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What is the American Education Sytem like?





BabsUlvaWho?
Well, I live in the UK where the education sytem is obviously different to those in other countries. I know there are a lot of Americans here so I've come to ask what the education system is like for them.

In the UK, you start your education in a primary school, from 5 year olds right through to 11 year olds. Then you apply to enter a secondary school, or if you have the money, a grammar or prepatory school. When you are sixteen, you have the option of leaving formal education or joining a Sixth Form or College, where you stay for two years. Then, if you want, you can get a degree in a University. There are also loads of courses availabe for adult learners (people who have finished their formal education), and a company called the Open University offers a wide range of courses to people who cannot learn in schools any more.

So, now I've explained what it's like for me, what is it like over there in the US? I'd also be interested to learn about the education systems of other countries.
carolinehjkim
i know there are a lot more people who can explain it other than me
i'll just explain the system briefly
*private and public school differs a bit
*it depends on area

elementary school - Jr High - High School - University
k,1-6 7-8 9-12 about 4 years
- Community College
about 2 years
elementary school - Middle - High School
k, 1-5 6-8 9-12

I heard that some school have 7~9 as middle school and 10-12 for high school.
ocalhoun
I understand that the grading system is different as well, in America we get a percentage grade for every assignment, which is multiplied by the importance of that asignment and averaged to determine the grade for that class. All of your classes are then averaged together to give your total grade, but failing any one class (less than 70 or 60% depending on the type of school) will mean you must retake that class.
I seem to remember hearing about kids 'across the water' getting 'marks' how is that different?
S3nd K3ys
ocalhoun wrote:

I seem to remember hearing about kids 'across the water' getting 'marks' how is that different?


They've outlawed hitting students in this country... Laughing

The school system here is basically run by the *gulp* Government. Hence the reason for the number of dumbed down people that live here. It takes many years after school, especially if you attended college, to get back to 'normal' thinking.

The Government's school system is based on the premise that, in order to be 'needed' by the government, the people must be dependant on them. (Largely the reason we still have a rediculous ammount of illegal aliens coming here to get the government handouts... because the government needs those votes to stay in power*)

I don't think I can afford to home school my children or put them in private schools. I put my eldest son, Chantz, in a Methodist Pre-School. Been there a year now. He'll be four in Dec. I'm going to try to find a way to get him out of the public school system, but don't know how I'll finance it yet.



*Yes, I know. You are 'supposed' to be a 'citizen' to vote, (in ENGLISH, BTW), but as the saying goes, vote early, vote often.
codenameshypher
Well, first of all i want to say that I've only had my senior year in US and it was totally different form the studying system in my home country - Moldova -. I was used to having more responsability and more school interest in studying, while in States students have too much freedom. It should be in the universities but not in highschools. My country is well known for its high level of teaching especially in universities, he have all types of international students but while being one of the hardest school systems, they are still coming to us. Therefore I think that the main reason is that they have already understood that universities and further studies are getting more serious and therefore are in need of more reponsabily. I hope the needed reform will be done, otherwise States riscks to loose its potential of highly brained generation.
redwulfe
I would have to agree. I live in the states and the education system here is very poor. Students as described above are graded on an adverage this is an adverage of all of their work while at the school. This incluedes home work which is basically coping the answers in the book but not truely comprehinding anything. Most students that leave an american schoool and then go into the work force for more than a year forget 75% of what they learned. Due to the fact that most students don't learn anything they coppy answers from other students or from the book. They do it just to get it done so they can go off and do other things. I did a study in my junior and senior years of colledge. In my junior year I did all of my home work and did poorly on my tests even the open book ones. The result was I passed and moved on to my senior year with a C adverage. In my senior year I did non of my homework but passed all of my tests. I passed 90% of those tests with a 95-100% score and the others with a 85-95% score. They failed me and made me take the year over. So, I was passed by just doing as I was told but learning nothing and fialed when I took the time to learn somthing and didn't wast my time coping answers out of the book. Go figure!

The current push in education is no child gets left behind. This has mad eeven the testing easier. most kids get open book exams with questions taken from the text and one or two actuall exames that when adveraged tend to make no diffence in passing the child or not. All text books have all of the odd problems solved in the back of the book. Teachers have went to asiagning just the odd problems in the book so students can just copy theri home work down rather than try to solve the problem itself.

