After explaining the general structure of the American education system, we will try to examine it in detail and compare it with other countries.
The American Education System is one of the most unique and rich systems in the world. However, it is also widely criticized for not offering equal opportunities to all students.
In this article, we will examine the American education system in detail and compare it with other developed countries. Today we’re going to highlight some of the key issues and challenges facing the US education system.
American Education System
The American education system is one of the most unique and controversial in the world. It is constantly compared with other developed countries and often has serious shortcomings in some areas.
First, let me state this. There is no nationwide standardized education system in America. Each state has a different structure determined by the institutions it has created for this business. While this situation provides intellectual richness as it increases diversity, it also causes serious problems to arise.
Although the education system varies from state to state, there are some basic things, of course. First of all, in America, primary school starts at the age of 6, similar to many countries in the world. Those who wish can also receive a kindergarten education ranging from 1 to 3 years. However, 12 years of education after the age of 6 is compulsory. There is no distinction between primary school, secondary school and high school in America as in Turkey. The general name of the building in which the person reads from the first to the twelfth grade is high school. So actually, an American kid starts high school at the age of 6 and graduates high school when he reaches 12th grade.
After that, the child has two options. He will either go to a 2-year community college and get a job, or go to a 4-year undergraduate university.
The postgraduate learning experience is very similar to the rest of the world. Although America is criticized for the quality and problems of education, especially the first 12 years of education, it manages to attract students and academics from many nationalities at the graduate level. Indeed, many of America’s successes are related to its ability to remain a center of attraction for other nations.
A Brief History of the American Education System
The American education system has its roots in the era when churches and families were responsible for educating children. The first public schools were established in the early 19th century, and in the mid-19th century most states passed compulsory education laws mandating that children attend school.
The American education system is characterized by a high degree of localization. Responsibility for education lies with the states and local governments rather than the central government. This decentralized structure allows for substantial variation in the quality and content of education across the United States.
In general, American students do not perform poorly on international standardized tests compared to their peers in other developed countries. However, there are significant achievement gaps between different student groups in the United States.
Comparing the United States to Other Countries
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), which measures the average performance of 15-year-olds in reading, math, and science literacy, the United States is ranked 38th in the world for education.
“While serious developments have been reported in other countries in the past years, we see that the United States has not been as successful in education as it would like.”
One reason for this performance of the United States is the huge difference in achievement within itself. In PISA, low-income students score lower than their more affluent peers, and the gap in scores is much higher than in developed countries.
The United States also spends more on education than any other country, but that doesn’t translate into better outcomes for students. In 2010, the United States spent an estimated $598 billion on primary and secondary education, which equates to about $12,300 per student.
That’s more than double what many other developed countries spend on their students. For example, Finland spends about $9,000 per student, while Germany spends about $10,000.
“Considering that while the effects of investments made in education are seen in at least seven years and the full outputs are taken in 20 years, the importance of using education and training efficiently becomes evident once again.”
The United States has to make some changes if it wants to improve its education system and compete with other developed countries. Among the suggestions for this change, there are proposals to invest more in early childhood education, to reduce the class size, to increase the quality of teachers, and to ensure the active participation of families in the system.
It is also worth noting that the United States has a relatively large immigrant population. Many of these immigrants come from low-education countries, which can affect their children’s success in school. Additionally, in many immigrant homes, English may not be the first language spoken, making it difficult for children to understand the lessons in school.
The Role of the Federal Government
The American education system, unlike many other developed countries, does not operate from a central point of view, but from a local point of view that gives more authority to the states. But the federal government also plays an important role in financing and regulating education.
7% of the compulsory 12-year education is financed by the federal government, while the remaining 93% is provided by states and local governments. But of course, given the overall share allocated to education, the policies of the federal government have a major impact on this funding and how it is managed.
Most federal funds consist of grants to states and school districts. These grants are based on factors such as the number of disadvantaged students in a province or state. The largest program is the one that was first enacted in 1965 and is now known as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
Under this program, states are committed to developing standards in reading and math, conducting annual assessments to measure students’ progress toward meeting those standards, and responding to schools that are not making sufficient progress.
In addition to funding, the federal government also regulates education through a number of laws and policies. For example, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees the right of students with disabilities to receive free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment possible.
It is important to note, however, that although the federal government plays an important role in education, control over education rests primarily with states and local governments. In most cases, states and territories decide how federal funds are used, what standards are set, and how schools are held accountable for results.
As a result, there is tremendous variation across the country in how schools operate and what they offer students.
Various socioeconomic factors play a role in the quality of education students receive in the United States. For example, children from low-income families are more likely to attend schools with fewer resources and less experienced teachers.
This can lead to a cycle of poverty and reduced opportunities for children. It can also create a feeling of alienation and resentment among students that can affect their performance at school.
The high cost of education at many colleges and universities can completely prevent some students from pursuing higher education. All these factors are increasingly widening the gap in success between the United States and other developed countries.
Teacher Training and Certification
An important difference in the American education system is the way teachers are trained and certified. In most developed countries, teachers must complete a rigorous study and training process before they are allowed to teach in the classroom.
This process typically includes the completion of a pedagogical examination alongside a period of trainee teaching under the supervision of an experienced teacher. In contrast, the requirements to become a teacher in the United States are much less stringent. In many states, teachers are only required to have a bachelor’s degree and pass a basic skills test.
Although some states have introduced programs to improve teacher education and certification, these programs are not compulsory and many teachers continue to enter the profession without any specific pedagogical training.
