Schooling System in USA
School System in U.S.A
Edited from Educational in a Global Society – A Comparative Perspective
By Allyn and Bacon
Prepared by :
There are about 45 young people go to school and spend more than three-quarters of a trillion dollars, each year in United States. Such amount of money got from the taxpayers. They attend 85,000 schools in 1,500 local education authorities called school districts. The school institutions employ nearly 5 million people, most of whom are extensively trained professional educators.
One-fourth of these 45 million students go to school in the 100 largest local districts in the country. The 7.754 least populated districts in 1992-1993 (53.2 percent of the total 15.030 districts reported that year) accounted for only 1.7 percent of the total students enrollment. The ten largest districts had 7 percent of the students; 9 of these 10 reported minority students made up more than 50 percent of their pupils. Half of the hundred largest districts have more than 50 percent black, Hispanic, or Asia/Pacific Islander enrollment. Chicago reported that 88.4 percent of its’ pupils were from minority groups.
Structure and Attendance.
By the 1950’s, all states had adopted a de facto model of six years of elementary and six years of secondary schooling. Children in grade 1 to 3 tended to stay with the same teacher all day. In the grade 4 to 6, one main teacher still taught most subjects but more specialized teachers. Grade 1 to 6 usually exist in a common building. Typically elementary schools have three to six classes or rooms of each grade. It means that most elementary schools have 350 to 800 pupils and twenty to forty full-time professional staff.
In the first two or three years of secondary schools has traditionally been called junior high school. Pupils normally have five to seven subjects, each from a specialist. Teachers usually have a room assigned and pupils more every period (usually 45 to 55 minutes in duration) to the room of the teacher to whom they are assigned for that period.
Senior high school, usually simply called high school, have separate physical facilities – often including extensive athletic field – and include either grades 9 to 12 or 10 to 12. A larger high school typically enroll 3,500 t0 5,000 pupils and may have 200 to 300 teachers. They may have a dozen or more counselors and social workers.
Schools in U.S generally followed the sentiments expressed in a U.S Office of Education/National Education Association Document called Cardinal Principal of Secondary Education. This was the foundation of comprehensive rather than specialized (academic, vocational) secondary schools. The seven principles are health, command of fundamental processes, worthy home membership, vocational, citizenship, worthy use of leisure, and ethical character (Cohen, 1974).
An elective system under careful supervision of guidance counselors used standardized tests track students into one of three main steams: college preparatory, commercial, or general. College preparatory students who set in the same algebra, courses were also together in all or most of their other classes. Commercial track student had typing and bookkeeping together – and in the same English, social studies, and business arithmetic classes. General track students, by having home economics or shop classes in common, also saw each other in every class they took. In practice counselor could usually persuade pupils toward “appropriate” course.