Education report, famously titled A Nation at Risk, touched
off a wave of local, state, and federal reform efforts, but by 1990 the country still spent
only 2 per cent of its budget on education, compared with 30 per cent on support for the
elderly. In 1990, the EHA was replaced with the Individuals with Disabilities Education
Act (IDEA), which placed more focus on students as individuals, and also provided for more
post-high school transition services.===21st century===
The 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, passed by a bipartisan coalition in Congress provided
federal aid to the states in exchange for measures to penalize schools that were not
meeting the goals as measured by standardized state exams in mathematics and language skills.
In the same year, the U.S. Supreme Court diluted some of the century-old “Blaine” laws upheld
an Ohio law allowing aid to parochial schools under specific circumstances. The 2006 Commission
on the Future of Higher Education evaluated higher education. In December 2015, President
Barack Obama signed legislation replacing No Child Left Behind with the Every Student
Succeeds Act.The Great Recession of 2008-09 caused a sharp decline in tax revenues in
all cities and states. The response was to cut education budgets. Obama’s $800 billion
stimulus package included $100 billion for public schools, which every state used to
protect its educational budget. In terms of sponsoring innovation, however, Obama and
his Education Secretary Arne Duncan pursued K-12 education reform through the Race to
the Top grant program. With over $15 billion of grants at stake, 34 states quickly revised
their education laws according to the proposals of advanced educational reformers. In the
competition points were awarded for allowing charter schools to multiply, for compensating
teachers on a merit basis including student test scores, and for adopting higher educational
standards. There were incentives for states to establish college and career-ready standards,
which in practice meant adopting the Common Core State Standards Initiative that had been
developed on a bipartisan basis by the National Governors Association, and the Council of
Chief State School Officers. The criteria were not mandatory, they were incentives to
improve opportunities to get a grant. Most states revised their laws accordingly, even
though they realized it was unlikely they would when a highly competitive new grant.
Race to the Top had strong bipartisan support, with centrist elements from both parties.
It was opposed by the left wing of the Democratic Party, and by the right wing of the Republican
Party, and criticized for centralizing too much power in Washington. Complaints also
came from middle-class families, who were annoyed at the increasing emphasis on teaching
to the test, rather than encouraging teachers to show creativity and stimulating students’
In 2000, 76.6 million students had enrolled in schools from kindergarten through graduate
schools. Of these, 72 percent aged 12 to 17 were considered academically “on track” for
their age, i.e. enrolled in at or above grade level. Of those enrolled elementary and secondary
schools, 5.2 million (10.4 percent) were attending private schools.Over 85 percent of the adult
population have completed high school and 27 percent have received a bachelor’s degree
or higher. The average salary for college or university graduates is greater than $51,000,
exceeding the national average of those without a high school diploma by more than $23,000,
according to a 2005 study by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The 2010 unemployment rate for high school graduates was 10.8%; the rate for college
graduates was 4.9%. The country has a reading literacy rate of
99% of the population over age 15, while ranking below average in science and mathematics understanding
compared to other developed countries. In 2014, a record high of 82% of high school
seniors graduated, although one of the reasons for that success might be a decline in academic
standards.The poor performance has pushed public and private efforts such as the No
Child Left Behind Act. In addition, 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. A 2000s (decade)
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”.In
2006, there were roughly 600,000 homeless students in the United States, but after the
Great Recession this number more than doubled to approximately 1.36 million.===Test performance for primary and secondary
schools===The test scores of students attending U.S.
public schools are lower than student scores in schools of other developed countries, in
the areas of reading, math, and science.Out of 21 industrialized countries, U.S. 12th
graders ranked 19th in math, 16th in science, and last in advanced physics.==Educational stages==
Formal education in the U.S. is divided into a number of distinct educational stages. Most
children enter the public education system around ages five or six. Children are assigned
into year groups known as grades. The American school year traditionally begins
at the end of August or early in September, after a traditional summer recess. 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.
Depending upon their circumstances, they may begin school in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten
or first grade. They normally attend 12 grades of study over 12 calendar years of primary/elementary
and secondary education before graduating and earning a diploma that makes them eligible
for admission to higher education. Education is mandatory until age 16 (18 in some states). In the U.S., ordinal numbers (e.g., first
grade) are used for identifying grades. Typical ages and grade groupings in contemporary,
public and private schools may be found through the U.S. Department of Education. Generally
there are three stages: elementary school (K–5th/6th grade), middle school (6th/7th–8th
grades) and high school (9th–12th grades). There is considerable variability in the exact
arrangement of grades, as the following table indicates.
Students completing high school may choose to attend a college or university, which offer
undergraduate degrees such as Associate’s degrees or Bachelor’s degrees (baccalaureate).
Community college or junior college typically offer two-year associate degrees, although
some community colleges offer a limited number of bachelor’s degrees. Some community college
students choose to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree.
Community colleges are generally publicly funded (usually by local cities or counties)
and offer career certifications and part-time programs.
Four-year institutions may be public or private colleges or universities.
Some counties and cities have established and funded four-year institutions. Some of
these institutions, such as the City University of New York, are still operated by local governments.
Others such as the University of Louisville and Wichita State University are now operated
as state universities. Private institutions are privately funded
and there is a wide variety in size, focus, and operation. Some private institutions are
large research universities, while others are small liberal arts colleges that concentrate
on undergraduate education. Some private universities are nonsectarian and secular, while others
are religiously-affiliated. While most private institutions are non-profit, a growing number
in the past decade have been established as for-profit.
Curriculum varies widely depending on the institution. Typically, an undergraduate student
will be able to select an academic “major” or concentration, which comprises the main
or special subjects, and students may change their major one or more times.
Some students, typically those with a bachelor’s degree, may choose to continue on to graduate
or professional school, sometimes attached to a university. Graduate degrees may be either
master’s degrees (e.g., M.A., M.S., M.B.A., M.S.W.) or doctorate degrees (e.g., Ph.D.,
J.D., M.D., D.O.). Programs range from full-time, evening and executive which allows for flexibility
with students’ schedules. Academia-focused graduate school typically includes some combination
of coursework and research (often requiring a thesis or dissertation to be written), while
professional graduate-level schools grants a first professional degree. These include
medical, law, business, education, divinity, art, journalism, social work, architecture,
and engineering schools.===Variations===
In K–12 education, sometimes students who receive failing grades are held back a year
and repeat coursework in the hope of earning satisfactory scores on the second try.
High school graduates sometimes take a gap year before the first year of college, for
travel, work, public service, or independent learning.
Many undergraduate college programs now commonly are five year programs. This is especially
common in technical fields, such as engineering. The five-year period often includes one or
more periods of internship with an employer in the chosen field.
Of students who were freshmen in 2005 seeking bachelor’s degrees at public institutions,
32% took four years, 12% took five years, 6% took six years, and 43% did not graduate
within six years. The numbers for private non-profit institutions were 52% in four,
10% in five, 4% in six, and 35% failing to graduate.Some undergraduate institutions offer
an accelerated three-year bachelor’s degree, or a combined five-year bachelor’s and master’s
degrees. Many graduate students do not start professional
schools immediately after finishing undergraduate studies, but work for a time while saving
up money or deciding on a career direction. The National Center for Education Statistics
found that in 1999–2000, 73% of people attending institutions of higher education were non-traditional
students.==K–12 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. Some states allow students
to leave school between 14–17 with parental permission, before finishing high school;
other states require students to stay in school until age 18. Public (free) education is typically
from kindergarten to grade 12 (frequently abbreviated K–12).
Most parents send their children to either a public or private institution. According
to government data, one-tenth of students are enrolled in private schools. Approximately
85% of students enter the public schools, largely because they are tax-subsidized (tax
burdens by school districts vary from area to area). School districts are usually separate
from other local jurisdictions, with independent officials and budgets.
There are more than 14,000 school districts in the country, and more than $500 billion
is spent each year on public primary and secondary education. Most states require that their
school districts within the state teach for 180 days a year. In 2010, there were 3,823,142
teachers in public, charter, private, and Catholic elementary and secondary schools.
They taught a total of 55,203,000 students, who attended one of 132,656 schools.Most children
begin elementary education with kindergarten (usually five to six years old) and finish
secondary education with twelfth grade (usually 17–18 years old). In some cases, pupils
may be promoted beyond the next regular grade. Parents may also choose to educate their own
children at home; 1.7% of children are educated in this manner.Around 3 million students between
the ages of 16 and 24 drop out of high school each year, a rate of 6.6 percent as of 2012.
In the United States, 75 percent of crimes are committed by high school dropouts. Around
60 percent of black dropouts end up spending time incarcerated. The incarceration rate
for African-American male high school dropouts was about 50 times the national average as
of 2010.States do not require reporting from their school districts to allow analysis of
efficiency of return on investment. The Center for American Progress commends Florida and
Texas as the only two states that provide annual school-level productivity evaluations
which report to the public how well school funds are being spent at the local level.