This difference between the USA and other developed countries has consequences in terms of both the quality of education received by students and the working conditions of teachers. The rate of teachers in the US reporting that they feel unprepared for their profession and leaving their profession within the first five years is very high.
Teacher Salary and Training in the USA
The American education system also lags behind many other developed countries when it comes to teacher salaries and training. In most developed countries, teachers are relatively well paid and receive extensive training. In the United States, however, teacher salaries are relatively low and education is often inadequate.
This comparative lack of investment in the teaching profession has serious implications for the quality of education in the United States. Low-paid and poorly educated teachers are naturally less likely to be effective educators.
There are several reasons for the relatively low level of investment in teachers in the United States. An important factor is the way education is financed in the United States. Unlike most developed countries, which finance education primarily through taxation, the United States relies heavily on private donations and philanthropy to support education.
This funding model means there is less money to invest in teachers and other aspects of the education system. Also, America’s education system is much larger and more complex than that of many other developed countries.
This makes it even more difficult to invest effectively in teachers. There are too many schools and too many students as well as too many non-standardized practices for any government or philanthropic organization to adequately support.
Participation of Families
As parents, we want the best for our children. We want them to be safe, happy and successful in life. Part of ensuring this is naturally providing them with a good education. In today’s world, this also means choosing the right school and being involved in their education.
Numerous studies have shown that family involvement is crucial to a child’s success in school. According to the National Education Association, “Family involvement has been found to be associated with higher student grades, more positive attitudes and behaviors, less truancy, and improved social skills.”
One way for families to participate in the education system in America is to volunteer at their children’s schools. This could mean helping the class, accompanying field trips, or serving on school committees. It’s also important to attend school events such as open meetings, parent-teacher conferences, and graduations.
As we mentioned above, education in the United States is primarily funded through local and state taxes, with the federal government contributing only 7% of total funding. This is in contrast to many other developed countries where the central government is the primary funder of education.
The decentralized funding system means that there are significant disparities in funding between different school districts in the United States. For example, the average spending per student in New York state in 2016 was more than double that of Mississippi.
This inequality in finance has a number of consequences. First, it means that schools in different parts of the country have very different resources available to them. This often leads to lower quality schools in areas where less money is spent on education. Second, it increases inequality between different groups of students.
Students from wealthy families can go to better schools with more resources, while students from poorer families are stuck in lower-quality schools. This situation increases the gap between rich and poor students and makes it difficult for low-income students to get a good education.
As we explained above, the high income inequality in the USA, due to the differences in the budgets allocated by the states to education, causes a distorted system to emerge as the children of wealthy families have much more access to resources than the children of low-income families.
While wealthy families can afford to live in neighborhoods with good schools, hire teachers, and send their children to private schools, middle-income or low-income families can find themselves in a difficult circle of poverty.
Another factor is the way schools are funded in the US.
For example, property taxes are the primary source of funding for states on behalf of public schools. This means that schools in communities with high property values have more money to spend per student than schools in communities with low property values. This creates a vicious circle.
There are a number of ongoing efforts to address the issue. But these will require significant changes in the way education is financed and managed in the US. If the USA can ensure that all students have equal opportunities to receive a quality education, it will certainly close the success gap and give every child the opportunity to reach their potential.
What are the Negative Aspects of the American Education System?
One of the biggest problems is the high cost of education. In many countries, education is free or very affordable. This is not the case in the United States, where the average cost of education is over $30,000 per year.
The American education system gives too much importance to exams. Students are constantly tested for their knowledge and skills. While testing is a good way to measure progress, it can be stressful for students. In some cases, students are so stressed about passing exams that they don’t get a chance to learn new material or explore their interests.
There are a few key areas where the American system particularly falls short:
- America has a much higher dropout rate than any other developed country. In fact, nearly one in four American students does not graduate from college.
- The quality of American schools varies greatly depending on location and socioeconomic status. There are some world-renowned universities in the United States, but there are also many below-average schools.
- The cost of going to university in the United States is much higher than in many other developed countries. This deters many talented students from pursuing higher education.
- There is too much inequality in the American education system. Students from wealthier families tend to receive better education than students from lower income families.
What are the Positive Aspects of the American Education System?
One of the main positive aspects is that there is so much choice and flexibility when it comes to studying in the United States. There are many different types of schools and education programs available, which means students can find an option that suits their individual needs and interests.
One of the biggest positive aspects of the American education system is its diversity. Students from all over the world come to study in the United States, which creates a rich and culturally enriching learning environment.
The American education system has some strengths that stand out in particular:
- There is a lot of flexibility in the American education system. Students can choose from a wide variety of courses and programs and are not restricted by age or school year.
- The American education system is very competitive. This encourages students to work hard and strive for success.
- The United States has some of the best universities in the world that attract top students and professors from all over the world.
- The American education system is constantly developing and trying to improve itself. This means that new ideas and innovations are always implemented. This makes it one of the most dynamic systems in the world.
The American education system is unique in many ways. It is a product of the country’s history, culture and values. The United States has always been a land of opportunity, and education has been seen as a way to ensure equal opportunity for all. This has led to a strong belief in the value of education and a commitment to provide free education for all children.
The American education system has also been shaped by the country’s federal government system. The federal government has a limited role in education compared to other developed countries. This allows states and local communities to have more control over their schools. But it also means more inequality. Some states and school districts have more resources than others, leading to inequalities in educational quality.
In summary, the American education system needs a reform. There are many challenges that need to be addressed, including inequality, financing and access. However, the United States has a long history of innovation in education, and there are strong reasons to believe it can meet these challenges.