America also has several alternate forms of gaining a high school deploma wich is required to hold a job. One of them is the GED. this is Great I pay so much money get a book study on my own for about a month then go to a facility take a test which I only need 75% to pass and get what everyone else is taking 4 years to do. Why am I going the long route? This leads to High drop out rates. Now there are alot of people that wish to continue education but most of them are dirt poor. They can't afford colledge so why work hard in high school, if the only good reason for getting a deploma is to go to a major colledge?

Our education system needs allot of work as a capitalist society we encourage the short cut. Doing things cheaper to maximize production, work have as hard and try to make twice as much. We are a society built on greed, laziness, and serving the self before others. Our poverty level is rising due to the cost of living greatly outdistancing the minimum wages paid. the rich stay rich and the poor contiue to stay poor. it's almost fuedal but we lie and call it something else.

I'm not saying that I hate america, I am an American and very proud of that fact. I just wish we were a society, a whole, rather than a colection of individual parts each looking to get a head of the other like a hungry mob fighting for the last scraps of bread.

Sorry I tend to ramble and go of on tangents but I feal that most problems in society start with what a child is taught as he grows up. The education system of a country is the most important aspect of that society and should be a priority to get done right.

Tim
vexation
The education system is incredibly dumbed down here in the States.

redwulfe wrote:
I did a study in my junior and senior years of colledge. In my junior year I did all of my home work and did poorly on my tests even the open book ones. The result was I passed and moved on to my senior year with a C adverage. In my senior year I did non of my homework but passed all of my tests. I passed 90% of those tests with a 95-100% score and the others with a 85-95% score. They failed me and made me take the year over. So, I was passed by just doing as I was told but learning nothing and fialed when I took the time to learn somthing and didn't wast my time coping answers out of the book. Go figure!


I have to take my hat off to you for doing such a study, even though it cost you a year of your life. But yeah, there is an overemphasis on homework and many ways to BS it(copy answers out of the book, or when that's not possible just call a friend).


The main problem with our education system, however, is a lack of a little thing called personal responsibility. That is how things like No Child Left Behind get brought in and resources are used to try to even up performance. Why? Because they want to take as much responsibility off the student. If students are underperforming, blame the school. Blame the area they live in, just don't blame the student. I would understand if the kid was in kindergarten but he's gonna have to take responsibility for his actions one day. If he doesn't understand, its his responsibility to ask for help, not someone else's responsibility to give him a free ride. That's what leads to kids not caring about their education...why care when you'll pass anyway?

Parents(some) fuel this influx as well by saying "blame the teacher" when the kid fails.(I understand that there are some downright horrible teachers in our school system, but it is the kid's responsibility to get help. I've had some teachers that didn't teach jack but I got the help from outside sources. Can't get a tutor, use the Internet.) Or coming in and complaining only when the kid fails, but being basically uninvolved in the kid's education in other situations. Or paying the kids ridiculously high amounts of money for good grades, which conveys the message that it is only important to work for something when it brings home material rewards, which is the wrong message to ever convey.

redwulfe wrote:
America also has several alternate forms of gaining a high school deploma wich is required to hold a job. One of them is the GED. this is Great I pay so much money get a book study on my own for about a month then go to a facility take a test which I only need 75% to pass and get what everyone else is taking 4 years to do. Why am I going the long route? This leads to High drop out rates. Now there are alot of people that wish to continue education but most of them are dirt poor. They can't afford colledge so why work hard in high school, if the only good reason for getting a deploma is to go to a major colledge?


I do see the GED as a "shortcut" to getting the equivalent of a HS diploma...however, the GED does more good than harm. It gives people a second chance if they screwed up and dropped up initially and now noticed that life does stink without a diploma.
uunter
I just wanted to point out that most of what has been said about the US education system (almost all negative) are broad generalizations. I'm not saying it's wrong--the education system in the US is in pretty bad shape, and only getting worse, in general. However, it's important to recognize that there's a lot of variation, and in some areas things are even improving--college attendence, for example.

I was fortunate enough to go to very good public schools for elementary, middle, and high school, but I know that this is the exception, not the rule. (For me, btw, elementary school went through 5th, middle was 6-8.)
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