This allows for comparison of school districts within a state. In 2010, American students
rank 17th in the world. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says
that this is due to focusing on the low end of performers. All of the recent gains have
been made, deliberately, at the low end of the socioeconomic scale and among the lowest
achievers. The country has been outrun, the study says, by other nations because the US
has not done enough to encourage the highest achievers.About half of the states encourage
schools to make their students recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag daily.Teachers
worked from about 35 to 46 hours a week, in a survey taken in 1993. In 2011, American
teachers worked 1,097 hours in the classroom, the most for any industrialized nation measured
by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. They spend 1,913 hours a
year on their work, just below the national average of 1,932 hours for all workers. In
2011, the average annual salary of a preK–12 teacher was $55,040.Transporting students
to and from school is a major concern for most school districts. School buses provide
the largest mass transit program in the country, 8.8 billion trips per year. Non-school transit
buses give 5.2 billion trips annually. 440,000 yellow school buses carry over 24 million
students to and from schools. In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that forced
busing of students may be ordered to achieve racial desegregation. This ruling resulted
in a white flight from the inner cities which largely diluted the intent of the order. This
flight had other, non-educational ramifications as well. Integration took place in most schools
though de facto segregation often determined the composition of the student body. By the
1990s, most areas of the country had been released from mandatory busing.
School start times are computed with busing in mind. There are often three start times:
for elementary, for middle/junior high school, and for high school. One school district computed
its cost per bus (without the driver) at $20,575 annually. It assumed a model where the average
driver drove 80 miles per day. A driver was presumed to cost $.62 per mile (1.6 km). Elementary
schools started at 7:30, middle schools/junior high school started at 8:30, and high schools
at 8:15. While elementary school started earlier, they also finish earlier, at 2:30, middle
schools at 3:30 and high schools at 3:20. All school districts establish their own times
and means of transportation within guidelines set by their own state.===Grade placement===
Schools use several methods to determine grade placement. One method involves placing students
in a grade based on a child’s birthday. Cut off dates based on the child’s birthday determine
placement in either a higher or lower grade level. For example, if the school’s cut off
date is September 1, and an incoming student’s birthday is August 2, then this student would
be placed in a higher grade level. If the student is in high school, this could mean
that the student gets placed as a junior instead of a sophomore because of their birthday.
If the student’s birthday falls after the cut off date, such as November 1, then s/he
would be placed in the lower grade, which in this example, would be a sophomore.===Preschool and pre-kindergarten===Preschool refers to non-compulsory classroom-based
early-childhood education. Pre-kindergarten (also called Pre-K or PK) is the preschool
year immediately before Kindergarten. Preschool education may be delivered through a preschool
or as a reception year in elementary school. Head Start program, the federally funded pre-kindergarten
program founded in 1965 prepares children, especially those of a disadvantaged population,
to better succeed in school. However, limited seats are available to students aspiring to
take part in the Head Start program. Many community-based programs, commercial enterprises,
non-profit organizations, faith communities, and independent childcare providers offer
preschool education. Preschool may be general or may have a particular focus, such as arts
education, religious education, sports training, or foreign language learning, along with providing
general education. In the United States, Preschool and Pre-K programs are not required, however
they are encouraged by educators. Only 69 percent of 4 year old American children are
enrolled in early childhood development programs. Preschool age ranges anywhere from 2 1/2 to
4 1/2 years old. Pre-Kindergarten age ranges from 4 to 5 years old. Pre-kindergarten is
focused on preparing kindergarten readiness, which includes activities of deeper learning
and more structured skill building. The curriculum for the day will consist of music, art, pretend
play, science, reading, math, and other social activities. Both preschool as well as pre-k
programs emphasize on inquiry base learning, however pre-k dives deeper into preparing
kindergarten readiness.===Primary education===Historically, in the United States, local
public control (and private alternatives) have allowed for some variation in the organization
of schools. Elementary school includes kindergarten through sixth grade (or sometimes, to fourth
grade, fifth grade or eighth grade). Basic subjects are taught in elementary school,
and students often remain in one classroom throughout the school day, except for specialized
programs, such as physical education, library, music, and art classes. There are (as of 2001)
about 3.6 million children in each grade in the United States.Typically, the curriculum
in public elementary education is determined by individual school districts or county school
system. The school district selects curriculum guides and textbooks that reflect a state’s
learning standards and benchmarks for a given grade level. The most recent curriculum that
has been adopted by most states is Common Core. 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). This description of school governance is simplistic at best,
however, and school systems vary widely not only in the way curricular decisions are made
but also in how teaching and learning take place. Some states or school districts impose
more top-down mandates than others. In others, teachers play a significant role in curriculum
design and there are few top-down mandates. Curricular decisions within private schools
are often made differently from in public schools, and in most cases without consideration
of NCLB. Public elementary school teachers typically
instruct between twenty and thirty students of diverse learning needs. A typical classroom
will include children with a range of learning needs or abilities, from those identified
as having special needs of the kinds listed in the Individuals with Disabilities Act IDEA
to those that are cognitively, athletically or artistically gifted. At times, an individual
school district identifies areas of need within the curriculum. Teachers and advisory administrators
form committees to develop supplemental materials to support learning for diverse learners and
to identify enrichment for textbooks. There are special education teachers working with
the identified students. Many school districts post information about the curriculum and
supplemental materials on websites for public access.In general, a student learns basic
arithmetic and sometimes rudimentary algebra in mathematics, English proficiency (such
as basic grammar, spelling, and vocabulary), and fundamentals of other subjects. Learning
standards are identified for all areas of a curriculum by individual States, including
those for mathematics, social studies, science, physical development, the fine arts, and reading.
While the concept of State Learning standards has been around for some time, No Child Left
Behind has mandated that standards exist at the State level.===Secondary education===Secondary education is often divided into
two phases, middle/junior high school and high school. Students are usually given more
independence, moving to different classrooms for different subjects, and being allowed
to choose some of their class subjects (electives).”Middle school” (or “junior high school”) has a variable
range between districts. It usually includes seventh and eighth grades and occasionally
also includes one or more of the sixth, ninth, and very occasionally fifth grades as well.
High school (occasionally senior high school) includes grades 9 through 12. Students in
these grades are commonly referred to as freshmen (grade 9), sophomores (grade 10), juniors
(grade 11) and seniors (grade 12). At the high school level, students generally take
a broad variety of classes without specializing in any particular subject, with the exception
of vocational schools. Students are generally required to take a broad range of mandatory
subjects, but may choose additional subjects (“electives”) to fill out their required hours
of learning. High school grades normally are included in a student’s official transcript,
e.g. for college admission.Each state sets minimum requirements for how many years of
various mandatory subjects are required; these requirements vary widely, but generally include
2–4 years of each of: Science, Mathematics, English, Social sciences, Physical education;
some years of a foreign language and some form of art education are often also required,
as is a health curriculum in which students learn about anatomy, nutrition, first aid,
sexuality, drug awareness, and birth control. In many cases, however, options are provided
for students to “test out” of this requirement or complete independent study to meet it.Many
high schools provide Honors, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.
These are special forms of honors classes where the curriculum is more challenging and
lessons more aggressively paced than standard courses. Honors, AP or IB courses are usually
taken during the 11th or 12th grade of high school, but may be taken as early as 9th grade.
Some international schools offer international school leaving qualifications, to be studied
for and awarded instead of or alongside of the high school diploma, Honors, Advanced
Placement, or International Baccalaureate. Regular honors courses are more intense and
faster paced than typical college preparatory courses. AP and IB on the other hand, are
college-level classes.====Tracking (streaming)====Tracking is the practice of dividing students
at the primary or secondary school level into classes on the basis of ability or achievement.
One common use is to offer different curricula for students preparing for college and for
those preparing for direct entry into technical schools or the workplace.===Grading scale===
In schools in the United States children are assessed throughout the school year by their
teachers, and report cards are issued to parents at varying intervals. Generally the scores
for individual assignments and tests are recorded for each student in a grade book, along with
the maximum number of points for each assignment. End-of-term or -year evaluations are most
frequently given in the form of a letter grade on an A-F scale, whereby A is the best possible
grade and F is a failing grade (most schools do not include the letter E in the assessment
scale), or a numeric percentage. The Waldorf schools, most democratic schools, and some
other private schools, give (often extensive) verbal characterizations of student progress
rather than letter or number grades. Some school districts allow flexibility in grading
scales at the Student information system level, allowing custom letters or symbols to be used
(though transcripts must use traditional A-F letters)===Standardized testing===Under the No Child Left Behind Act and Every
Student Succeeds Acts, all American states must test students in public schools statewide
to ensure that they are achieving the desired level of minimum education, such as on the
New York Regents Examinations, the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) or the
Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS); students being educated at home or
in private schools are not included. The act also required that students and schools show
adequate yearly progress. This means they must show some improvement each year. When
a student fails to make adequate yearly progress, NCLB mandated that remediation through summer
school or tutoring be made available to a student in need of extra help. On December
10, 2015 President Barack Obama signed legislation replacing NCLB with the Every Student Succeeds
Act (ESSA). However, the enactment of ESSA did not eliminate provisions relating to the
periodic standardized tests given to students.Academic performance impacts the perception of a school’s
educational program. Rural schools fare better than their urban counterparts in two key areas:
test scores and drop-out rate. First, students in small schools performed equal to or better
than their larger school counterparts. In addition, on the 2005 National Assessment
of Education Progress, 4th and 8th grade students scored as well or better in reading, science,
and mathematics.During high school, students (usually in 11th grade) may take one or more
standardized tests depending on their post-secondary education preferences and their local graduation
requirements. In theory, these tests evaluate the overall level of knowledge and learning
aptitude of the students. The SAT and ACT are the most common standardized tests that
students take when applying to college. A student may take the SAT, ACT, both, or neither
depending upon the post-secondary institutions the student plans to apply to for admission.
