Educational system in USA

Cudzie jazyky » Angličtina

Autor: ivanka88
Typ práce: Referát
Dátum: 25.07.2009
Jazyk: Angličtina
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In the USA there isn’t a national system of education. Each of the 50 states has its own education system but Federal government often gives money to schools and has very little control over administration and curriculum. All schools are controlled by an elected local body known as the „school board“ (voted by parents, very powerful, the quality of a school often depends on it) and by the city and state in which the school is located. The majority of all schools are public schools, financed by the state, free of charge and there are also private schools which are attended by children of the rich, private schools financed by religious groups are much cheaper. All public schools are mixed, some private or church schools are single-sex and pupils wear uniform as well as Britain. The beginning of the school year vary in each state from mid-August to mid-September and usually ends in May or June.
 
Pre-school and Elementary Education
It includes nursery schools and kindergartens which are up to age 5 and 6. In pre-school children get ready for school. They play with other children and learn to listen to the teacher. These are important programs for young children. Compulsory education begins at the age of 6, both the elementary and secondary education is comprehensive. Years in USA are called grades, so elementary school lasts from 1st until 5th grade. The children at an elementary school learn to read, write, do arithmetic, elementary science, history, geography, PE, arts and crafts and music. Students often raise their hands to ask questions and give answers.
 
Secondary Education
Over 90% of students continue in school until the age of 18. Secondary education is provided by Middle Schools (from 11 to 14 years) and by Junior High (12 to 15) and High School (15 to 18, 9th to 12th grade).
 
The first teacher the students see in the morning is their homeroom teacher. The homeroom teacher gives them information for the day. The teachers stay in their classrooms, while the students go from class to class. Some subjects /like English/ are compulsory, some are not. A special teacher called a guidance counselor helps the students to choose suitable subjects according to their interests, abilities and plans for the future.

High schools generally organise much activity outstanding the classroom, many of them have football, basketball and baseball teams, an orchestra, a choir etc. The students can join some clubs after school or to be on high school teams. Americans learn sports as part of their education. The teams practise often. They usually meet every day after school and 2 Saturdays a month. Parents, friends and teachers, all travel with the team to other schools and watch them to play. There is a special club of girls and boys who jump up and down and shout for their football team. They wear clothes of a special color – the color of their school’s team. Each school has a team color and a team name. Cheerleaders call out the team name in their cheers. They practise many hours to learn special jumping and cheering. Cheerleading is almost a sport itself.

Every classroom has an American flag in it. Students start each day by standing up and saluting the flag. They say the „Pledge of Allegiance“. This is a promise to the country. It was written 200 years ago. There is always a gym, a lunchroom, a school library, and an auditorium, a very large room where all the students and teachers can meet in American schools. Most schools also have rooms for the school a band to practise in. They have rooms for students to type and use computers. There are usually rooms for students to work with paint, wood, metal and other materials.

In the US, students take many tests each year. Teachers use tests to see how well pupils are learning at school. Most American schools give the following marks: A = 91-100 percent, B = 81-90 percent, C = 71-80 percent, D = 65-70 percent, E = 50-64 percent, and F = below 50 percent. In high school it is possible to take some classes without marks. Then the students get a „P“ for „pass“ and an „F“ for „fail“. Students get report cards four times a year. 81 percent of American students graduate from high school. The basic leaving school qualification is usually the High School Diploma or General Education Diploma (GED) which is awarded after passing an examination. There is no national school-leaving examination but during the final year of high school, most students take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT, taken in mathematics and English) which is a national college entrance examination. If you want to study at university you have to have good marks, SAT exam and extra curriculum activities. SAT exam is used to help select students for colleges and university entrance. But finally they haven’t got any other tests to entrance higher education.
 
Higher Education
About one third of high school graduates go on for some higher education. The system of higher education in the USA consist of following institutions:
1. Universities and colleges - its applicants are usually chosen on the basis of their high school records, recommendation from their high school teacher, some interviews or their scores on the SAT
2. Vo-techs (vocational-technical) institutions - high school graduates may take courses from six month to two years; they learn various technical skills (hair styling, business accounting, computer programming etc.) and after finishing people usually take up employment
3. Community colleges - provide vocational and semi-professional education for people with a High School Diploma for two years; graduates are awarded Associate of Arts degree, than students may enter many professions
 
Bachelor’s degree (B.A. or B.S.) is given to students after successful completion of four years study. Bachelors graduates can study further by attending a postgraduate course to get the degree of Master (M.A. or M.S.) after one to three years of another study. The Doctoral Degrees are given after two to five years of another study.

The oldest and most respected universities - Harvard (1636), Yale University (1701), University of Pennsylvania (1740), Princeton University (1746) or College of Columbia (1754) are all private. The cost of university studies varies. Each American university has its own curriculum. Undergraduate students must select their „major“ - the field in which they want their degree, plus a certain number of ‘electives’ or one „minor“ subject. The oldest and most respected universities in the USA (usually private) are: Harvard, Yale University, College of William and Mary, Un.of Pennsylvania, Princeton un., College of Columbia - they are very old. 25% of all universities and colleges are private ones, each university has its own curriculum. Undergraduate must select their „major“ (the field in which they want to get their degree) and certain number of electives or one minor subject.
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