How do schools in America work?
I've always wondered this, I hear about middle school and high school but what ages are they. In the UK we just have primary and secondary, and lets say year 8 in the UK wouldn't be the same age as 8th grade in the US.
How do schools in America work? Not very well.
At least according to the latest figures, that place the U.S. at 17th world-wide in terms of scholastic indicators.
I went to school in the U.S. up until grade 6 and found that when I came to Canada there was a difference in terms of how intense the classes were. In the U.S. it was more an atmosphere of, I must say, 'fun' and the class seemed to be taught always by an elderly Aunt or Grandmother or a sweet young cousin....they were all more pleasant as teachers than were the Canadians. But I suppose they didn't teach as well or as seriously as they do here.
Overall I enjoyed being a student in the U.S. more than in Canada, even if I didn't 'learn' as much!
In terms of the various grades we have Kindergarten through Grade 12. The school year runs from either late August or early September (varies in different regions and school districts) and runs until May or June. School runs for 180 days. Students start kindergarten at age 5. 1st grade at age 6 and so on.
The majority of public (state/city run) school districts have elementary school for grades K-5, middle school for grades 6-8 (twenns and young teens), and High School is 9-12 (about ages 14-18). High school being 9-12 is pretty consistent but there is sometimes a slight change in the ages of elementaty and middle school (For example some towns have K-6 together then 7&8 for middle school and some towns include grade 5 in their middle school). Private or parochial schools typically have one grammar school for grades K-8 and then high school for 9-12, this was the more traditional model of schools which has been faded out over the last century or so, and can today be found in the public schools in small towns or more rural areas. Some small towns will have no middle school and just have an elementary school K-6 and a Jr. and Sr. High School for grades 7-12.
We have kindergarten - 1 through 6 grade, middle school - 7 through 10 grade, high school - 11 through 12 grade. When I went to school, middle school was known as junior high and it was from 7 through 9 grade, and high school was from 10 through 12 grade. After high school we go to college, if we choose a higher education.
Interesting! That break down is a lot different than we have in New England! I'd heard of 9th grade being still in the junior high/middle school but never 10th!
I'm from Los Angeles, but things have changed so much since I went to school! Additionally, I heard someone say the other day that they're bringing the old system back like it was 30 years ago, who knows?
Yeah some of the districts near me (particularly urban districts) are going back to their older model of K-8 schools and a high school. The city I worked in eliminated all their middle schools and now just has K-8 schools and 2 HS.
I'm from Michigan in the US. When I was in school (several moons ago), there was Kindergarten, Elementary School (Grades 1-6), Junior High School (Grades 7-8) and High School (Grades 9-12).
Now, the breakdown is slightly different. There is Kindergarten, Elementary School (Grades 1-5), Middle School (Grades 6-8), and High School (Grades 9-12).
At the college/university level they educate teachers for Early Childhood Education (Pre-K), Primary Education (Grades K-8), and Secondary Education (Grades 9-12).
Ages may vary according to school cut offs or enrollement:
K (5/6), 1 (6/7), 2nd (7/8), 3rd (8/9), 4th (9/10), 5th (10/11), 6th (11/12), 7th (12/13/) 8th (13/14). I have taught children older or younger in 4th and middle grades. (Ages can vary.)
School districts develop and follow high curriculum standards. Each standard outlines goals for a child's grade level. Educators create lessons based on curriculum goals or follow suggested school district lessons. Materials and textbooks are determined based on a students needs and grade level expectation. Daily and weekly progress will determine the need to reinforce skills. Curriculum goals are aligned to standardized testing. Hence, educators have roughly 7-8 months to help learners show academic growth.
In addition, educators utilize creative learning strategies to reach all types of learners. I prefer problem based and collaborative activities, which focuses on student interest lessons. For learners severely behind, an educators goal is to use at level content, but grade level goals. Therefore, learners can gradually increase learning potential and meet/exceed grade level goals.
In my part of Ohio we have more grades in many school districts, starting younger:
1) Elementary School is Pre-K-3 (age 3) through Grade 5.
2) Middle School usually covers Grades 6,7, and 8; but one of our eastern suburbs has both Middle School of those grades and Junior High Schools of Grades 7,8, and 9. In one western suburb, Grade 6 is a whole school building unto itself and there are three large 6th Grade buildings there; for them, Middle School is only Grades 7 and 8..
3) High School usually includes Grades 9,10,11, and 12. In the old junior high schools that operated through the 1970s and early 1980s, Grade 9 was considered High School, even though taught in the Junior High building.
In addition to all this, high school juniors can often begin attending college classes at the same time they attend high school, traveling between the two. Other high school students enroll in AP (Advanced Placement) high school courses that offer college credit if passed with a certain score and a fee is paid.
Schools in America work well, I believe. However, there's room for improvement.
We have Elementary School, which goes from Kindergarten up through the 5th (or sometimes 6th) Grade. Kindergarteners are ages 5 and 6. After Kindergarten is finished, the kids graduate to the 1st grade. 1st Graders are ages 6 to 7, and so on do they graduate up to ages 11 or 12. Each grade level has a classroom or classrooms only full of students at that same grade level, though all of these different classrooms occupy a single large school.
Next is "Middle School", sometimes called "Junior High". The same basic system exists, except that the children now all have many classrooms for each school subject. There is a 7th and 8th Grade, though sometimes 6th grade is included in Middle School. (The system varies and is not perfectly defined. Middle School may refer only to the 6th Grade in some cases, while 7th and 8th Grades are called Junior High)
Finally, we have High School; grades 9 through 12 (also known as freshman, sophomore, Junior, and Senior). The age range goes from 14 to 18, which corresponds to each grade in most cases. When the 18-year-old senior completes their mandatory coursework, they receive a state-certified diploma. During their junior and senior years, students can take the SAT exam or the American College Testing exam to see how they rate on their ability to read, write, and do math. Colleges base a student's applicability for acceptance on these exams plus their grade point average in high school.
The general emphasis is on working hard, as opposed to being learned or intelligent. Doing large amounts of homework and studying for exams are the keys to succeeding. The children develop goal-oriented learning, whereby they know they must learn something only for the purpose of achieving some specific goal. Abstract, imaginative, or intellectual curiousity are not encouraged and children who do not do their work are branded as failures.
Not very well. A report this morning plummets the U.S. in SAT scores. Teachers are buried in No Child Left Behind paperwork, and are rushed through instruction. Babysitting is higher on the list than teaching. I know there are good teachers, but they are bombarded, and I believe it takes them further away from what they love - teaching.
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