Most competitive post-secondary institutions also require two or three SAT Subject Tests
(formerly known as SAT IIs), which are shorter exams that focus strictly on a particular
subject matter. However, 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. Standardized testing has become increasingly
controversial in recent years. Creativity and the need for applicable knowledge are
becoming rapidly more valuable than simple memorization. Opponents of standardized education
have stated that it is the system of standardized education itself that is to blame for employment
issues and concerns over the questionable abilities of recent graduates. Others consider
standardized tests to be a valuable objective check on grade inflation. In recent years,
grade point averages (particularly in suburban schools) have been rising while SAT scores
have been falling.Suggestions for improving standardized testing include evaluating a
student’s overall growth, possibly including non-cognitive qualities such as social and
emotional behaviors, not just achievement; introducing 21st century skills and values;
and making the tests open-ended, authentic, and engaging.===Extracurricular activities===
A major characteristic of American schools is the high priority given to sports, clubs
and activities by the community, the parents, the schools and the students themselves. Extracurricular
activities are educational activities not falling within the scope of the regular curriculum
but under the supervision of the school. Extracurriculars at the high school age (15-18), this can be
anything that doesn’t require a high school credit or paid employment, but simply done
out of pleasure or to also look good on a college transcript. Extracurricular activates
for all ages can be categorized under clubs, art, culture and language, community, leadership,
government, media, military, music, performing arts, religion, role play/fantasy, speech,
sports, technology, and volunteer, all of which take place outside of school hours.
These sorts of activities are put in place as other forms of teamwork, time management,
goal setting, self-discovery, building self-esteem, relationship building, finding interests,
and academics. These extracurricular activities and clubs can be sponsored by fund raising,
or by the donation of parents who give towards the program in order for it to keep running.
Students and Parents are also obligated to spend money on whatever supplies are necessary
for this activity that are not provided for the school (sporting equipment, sporting attire,
costumes, food, instruments) These activities can extend to large amounts of time outside
the normal school day; home-schooled students, however, are not normally allowed to participate.
Student participation in sports programs, drill teams, bands, and spirit groups can
amount to hours of practices and performances. Most states have organizations that develop
rules for competition between groups. These organizations are usually forced to implement
time limits on hours practiced as a prerequisite for participation. Many schools also have
non-varsity sports teams; however, these are usually afforded fewer resources and less
attention. Sports programs and their related games, especially
football and basketball, are major events for American students and for larger schools
can be a major source of funds for school districts.
High school athletic competitions often generate intense interest in the community.
In addition to sports, numerous non-athletic extracurricular activities are available in
American schools, both public and private. Activities include Quizbowl, musical groups,
marching bands, student government, school newspapers, science fairs, debate teams, and
clubs focused on an academic area (such as the Spanish Club) or community service interests
(such as Key Club).===Education of students with special needs
===Commonly known as special classes, are taught
by teachers with training in adapting curricula to meet the needs of students with special
needs. According to the National Association of School
Nurses, 5% of students in 2009 have a seizure disorder, another 5% have ADHD and 10% have
mental or emotional disorders.On January 25, 2013, the Office for Civil Rights of the US
Department of Education issued guidance, clarifying school districts’ existing legal obligations
to give disabled students an equal chance to compete in extracurricular sports alongside
their able-bodied classmates. Educating children with disabilitiesThe federal
law, 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, as defined by the law. All students with special needs are entitled to
a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Schools meet with the parents or guardians
to develop an Individualized Education Program that determines best placement for the child.
Students must be placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE) that is appropriate for
the student’s needs. 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.Nationwide, 62% of students
with disabilities attending public schools graduate high school.
CriticismAt-risk students (those with educational needs that are not associated with a disability)
are often placed in classes with students with minor emotional and social disabilities.
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. Some
research has refuted this assertion, and has suggested this approach increases the academic
and behavioral skills of the entire student population.===Public and private schools===
In the United States, state and local government have primary responsibility for education.
The Federal Department of Education plays a role in standards setting and education
finance, and some primary and secondary schools, for the children of military employees, are
run by the Department of Defense.K–12 students in most areas have a choice between free tax-funded
public schools, or privately funded private schools.
Public school systems are supported by a combination of local, state, and federal government funding.
Because a large portion of school revenues come from local property taxes, public schools
vary widely in the resources they have available per student. Class size also varies from one
district to another. Curriculum decisions in public schools are made largely at the
local and state levels; the federal government has limited influence. In most districts,
a locally elected school board runs schools. The school board appoints an official called
the superintendent of schools to manage the schools in the district.
Local property taxes for public school funding may have disadvantages depending on how wealthy
or poor these cities may be. Some of the disadvantages may be not having the proper electives of
students interest or advanced placement courses to further the knowledge and education of
these students. Cases such as these limit students and causes inequality in education
because there is no easy way to gain access to those courses since the education system
might not view them as necessary. The public education system does provide the classes
needed to obtain a GED (General Education Development) and obtain a job or pursue higher
education.The largest public school system in the United States is in New York City,
where more than one million students are taught in 1,200 separate public schools. Because
of its immense size – there are more students in the system than residents in the eight
smallest US states – the New York City public school system is nationally influential in
determining standards and materials, such as textbooks.Admission to individual public
schools is usually based on residency. To compensate for differences in school quality
based on geography, school systems serving large cities and portions of large cities
often have magnet schools that provide enrollment to a specified number of non-resident students
in addition to serving all resident students. This special enrollment is usually decided
by lottery with equal numbers of males and females chosen. Some magnet schools
cater to gifted students or to students with special interests, such as the sciences or
performing arts.Private schools in the United States include parochial schools (affiliated
with religious denominations), non-profit independent schools, and for-profit private
schools. Private schools charge varying rates depending on geographic location, the school’s
expenses, and the availability of funding from sources, other than tuition. For example,
some churches partially subsidize private schools for their members. Some people have
argued that when their child attends a private school, 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. This is the basis of the school choice movement.5,072,451 students
attended 33,740 private elementary and secondary schools in 2007. 74.5% of these were Caucasian,
non-Hispanic, 9.8% were African American, 9.6% were Hispanic. 5.4% were Asian or Pacific
Islander, and .6% were American Indian. Average school size was 150.3 students. There were
456,266 teachers. The number of students per teacher was about 11. 65% of seniors in private
schools in 2006–07 went on to attend a four-year college.Private schools have various missions:
some cater to college-bound students seeking a competitive edge in the college admissions
process; others are for gifted students, students with learning disabilities or other special
needs, or students with specific religious affiliations. Some cater to families seeking
a small school, with a nurturing, supportive environment. Unlike public school systems,
private schools have no legal obligation to accept any interested student. Admission to
some private schools is often highly selective. Private schools also have the ability to permanently
expel persistently unruly students, a disciplinary option not legally available to public school
systems. Private schools offer the advantages of smaller
classes, under twenty students in a typical elementary classroom, for example; a higher
teacher/student ratio across the school day, greater individualized attention and in the
more competitive schools, expert college placement services. Unless specifically designed to
do so, private schools usually cannot offer the services required by students with serious
or multiple learning, emotional, or behavioral issues. Although reputed to pay lower salaries
than public school systems, private schools often attract teachers by offering high-quality
professional development opportunities, including tuition grants for advanced degrees. According
to elite private schools themselves, this investment in faculty development helps maintain
the high quality program that they offer.An August 17, 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.====Charter schools====The charter school movement began in 1990
and have spread rapidly in the United States, members, parents, teachers, and students to
allow for the “expression of diverse teaching philosophies and cultural and social life
styles.”====Home schooling====In 2014, approximately 1.5 million children
were homeschooled, up 84% from 1999 when the U.S. Department of Education first started
keeping statistics. This was 2.9% of all children.As of spring 2016, there are 2.3 million homeschooled
students in the United States. It is appearing that homeschooling is a continuing trend in
the US with an 2 percent to 8 percent per annum over the past few years Many select
moral or religious reasons for homeschooling their children. The second main category is
unschooling, those who prefer a non-standard approach to education. This is a parent-led
type of schooling that takes place at home and is now boarding a mainstream form of education
in the United States. The Demography for homeschoolers has a variety of people; these are atheists,
Christians, and Mormons; conservatives, libertarians, and liberals; low-, middle-, and high-income
families; black, Hispanic, and white; parents with Ph.D.s, GEDs, and no high-school diplomas.
One study shows that 32 percent of homeschool students are Black, Asian, Hispanic, and others
(i.e., not White/non-Hispanic). There is no required taxes on this form of education and
most homeschooled families spend an average of $600 per student for their educationOpposition
to homeschooling comes from varied sources, including teachers’ organizations and school
districts. The National Education Association, the largest labor union in the United States,
has been particularly vocal in the past. Opponents’ stated concerns fall into several broad categories,
including fears of poor academic quality, and lack of socialization with others. At
this time, over half of states have oversight into monitoring or measuring the academic
progress of home schooled students, with all but ten requiring some form of notification
to the state.==Higher education==Higher education in the United States is an
optional final stage of formal learning following secondary education, often at one of the 4,495
colleges or universities and junior colleges in the country. In 2008, 36% of enrolled students
graduated from college in four years. 57% completed their undergraduate requirements
in six years, at the same college they first enrolled in. The U.S. ranks 10th among industrial
countries for percentage of adults with college degrees. Over the past 40 years the gap in
graduation rates for wealthy students and low income students has widened significantly.
77% of the wealthiest quartile of students obtained undergraduate degrees by age 24 in
2013, up from 40% in 1970. 9% of the least affluent quartile obtained degrees by the
same age in 2013, up from 6% in 1970.Like high school, the four undergraduate grades
are commonly called freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years (alternatively called first
year, second year, etc.). Students traditionally apply for admission into colleges. Schools
differ in their competitiveness and reputation. Admissions criteria involve the rigor and
grades earned in high school courses taken, the students’ GPA, class ranking, and standardized
test scores (Such as the SAT or the ACT tests). Most colleges also consider more subjective
factors such as a commitment to extracurricular activities, a personal essay, and an interview.
While colleges will rarely list that they require a certain standardized test score,
class ranking, or GPA for admission, each college usually has a rough threshold below
which admission is unlikely.Once admitted, students engage in undergraduate study, which
consists of satisfying university and class requirements to achieve a bachelor’s degree
in a field of concentration known as a major. (Some students enroll in double majors or
“minor” in another field of study.) The most common method consists of four years of study
leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), or sometimes another bachelor’s
degree such as Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), Bachelor of Social Work (B.S.W.), Bachelor
of Engineering (B.Eng.,) or Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.) Five-Year Professional Architecture
programs offer the Bachelor of Architecture Degree (B.Arch.)
Professional degrees such as law, medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry, 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. These professional fields do not require a
specific undergraduate major, though medicine, pharmacy, and dentistry have set prerequisite
courses that must be taken before enrollment.Some students choose to attend a community college
for two years prior to further study at another college or university. In most states, community
colleges are operated either by a division of the state university or by local special
districts subject to guidance from a state agency. Community colleges may award Associate
of Arts (AA) or Associate of Science (AS) degree after two years. 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, see
articulation). Some community colleges have automatic enrollment agreements with a local
four-year college, where the community college provides the first two years of study and
the university provides the remaining years of study, sometimes all on one campus. The
community college awards the associate degree, and the university awards the bachelor’s and
master’s degrees.Graduate study, conducted after obtaining an initial degree and sometimes
after several years of professional work, leads to a more advanced degree such as a
master’s degree, which could be a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master
of Business Administration (MBA), or other less common master’s degrees such as Master
of Education (MEd), and Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Some students pursue a graduate degree
that is in between a master’s degree and a doctoral degree called a Specialist in Education
(Ed.S.). After additional years of study and sometimes
in conjunction with the completion of a master’s degree or Ed.S. degree, students may earn
a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), a first professional degree, or other doctoral degree, such as
Doctor of Arts, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Theology, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of
Pharmacy, Doctor of Physical Therapy, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Doctor of Podiatry
Medicine, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Doctor of Dentistry Doctor of Psychology, or Juris
Doctor. Some programs, such as medicine and psychology, have formal apprenticeship procedures
post-graduation, such as residencies and internships, which must be completed after graduation and
before one is considered fully trained. 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).
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), the Medical College Admission
Test (MCAT), or the Law School Admission Test (LSAT). Many graduate and law schools do not
require experience after earning a bachelor’s degree to enter their programs; however, business
school candidates are usually required to gain a few years of professional work experience
before applying. 8.9 percent of students receive postgraduate degrees. Most, after obtaining
their bachelor’s degree, proceed directly into the workforce.===Cost===A few charity institutions cover all of the
students’ tuition, although scholarships (both merit-based and need-based) are widely available.
Generally, private universities charge much higher tuition than their public counterparts,
which rely on state funds to make up the difference. Because each state supports its own university
system with state taxes, most public universities charge much higher rates for out-of-state
students.Annual undergraduate tuition varies widely from state to state, and many additional
fees apply. In 2009, average annual tuition at a public university (for residents of the
state) was $7,020. Tuition for public school students from outside the state is generally
comparable to private school prices, although students can often qualify for state residency
after their first year. Private schools are typically much higher, although prices vary
widely from “no-frills” private schools to highly specialized technical institutes. Depending
upon the type of school and program, annual graduate program tuition can vary from $15,000
to as high as $50,000. Note that these prices do not include living expenses (rent, room/board,
etc.) or additional fees that schools add on such as “activities fees” or health insurance.
These fees, especially room and board, can range from $6,000 to $12,000 per academic
year (assuming a single student without children).The mean annual total cost (including all costs
associated with a full-time post-secondary schooling, such as tuition and fees, books
and supplies, room and board), as reported by for 2010:
Public university (4 years): $27,967 (per year)
Private university (4 years): $40,476 (per year)Total, four-year schooling: Public university: $111,868
Private university: $161,904College costs are rising at the same time that state appropriations
for aid are shrinking. This has led to debate over funding at both the state and local levels.
From 2002 to 2004 alone, tuition rates at public schools increased over 14 percent,
largely due to dwindling state funding. An increase of 6 percent occurred over the same
period for private schools. Between 1982 and 2007, college tuition and fees rose three
times as fast as median family income, in constant dollars.From the US Census Bureau,
the median salary of an individual who has only a high school diploma is $27,967; The
median salary of an individual who has a bachelor’s degree is $47,345.
Certain degrees, such as in engineering, typically result in salaries far exceeding high school
graduates, whereas degrees in teaching and social work fall below.The debt of the average
college graduate for student loans in 2010 was $23,200.A 2010 study indicates that the
return on investment for graduating from the top 1000 colleges exceeds 4% over a high school
degree.According to Uni in the USA, “One of the reasons American universities have thrived
is due to their remarkable management of financial resources.” To combat costs colleges have
hired adjunct professors to teach. In 2008 these teachers cost about $1,800 per 3-credit
class as opposed to $8,000 per class for a tenured professor. Two-thirds of college instructors
were adjuncts. There are differences of opinion whether these adjuncts teach better or worse
than regular professors. There is a suspicion that student evaluation of adjuncts, along
with their subsequent continued employment, can lead to grade inflation.===The status ladder===American college and university faculty, staff,
alumni, students, and applicants monitor rankings produced by magazines such as U.S. News and
World Report, Washington Monthly, Academic Ranking of World Universities, 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. These rankings are based
on factors like brand recognition, selectivity in admissions, generosity of alumni donors,
and volume of faculty research. In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings,
27 of the top 50 universities, and 72 institutions of the top 200, are located within the United
States. The US has thereby more than twice as many universities represented in the top
200 as does the country with the next highest number, the United Kingdom, which has 29.
A small percentage of students who apply to these schools gain admission.Included among
the top 20 institutions identified by ARWU in 2009 are six of the eight schools in the
Ivy League; 4 of the 10 schools in the University of California system (Berkeley, Los Angeles,
San Diego and San Francisco); the private Universities of Stanford, Chicago, and Johns
Hopkins; the public Universities of Washington and Wisconsin; and the Massachusetts and California
Institutes of Technology.Also renowned within the United States are the so-called Little
Ivies and a number of prestigious liberal arts colleges. Certain public universities
(sometimes referred to as Public Ivies) are also recognized for their outstanding record
in scholarship. Some of these institutions currently place among the elite in certain
measurements of graduate education and research, especially among engineering and medical schools.Each
state in the United States maintains its own public university system, which is always
non-profit. The State University of New York and the California State University are the
largest public higher education systems in the United States; SUNY is the largest system
that includes community colleges, while CSU is the largest without. Most areas also have
private institutions, which may be for-profit or non-profit. Unlike many other nations,
there are no public universities at the national level outside of the military service academies.
Prospective students applying to attend four of the five military academies require, with
limited exceptions, nomination by a member of Congress. Like acceptance to “top tier”
universities, competition for these limited nominations is intense and must be accompanied
by superior scholastic achievement and evidence of “leadership potential.”
Aside from these aforementioned schools, academic reputations vary widely among the ‘middle-tier’
of American schools, (and even among academic departments within each of these schools.)
Most public and private institutions fall into this ‘middle’ range. Some institutions
feature honors colleges or other rigorous programs that challenge academically exceptional
students, who might otherwise attend a ‘top-tier’ college. Aware of the status attached to the
perception of the college that they attend, students often apply to a range of schools.
Some apply to a relatively prestigious school with a low acceptance rate, gambling on the
chance of acceptance but, as a backup, also apply to a safety school.Lower status institutions
include community colleges. These are primarily two-year public institutions, which individual
states usually require to accept all local residents who seek admission, and offer associate’s
degrees or vocational certificate programs. Many community colleges have relationships
with four-year state universities and colleges or even private 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.Regardless of perceived prestige, many institutions feature
at least one distinguished academic department, and most post-secondary American students
attend one of the 2,400 four-year colleges and universities or 1,700 two-year colleges
not included among the 25 or so ‘top-tier’ institutions.===Criticism===
Economics professor Alan Zagier blames credential inflation for the admission of so many unqualified
students into college. He reports that the number of new jobs requiring college degrees
is less than the number of college graduates. He states that the more money that a state
spends on higher education, the slower the economy grows, the opposite of long held notions.
Other studies have shown that the level of cognitive achievement attained by students
in a country (as measured by academic testing) is closely correlated with the country’s economic
growth, but that “increasing the average number of years of schooling attained by the labor
force boosts the economy only when increased levels of school attainment also boost cognitive
skills. In other words, it is not enough simply to spend more time in school; something has
to be learned there.”==Governance and funding=====Governance===
Currently, the state and national governments share power over public education, with the
states exercising most of the control. Except for Hawaii, states delegate power to county,
city or township-level school boards that exercise control over a school district. Some
school districts may further delegate significant authority to principals, such as those who
have adopted the Portfolio strategy. The U.S. federal government exercises its
control through the U.S. Department of Education. Education is not mentioned in the constitution
of the United States, but the federal government uses the threat of decreased funding to enforce
laws pertaining to education. Under recent administrations, initiatives such as the No
Child Left Behind Act and Race to the Top have attempted to assert more central control
in a heavily decentralized system. Nonprofit private schools are widespread,
are largely independent of the government, and include secular as well as parochial schools.
Educational accreditation decisions for private schools are made by voluntary regional associations.===Funding for K–12 schools===According to a 2005 report from the OECD,
the United States is tied for first place with Switzerland when it comes to annual spending
per student on its public schools, with each of those two countries spending more than
$11,000. However, the United States is ranked 37th in the world in education spending as
a percentage of gross domestic product. All but seven of the leading countries are developing
countries; ranked high because of a low GDP.Figures exist for education spending in the United
States, both total and per student, and by state and school district. They show a very
wide range in spending, but due to the varying spending policies and circumstances among
school districts, a cost-effectiveness analysis is very difficult to perform.Changes in funding
appear to have little effect on a school system’s performance. Between 1970 and 2012, the full
amount spent by all levels of government on the K–12 education of an individual public
school student graduating in any given year, adjusted for inflation, increased by 185%.
The average funding by state governments increased by 120% per student. However, scores in mathematics,
science and language arts over that same period remained almost unchanged. Multi-year periods
in which a state’s funding per student declined substantially also appear to have had little
effect.Property taxes as a primary source of funding for public education have become
highly controversial, for a number of reasons. First, if a state’s population and land values
escalate rapidly, many longtime residents may find themselves paying property taxes
much higher than anticipated. In response to this phenomenon, California’s citizens
passed Proposition 13 in 1978, which severely restricted the ability of the Legislature
to expand the state’s educational system to keep up with growth. Some states, such as
Michigan, have investigated or implemented alternative 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. These schemes also have failings, negatively impacting
funding in a slow economy.One of the biggest debates in funding public schools is funding
by local taxes or state taxes. The federal government supplies around 8.5% of the public
school system funds, according to a 2005 report by the National Center for Education Statistics.”Revenues
and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education, Table 1”. National Center
for Education Statistics. Retrieved June 4, 2014. The remaining split between state and
local governments averages 48.7 percent from states and 42.8 percent from local sources.Rural
schools struggle with funding concerns. State funding sources often favor wealthier districts.
The state establishes a minimum flat amount deemed “adequate” to educate a child based
on equalized assessed value of property taxes. This favors wealthier districts with a much
larger tax base. This, combined with the history of slow payment in the state, leaves rural
districts searching for funds. Lack of funding leads to limited resources for teachers. Resources
that directly relate to funding include access to high-speed internet, online learning programs
and advanced course offerings. These resources can enhance a student’s learning opportunities,
but may not be available to everyone if a district cannot afford to offer specific programs.
One study found that school districts spend less efficiently in areas in which they face
little or no competition from other public schools, in large districts, and in areas
in which residents are poor or less educated. Some public schools are experimenting with
recruiting teachers from developing countries in order to fill the teacher shortage, as
U.S. citizens with college degrees are turning away from the demanding, low paid profession.====Judicial intervention====
The reliance on local funding sources has led to a long history of court challenges
about how states fund their schools. These challenges have relied on interpretations
of state constitutions after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that school funding was not a
matter of the U.S. Constitution (San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez,
411 U.S. 1 (1973)). The state court cases, beginning with the California case of Serrano
v. Priest, 5 Cal.3d 584 (1971), were initially concerned with equity in funding, which was
defined in terms of variations in spending across local school districts. More recently,
state court cases have begun to consider what has been called ‘adequacy.’ These cases have
questioned whether the total amount of spending was sufficient to meet state constitutional
requirements. Perhaps the most famous adequacy case is Abbott v. Burke, 100 N.J. 269, 495
A.2d 376 (1985), which has involved state court supervision over several decades and
has led to some of the highest spending of any U.S. districts in the so-called Abbott
districts. The background and results of these cases are analyzed in a book by Eric Hanushek
and Alfred Lindseth. That analysis concludes that funding differences are not closely related
to student outcomes and thus that the outcomes of the court cases have not led to improved
policies. In McCleary v. Washington State (2012), Supreme
Court decision that found the state had failed to “amply” fund public education for Washington’s
1 million school children. Washington state had budgeted $18.2 billion for education spending
in the two-year fiscal period ending in July 2015. The state Supreme Court decided that
this budget must be boosted by $3.3 billion in total by July 2019. On September 11, 2014,
the state Supreme Court found the legislature in contempt for failing to uphold a court
order to come up with a plan to boost its education budget by billions of dollars over
the next five years. The state had argued that it had adequately funded education and
said diverting tax revenue could lead to shortfalls in other public services.====Pensions====
While the hiring of teachers for public schools is done at the local school district level,
the pension funds for teachers are usually managed at the state level. Some states have
significant deficits when future requirements for teacher pensions are examined. In 2014,
these were projected deficits for various states: Illinois -$187 billion, Connecticut
-$57 billion, Kentucky -$41 billion, Hawaii -$16.5 billion, and Louisiana -$45.6 billion.
These deficits range from 184% to 318% of these states’ annual total budget.===Funding for college===
At the college and university level student loan funding is split in half; half is managed
by the Department of Education directly, called the Federal Direct Student Loan Program (FDSLP).
The other half is managed by commercial entities such as banks, credit unions, and financial
services firms such as Sallie Mae, under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP).
Some schools accept only FFELP loans; others accept only FDSLP. Still others accept both,
and a few schools will not accept either, in which case students must seek out private
alternatives for student loans.Grant funding is provided by the federal Pell Grant program.==Issues==
Major issues include assessment of proficiency versus growth, funding and legal protection
of special education, and excessive student loan debt.===American education crisis===
It has been alleged, since the 1950s and especially in recent years, that American schooling is
undergoing a crisis in which academic performance is behind other countries, such as Russia,
Japan, or China, in core subjects. Congress passed the National Defense Education Act
in 1958 in an attempt to rectify these problems, and a series of other legislative acts in
later decades such as No Child Left Behind. According to the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development, however, American students of 2012 ranked 25th in math, 17th
in science, and 14th in reading compared with students in 27 other countries. In 2013, Amanda
Ripley published the popular book The Smartest Kids in the World (And How They Got That Way),
a comparative study of how the American education system differs from top-performing countries
such as Finland and South Korea, but she found some students in South Korea spent over 12
hours per day in the classroom, with evening tutors, plus 2 months longer, while Finland
demanded teachers attend extra teacher training and pass rigorous checks which 80% of teachers
failed. Rather than using some clever learning techniques, instead the teachers and students
were forced to spend extra, rigorous time in training or double hours to improve results,
which in some cases faded away after a year, although the testing of results was also questionable.
The author also noted U.S. teachers generally failed to have extra training and selection
which could mean better teaching, but also indicated the U.S. could benefit from a culture
which valued some higher intellectual levels.Recent allegations take the perspective of employers
who demand more vocational training. Voters in both major parties have been critical of
the Common Core initiative.===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, but ruled that strict point systems are unconstitutional.
Opponents of racial affirmative action argue that the program actually benefits middle-
and upper-class non-Asian people of color at the expense of lower class European Americans
and Asian Americans.African American academics Henry Louis Gates and Lani Guinier, while
favoring affirmative action, have argued that in practice, it has led to recent black immigrants
and their children being greatly overrepresented at elite institutions, at the expense of the
historic African American community made up of descendants of slaves. In 2006, Jian Li,
a Chinese undergraduate at Yale University, filed a civil rights complaint with the Office
for Civil Rights against Princeton University, stating that his race played a role in their
decision to reject his application for admission.===Attainment===The rise of the high school movement in the
beginning of the 20th century was unique in the United States, such that, high schools
were implemented with property-tax funded tuition, openness, non-exclusivity, and were
decentralized. The academic curriculum was designed to provide
the students with a terminal degree. The students obtained general knowledge (such as mathematics,
chemistry, English composition, etc.) applicable to the high geographic and social mobility
in the United States. The provision of the high schools accelerated with the rise of
the second industrial revolution. The increase in white collar and skilled blue-collar work
in manufacturing was reflected in the demand for high school education.
In the 21st century, 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. As a whole, the population of the United States is becoming increasingly more
educated.Post-secondary education is valued very highly by American society and is one
of the main determinants of class and status. As with income, however, there are significant
discrepancies in terms of race, age, household configuration and geography.Since the 1980s
the number of educated Americans has continued to grow, but at a slower rate. Some have attributed
this to an increase in the foreign born portion of the workforce. However, the decreasing
growth of the educational workforce has instead been primarily due to slowing down in educational
attainment of people schooled in the United States.====Student proficiency and college graduation
rates====High schools and colleges sharply disagree
about the college readiness of high school graduates, in that 90% of high school teachers
believe graduating students are well-prepared, while 44% of college faculty believe that
first-year students are not ready for writing at the college level. Although the high school
graduation rate is about 91% nationwide, the proficiency rates of twelfth-grade students
are only 37% in English and 25% in mathematics. Despite having a high school diploma that
includes a college-preparatory curriculum, along with appropriate high school exit examination
scores, 60% of first-year college students must take noncredit remedial courses in order
to bring their literary and mathematical skills up to an adequate level. Even then, only 58%
of students in four-year programs at public colleges will have graduated after six years.
The cause cannot be excessively demanding college courses, since grade inflation has
made those courses increasingly easy in recent decades.====Gender differences====
According to research from within the past 20 years, girls generally outperform boys
in the classroom on measures of grades across all subjects and graduation rates. This is
a turnaround from the early 20th century when boys usually outperformed girls. Boys have
still been found to score higher on standardized tests than girls and go on to be better represented
in the more prestigious, high-paying STEM fields. There is an ongoing debate over which
gender is the most short-changed in the classroom. Parents and educators are concerned about
how to motivate males to become better students.====Racial achievement differences====The racial achievement gap in the US refers
to the educational disparities between Black and Hispanic students compared with Asian
and Caucasian students. This disparity manifests itself in a variety of ways: African-American
and Hispanic students are more likely to receive lower grades, score lower on standardized
tests, drop out of high school, and are less likely to enter and complete college.Several
reasons have been suggested for these disparities. One explanation is the disparity in income
that exists between African Americans and Whites. This school of thought argues that
the origin of this “wealth gap” is the slavery and racism that made it extremely difficult
for African-Americans to accumulate wealth for almost 100 years after slavery was abolished.
A comparable history of discrimination created a similar gap between Hispanics and Whites.
This results in many minority children being born into low socioeconomic backgrounds, which
in turn affects educational opportunities.Another explanation has to do with family structure.
Professor Lino Graglia has suggested that Blacks and Hispanics are falling behind in
education because they are increasingly raised in single-parent families.A third explanation
which has been suggested, by, for example University of California, Berkeley Professor
Arthur Jensen, in a controversial paper published in 1969, is that there is an innate difference
in intelligence between blacks and whites. Other publications are critical of Jensen’s
methods and disagree with his conclusions. The idea that the difference in achievement
is primarily genetic is controversial, and few members of the academic community accept
these findings as fact.Other explanations offered for the racial achievement gap include:
social class, institutional racism, lower quality of schools and teachers in minority
communities, and civil injustice. Most authors mention several such factors as influential
on outcomes, both in the United States and worldwide.====International comparison====
In the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment 2003, which emphasizes
problem solving, American 15-year-olds ranked 24th of 38 in mathematics, 19th of 38 in science,
12th of 38 in reading, and 26th of 38 in problem solving. In the 2006 assessment, the U.S.
ranked 35th out of 57 in mathematics and 29th out of 57 in science. Reading scores could
not be reported due to printing errors in the instructions of the U.S. test booklets.
U.S. scores were behind those of most other developed nations.However, the picture changes
when low achievers, Blacks and Hispanics, in the U.S. are broken out by race. White
and Asian students in the United States are generally among the best-performing pupils
in the world; black and Hispanic students in the U.S. are among
the lowest-achieving pupils. Black and Hispanic students in the US do out perform their counterparts
in all African and Hispanic countries.US fourth and eighth graders tested above average on
the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study tests, which emphasizes traditional
learning.The United States is one of three OECD countries where the government spends
more on schools in rich neighborhoods than in poor neighborhoods, with the others being
Turkey and Israel.Poor education also carries on as students age. The Organization for Economic
Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) administer another survey called the Survey of Adult
Skills, which is a part of its Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies
(PIAAC). In the most recent survey done in 2013, 33 nations took part with adults ages
16 to 65 in numeracy, literacy and problem-solving. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) found
that millennials – age from teens to early 30s – scored low. Millennials in Spain and
Italy scored lower than those in the U.S., while in numeracy, the three countries tied
for last. U.S. millennials came in last among all 33 nations for problem-solving skills.====Wider economic impact====
Current education trends in the United States represent multiple achievement gaps across
ethnicities, income levels, and geography. In an economic analysis, consulting firm McKinsey
& Company reports that closing the educational achievement gap between the United States
and nations such as Finland and Korea would have increased US GDP by 9-to-16% in 2008.Narrowing
the gap between white students and black and Hispanic students would have added another
2–4% GDP, while closing the gap between poor and other students would have yielded
a 3-to-5% increase in GDP, and that of under-performing states and the rest of the nation another
3-to-5% GDP. In sum, McKinsey’s report suggests, “These educational gaps impose on the United
States the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession.”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. Thus, while the population of the
US is becoming increasingly educated on all levels, a direct link between income and educational
attainment remains.ACT Inc. reports that 25% of US graduating high school seniors meet
college-readiness benchmarks in English, reading, mathematics, and science. Including the 22%
of students who do not graduate on time, fewer than 20% of the American youth, who should
graduate high school each year, do so prepared for college. The United States has fallen
behind the rest of the developed world in education, creating a global achievement gap
that alone costs the nation 9-to-16% of potential GDP each year.In 2007, Americans stood second
only to Canada in the percentage of 35- to 64-year-olds holding at least two-year degrees.
Among 25- to 34-year-olds, the country stands tenth. The nation stands 15 out of 29 rated
nations for college completion rates, slightly above Mexico and Turkey.A five-year, $14 million
study of U.S. adult literacy involving lengthy interviews of U.S. adults, the most comprehensive
study of literacy ever commissioned by the U.S. government, was released in September
1993. It involved lengthy interviews of over 26,700 adults statistically balanced for age,
gender, ethnicity, education level, and location (urban, suburban, or rural) in 12 states across
the U.S. and was designed to represent the U.S. population as a whole. This government
study showed that 21% to 23% of adult Americans were not “able to locate information in text”,
could not “make low-level inferences using printed materials”, and were unable to “integrate
easily identifiable pieces of information.”The U.S. Department of Education’s 2003 statistics
indicated that 14% of the population – or 32 million adults – had very low literacy
skills. Statistics were similar in 2013.In addition to its economic impact, social science
provides evidence that the level of educational attainment of a community also has quantifiable
impacts on many aspects of well-being, including life expectancy, low birthweight rates, crime,
and political engagement.===Behavior===
A 2011 study found that students who were expelled were three times as likely to become
involved with the juvenile justice system the following school year.====Corporal punishment====
The United States is one of the very few developed countries where corporal punishment is officially
permitted and practiced in its public schools, although the practice has been banned in an
increasing number of states beginning in the 1970s. The punishment virtually always consists
of spanking the buttocks of a student with a paddle in a punishment known as “paddling.”
Students can be physically punished from kindergarten to the end of high school, meaning that even
adults who have reached the age of majority are sometimes spanked by school officials.
Although uncommon relative to the overall U.S. student population, more than 167,000
students were paddled in the 2011–2012 school year in American public schools. Virtually
all paddling in public schools occurs in the Southern United States, however, with 70%
of paddled students living in just five states: Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, and
Georgia. The practice has been on a steady decline in American schools.====School safety and security====
The National Center for Education Statistics reported statistics about public schools in
the United States in 2013-2014. They stated that, during that time, 93% controlled access
to their buildings during school hours, and that 88% have in place a written crisis response
plan. They also reported that 82% of schools have a system that notifies parents in the
event of an emergency. According to their report, 75% of schools have security cameras
in use.During the 2015–16 school year in the United States, the National Center for
Education Statistics reported the following: Nine percent of schools reported that one
or more students had threatened a physical attack with a weapon. Ninety five percent
of schools had given their students lockdown procedure drills, and ninety two percent had
drilled them on evacuation procedures. Around 20 percent of schools had one or more security
guards or security personnel while 10.9 percent had one or more full or part-time law enforcement
officers. Forty-two percent of schools had at least one school resource officer.In some
schools, a police officer, titled a school resource officer, is on site to screen students
for firearms and to help avoid disruptions.====Cheating====In 2006, one survey found that 50% to 95%
of American students admitted to having cheated in high school or college at one time or another,
results that cast some doubt on measured academic attainment tests.===Curriculum===Curricula in the United States can vary widely
from district to district. Different schools offer classes centering on different topics,
and vary in quality. Some private schools even include religious classes as mandatory
for attendance. This raises the question of government funding vouchers in states with
anti-Catholic Blaine Amendments in their constitution. This in turn has produced camps of argument
over the standardization of curricula and to what degree it should exist. These same
groups often are advocates of standardized testing, which is mandated by the No Child
Left Behind Act. There is debate over which subjects should
receive the most focus, with astronomy and geography among those cited as not being taught
enough in schools.====English in the classroom====
Schools in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and
the Northern Mariana Islands, teach primarily in English, with the exception of specialized
language immersion programs.=====Other languages=====
In 2015, 584,000 students in Puerto Rico were taught in Spanish, their native language.The
Native American Cherokee Nation instigated a 10-year language preservation plan that
involved growing new fluent speakers of the Cherokee language from childhood on up through
school immersion programs as well as a collaborative community effort to continue to use the language
at home. In 2010, 84 children were being educated in this manner.Some 9.7 million children aged
5 to 17 primarily speak a language other than English at home. Of those, about 1.3 million
children do not speak English well or at all.====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. Scientists from around the country objected. Many religious and family values
groups, on the other hand, stated that evolution is “simply a theory” in the colloquial sense
(not the academic sense, which means specific and well supported reasoning), and as such
creationist ideas should therefore be taught alongside it as an alternative viewpoint.
A majority of the board supported teaching intelligent design or creationism in public
schools. The new standards, including Intelligent Design, were enacted on November 8, 2005.
On February 13, 2007, the board rejected these amended science standards enacted in 2005,
overturning the mandate to teach Intelligent Design.====Sex education====Almost all students in the U.S. receive some
form of sex education at least once between grades 7 and 12; many schools begin addressing
some topics as early as grades 4 or 5. However, what students learn varies widely, because
curriculum decisions are so decentralized. Many states have laws governing what is taught
in sex education classes or allowing parents to opt out. Some state laws leave curriculum
decisions to individual school districts.For example, a 1999 study by the Guttmacher Institute
found that most U.S. sex education courses in grades 7 through 12 cover puberty, HIV,
STDs, abstinence, implications of teenage pregnancy, and how to resist peer pressure.
Other studied topics, such as methods of birth control and infection prevention, sexual orientation,
sexual abuse, and factual and ethical information about abortion, varied more widely.However,
according to a 2004 survey, a majority of the 1001 parent groups polled wants complete
sex education in the schools. The American people are heavily divided over the issue.
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,” while under 17% agreed with the statement
that their children were being exposed to “subjects I don’t think my child should be
discussing.” 10 percent believed that their children’s sexual education class forced them
to discuss sexual issues “too early.” On the other hand, 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, and 23 percent were less confident
still. (The margin of error was plus or minus 4.7 percent.)According to The 74, an American
education news website, the United States uses two methods to teach sex education. Comprehensive
sex education focuses on sexual risk reduction. This method focuses on the benefits of contraception
and safe sex. The abstinence-emphasized curriculum focuses on sexual risk avoidance, discouraging
activity that could become a “gateway” to sexual activities.====Textbook review and adoption====
In some states, textbooks are selected for all students at the state level, and decisions
made by larger states, such as California and Texas, that represent a considerable market
for textbook publishers and can exert influence over the content of textbooks generally, thereby
influencing the curriculum taught in public schools,In 2010, the Texas Board of Education
passed more than 100 amendments to the curriculum standards, affecting history, sociology and
economics courses to ‘add balance’ given that academia was ‘skewed too far to the left’.
One specific result of these amendments is to increase education on Moses’ influences
on the founding of the United States, going as far as calling him a “founding father”.This
effect is however reduced with modern publishing techniques which allow books to be tailored
to individual states.As of January 2009, 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 Education,
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Other US textbook publishers include: John Wiley & Sons, Jones
and Bartlett Publishers, F. A. Davis Company, W. W. Norton & Company, SAGE Publications,
and Flat World Knowledge.====Culturally-responsive curriculum====
Culturally-responsive curriculum is a framework for teaching that acknowledges and the various
cultural backgrounds of all students in the classroom to make learning more accessible,
especially for students of color. It is the outgrowth of research evidence that suggests
that attitudes towards others, especially with regard to race, are socially constructed
(or learned) at a young age. Therefore, the values that we attach to various groups of
people are a reflection of the behavior we have observed around us, especially in the
classroom. Culturally-responsive curriculum responds to the importance of teachers connecting
with students in increasingly diverse classrooms in the US by incorporating sociocultural elements
into curriculum. The goal of culturally-responsive curriculum is to ensure equitable access to
education for students from all cultures.Culturally-responsive curriculum draws directly on the idea of a
“hidden curriculum” or system of values that teachers impart on students in the classroom.
Culturally-responsive curriculum attempts to break down the dominant cultural bias that
often pervades curriculum and instruction. Similar to the anti-bias approach, culturally-responsive
curriculum is intended to help students and teachers “recognize the connections between
ethnicity, gender, religion, and social class, and power, privilege, prestige, and opportunity.”
Culturally-responsive curriculum specifically responds to the cultural needs of students
as learners in the classroom. A study by Howard in 2001, documents student’s
responses to culturally-responsive curriculum and teaching strategies. The study found that
these methods had a positive effect on student engagement and effort in the classroom. These
findings are consistent with the theoretical claims of culturally-responsive curriculum.Teachers
can gain in-depth understandings of their students’ individual needs by engaging with
parents, learning about culturally-specific ways of communicating and learning, and allowing
students to direct their learning and to collaborate on assignments that are both culturally and
socially relevant to them.Culturally-responsive curriculum is also implemented at the level
of preservice teacher education. One study by Evans-Winters and Hoff found that preservice
teachers do not necessarily recognize or acknowledge the intersections of race and other social
factors in understanding and characterizing systems of oppression. A shift in preservice
training has been made toward a more self-reflective model that encourages teachers to be reflective
of the types of cultural and social attitudes they are promoting in their teaching practices.
This kind of preservice education can help teachers anticipate social-identity related
tensions that might occur in the classroom and think critically about how to approach
them.=====Gender-sensitive curriculum=====
The notion of gender-sensitive curriculum acknowledges the current reality of our bi-gender
world and attempts to break down socialized learning outcomes that reinforce the notion
that girls and boys are good at different things. Research has shown that while girls
do struggle more in the areas of math and science and boys in the area of language arts,
this is a socialization phenomenon, rather than a physiological one. One key to creating
a gender-friendly classroom is “differentiation” which essentially means when teachers plan
and deliver their instruction with an awareness of gender and other student differences. Teachers
can strategically group students for learning activities by a variety of characteristics
so as to maximize individual strengths and contributions. Research has also shown that
teacher’s differ in how they treat girls and boys in the classroom. Gender-sensitive practices
necessitate equitable and appropriate attention to all learners. Teacher attention to content
is also extremely important. For example, when trying to hold boy’s attention teachers
will often use examples that reference classically male roles, perpetuating a gender bias in
content.In addition to curriculum that recognizes that gender impacts all students and their
learning, other gender-sensitive curriculum directly engages gender-diversity issues and
topics. Some curricular approaches include integrating gender through story problems,
writing prompts, readings, art assignments, research projects and guest lectures that
foster spaces for students to articulate their own understandings and beliefs about gender.=====LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum=====
LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum is curriculum that includes positive representations of LGBTQ
people, history, and events. LGBTQ curriculum also attempts to integrate these narratives
without biasing the LGBTQ experience as a separate and fragmented from overarching social
narratives and not as intersecting with ethnic, racial, and other forms of diversity that
exist among LGBTQ individuals.The purpose of LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum is to ensure
that LGBTQ students feel properly represented in curriculum narratives and therefore safer
coming to school and more comfortable discussing LGBTQ-related topics. A study by GLSEN examined
the impact of LGBTQ-inclusive practices on LGBTQ student’s perceptions of safety. They
study found that LGBT students in inclusive school-settings were much less likely to feel
unsafe because of their identities and more likely to perceive their peers as accepting
and supportive. Implementation of LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum
involves both curriculum decisions and harnessing teachable moments in the classroom. One study
by Snapp et al. showed that teachers often failed to intervene in LGBTQ-bullying.Other
research has suggested that education for healthcare professionals on how to better
support LGBTQ patients has benefits for LGBTQ-healthcare service. Education in how to be empathic and
conscientious of the needs of LGBTQ patients fits within the larger conversation about
culturally-responsive healthcare.=====Ability-inclusive curriculum=====
Ability-inclusive curriculum is another curriculum model that adapts to the social, physical,
and cultural needs of the students. Inclusion in the US education system refers to the approach
to educating students with special needs in a mainstream classroom. This model involves
cultivating a strong relationship between teacher and student, and between non-special
needs students and special needs students. Like the other models of culturally-inclusive
curriculum, ability-inclusive curriculum often involves collaboration, parental-involvement,
the creation of a safe and welcoming environment, returning agency to the students over their
learning, and fostering open discussion about individual differences and strengths.Research
generally demonstrates neutral or positive effects of inclusive education. A study by
Kreimeyer et al. showed that a group of deaf/hard-of-hearing students in an inclusive classroom scored
better than the national averages on reading comprehension, vocabulary, and mathematical
problem solving measures. Another study showed that inclusive practices increased literacy
rates for autistic students. Many theorists champion the potential socio-emotional benefits
of inclusion. However research on the social dynamics of inclusive classrooms suggest that
special needs students might occupy a lower social standing that non-special needs students.===Immigrant students and grade placement
===The method of placing students in a specific
grade based on birthday cut off dates has often been used with immigrant children. A
study conducted by Dylan Conger on effects of grade placement on English learners found
that schools are often rushed to make a decision on what grade an incoming student should be
placed, so they base their decision on the child’s birthday. Unfortunately, teachers
and staff are not always able to test the child’s knowledge to determine what grade
level would be better for the students based on what they already know. This can cause
some difficulties for immigrant students. A study conducted on teacher expectation of
Somali Bantu refugee students found that teachers can hold expectations for students to already
know certain material when they enter their classroom, such as how to use a computer or
how to behave in a classroom. When these students learned something that the teacher already
expected them to know, it was not given the same importance compared to learning something
that was being taught in that grade level, such as math proficiency or computer use.
Things can become more difficult for students when entering in the middle of the academic
year. A study focused on the impact of late arrivals for immigrant students found that,
due to constant moving, students entering in the middle of the academic year encountered
material they were not familiar with or ended up repeating material they had already learned.There
is still limited research that has been conducted in the United States on the effects of placing
immigrant students in a specific grade based on birthday cut off dates. In a study about
Thailand’s education policy on children of migrants, Thai schools often required migrant
students to be proficient in the Thai language and to have gone through a learning center
before enrolling into a public school. If a student was younger than 7, they would be
placed in kindergarten, and if they were older, they would be placed in a first grade class.
Therefore, students that were 15 could still enroll as a first grader. The purpose for
these methods was to ensure that migrant students were better prepared to start school, but
it did cause some issues for both the student and the teachers. The study found that even
though older students placed in first grade classrooms were more obedient, the students
had trouble connecting with their classmates and teacher had to address them differently
due to their age. Thai public schools attempted to address this issue by some implementing
a rule that a student could not be older than 9 to enroll, but this led to learning centers
not given recommendations to public school for older students. More research is needed
in order to better understand the effects of grade placement in immigrant students.==Reading and writing habits==
Libraries have been considered important to educational goals.
Library books are more readily available to Americans than to people in Germany, the United
Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Austria and all the Mediterranean nations. The average
American borrowed more library books in 2001 than his or her peers in Germany, Austria,
Norway, Ireland, Luxembourg, France and throughout the Mediterranean.
Americans buy more books than do Europeans.Teachers have been frustrated with lack of parent involvement
in the learning process, particularly in the earlier grades. Children spend about 26% of
their time in school, sleep 40%, leaving about 34% of their time left-over. Teachers believe
that parents are not supervising their children’s free time to encourage the learning process,
such as basic literacy, which is crucial not only to later success in life, but also to
keeping them out of prison.==See also==Academic grading in the United States
College Board examinations Education in the Thirteen Colonies
Educational reform Language education in the United States
List of heads of state educated in the United States
List of state graduation exams in the United States
Lists of school districts in the United States Outcome-based education
School prayer#United States Sex differences in education in the United
States Social programs in the United States and education
First-generation college students in the United States==References====Further reading==
Sennholz, Hans F., ed. Public Education and Indoctrination, in series, The Freeman Classics.
Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y.: Foundation for Economic Education, 1993. iv, 203 p. N.B.:
Sennholz is not clearly identified as the editor of this collection of essays on the
subject, but his editorship seems probable.===Bibliography===
Berliner, David C. Goldstein, Dana (2014). The Teacher Wars:
A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-53695-0.
Green, Elizabeth (2014). Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach
It to Everyone). W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-08159-6.
Hanushek, Eric (2013). Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School. Brookings
Institution. ISBN 978-0-8157-0373-0. Woodring, Paul. A Fourth of a Nation. New
York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1957. 255 p. N.B.: Philosophical and practical reflections on
education, teaching, educational psychology, and the training of teachers.===History===
for more detailed bibliography see History of Education in the United States: Bibliography James D. Anderson, The Education of Blacks
in the South, 1860–1935 (University of North Carolina Press, 1988).
Axtell, J. The school upon a hill: Education and society in colonial New England. Yale
University Press. (1974). Maurice R. Berube; American School Reform:
Progressive, Equity, and Excellence Movements, 1883–1993. 1994. online version
Brint, S., & Karabel, J. The Diverted Dream: Community colleges and the promise of educational
opportunity in America, 1900–1985. Oxford University Press. (1989).
Button, H. Warren and Provenzo, Eugene F., Jr. History of Education and Culture in America.
Prentice-Hall, 1983. 379 pp. Cremin, Lawrence A. The Transformation of
the School: Progressivism in American Education, 1876–1957. (1961).
Cremin, Lawrence A. American Education: The Colonial Experience, 1607–1783. (1970);
American Education: The National Experience, 1783–1876. (1980); American Education: The
Metropolitan Experience, 1876–1980 (1990); standard 3 vol detailed scholarly history
Curti, M. E. The social ideas of American educators, with new chapter on the last twenty-five
years. (1959). Dorn, Sherman. Creating the Dropout: An Institutional
and Social History of School Failure. Praeger, 1996. 167 pp.
Gatto, John Taylor. The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation
into the Prison of Modern Schooling. Oxford Village Press, 2001, 412 pp. online version
Herbst, Juergen. The once and future school: Three hundred and fifty years of American
secondary education. (1996). Herbst, Juergen. School Choice and School
Governance: A Historical Study of the United States and Germany 2006. ISBN 1-4039-7302-4.
Kemp, Roger L. “Town & Gown Relations: A Handbook of Best Practices,” McFarland and Company,
Inc., Publisher, Jefferson, North Carolina, USA, and London, England (UK)(2013). ISBN
9780786463992. Krug, Edward A. The
shaping of the American high school, 1880–1920. (1964); The American high school, 1920–1940.
(1972). standard 2 vol scholarly history Lucas, C. J. American higher education: A
history. (1994). pp.; reprinted essays from History of Education Quarterly
Parkerson, Donald H. and Parkerson, Jo Ann. Transitions in American Education: A Social
History of Teaching. Routledge, 2001. 242 pp.
Parkerson, Donald H. and Parkerson, Jo Ann. The Emergence of the Common School in the
U.S. Countryside. Edwin Mellen, 1998. 192 pp.
Peterson, Paul E. The politics of school reform, 1870–1940. (1985).
Ravitch, Diane. Left Back: A Century of Failed School Reforms. Simon & Schuster, 2000. 555
pp. John L. Rury; Education and Social Change:
Themes in the History of American Schooling.’; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 2002. online
version Sanders, James W The education of an urban
minority: Catholics in Chicago, 1833–1965. (1977).
Solomon, Barbara M. In the company of educated women: A history of women and higher education
in America. (1985). Theobald, Paul. Call School: Rural Education
in the Midwest to 1918. Southern Illinois U. Pr., 1995. 246 pp.
David B. Tyack. The One Best System: A History of American Urban Education (1974),
Tyack, David and Cuban, Larry. Tinkering Toward Utopia: A Century of Public School Reform.
Harvard U. Pr., 1995. 184 pp. Tyack, David B., & Hansot, E. Managers of
Virtue: Public School Leadership in America, 1820–1980. (1982).
Veysey Lawrence R. The Emergence of the American University. (1965).==External links==
EducationUSA: Your Guide to US Higher Education National Center for Education Statistics
National Assessment of Educational Progress Essay about public education paradigms on
YouTube Information on studying in the US
High School Grade Point Average Calculator – Standard grade point average calculator
for US High Schools. Information on education in United States,
OECD – Contains indicators and information about United States and how it compares to
other OECD and non-OECD countries Diagram of American education system, OECD
– Using 1997 ISCED classification of programmes and typical ages.Library guidesBrown University
Library. “Education”. Research Guides. Rhode Island.
Fordham University Libraries. “Education”. Research Guides. New York.
Harvard Graduate School of Education – Gutman Library. “Research Guides”. Massachusetts.
University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries. “Education”. Research Guides.

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