American Education System

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In England you start ‘secondary school’ in ‘year 7’ (11-12), choose your subjects for your final exams (GCSEs) in ‘year 10’ (14-15) after taking exams to determine what sets you’ll be in the previous year (‘year 9’) and take your final exams (GCSEs) at the end of ‘year 11’ (16) when you can then leave school. You can stay on for further school education at ‘6th form’ (called that because you spend five years at ‘secondary school’ before leaving) for two years.
Three science subjects, maths and English are compulsory and then you have to choose between geography or history, Spanish or French, woodwork or cooking etc.

How does the American education system work? What’s the earliest age that you can legally leave if you don’t fail any grades? Do end of year exams count for 100% of the marks for the next school year or end of school qualifications? Do you choose what subjects to take? What qualifications can you leave with? Is there further school education?
Can someone enlighten me on this please.

posted by  snoopewite

Snoope, I can explain it but then I'll also have to explain why it doesn't work so well.

Primary school is Kindnergarten through 6th grade. Middle school is 7th through 9th grade. High school is 10th through 12th grade. Kindergarten starts at age 4 1/2 to 5 1/2. Also there are slight variations in some areas as far as K through 12 but it still works out essentially the same. When you hit high school you have the opportunity in some areas to begin preparing for further academic or vocational studies. Again this is dependent on where you live, not across the board. Before I type any more let me make clear that I'm speaking generally about the public school system so please don't tell me it's different where you live. I'm sure it might be. As for when they can leave school again it's up to the local school system but 16ish is about right, whether they have a diploma or not.

Now for the reasons it doesn't work so well for many kids. Unfortunately the good old U. S. of A. has become the land of political correctness. Far too many students are promoted because it's easier than forcing them to progress. Or because we don't want to hurt little Johnny's feelings which will hurt his self esteem. School systems can also lose federal funding if they don't graduate enough students. Of course that isn't a factor... yeah right. As you can see the system is broke. Until someone at a high level is willing to stick their neck out and make some hard decisions it will only continue to deteriorate.

Personally I pulled my son out of high scool at age 16, when I found out he was being forced to sing the "black national anthem" at school instead of learning readin, 'rightin, and 'rithmatic (the three R's). Hell I thought there was only one national anthem. He has since graduated with a B average and is waiting to start college.

I hope this helps you understand the system. If you ever do completely please explain it to me. I know I've left some topics uncovered but maybe I'll hit them some other time.

Lastly let me answer part of your question with this;

What do you call someone who speaks two languages... Bilingual.
What do you call someone who speaks three languages... Trilingual.
What do you call someone who speaks one language... American.

posted by  vwhobo

i only know about leagly being alowed to leave school 16 (with parents consent) and 18 to sign your self out btw this is highschool im talking about and your grads do not matter i do not think

posted by  caffeine junky02

vwhobo is this right then -
Kindergarten/primary school 6th grade = 4-5
Middle school 7th grade = 5-6
Middle school 8th grade = 6-7
Middle school 9th grade = 7-8
High school 10th grade = 8-9
High school 11th grade = 9-10
High school 12th grade = 10-11

What happens from 12 years old? Was the statement about languages to say that you don’t learn languages in American schools? What subjects are Americans taught? What qualifications (we take GCSEs) did your son get a B average in?
Thanks for what you've covered so far.

posted by  snoopewite

Bloody Hell. Thats So complex :)

In Queensland. Its a bit different to other states in Australia.
It goes like

Pre School = 4-5 years
Primary School Grade 1 to 7 = 5+
High School 8 to 12

You must get passes in 4 subjects to be able to advance from grade 10 to 11. Each school is funded by the State And Federal Governments on a school size bases. If "Johnny" is unable to pass enough subjects, then Johnny will be asked to repeat a grade.

You can also leave school after year 10.

posted by  57ock

No sir, it seems I have confused you. Kids start school in Kindergarten at the age of 4 1/2 to 5 1/2. Primary School is grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Middle School is grades 7, 8, 9. High School is grades 10, 11, 12. Total of thirteen years. In 12th grade you're about 18 years old.

Foreign language is not mandatory. However most students seem to learn ebonics anyway.

Standard classes are math, language arts, history, science. Unfortunately there's way too much time spent on gay pride class, teen pregnancy class, self esteem class, sleeping class, etc. Yes that last part was sarcasm but not far from the truth.

See above. He was on the work release program to better prepare for his future.

Again I need to stress this is a general accounting. School systems do differ across the country. Also I wonder why none of our many teenagers have explained this yet. Probably too busy sleeping in school to know what it's about.

One last thing. As evidence of my point on political correctness and self esteem issues, Middle School used to be called Junior High School. It was gradually changed some time ago because the word "junior" was thought to be demeaning to students. Hey, I need to go get a lawyer. I went to Junior High School. I've been demeaned. ;)

posted by  vwhobo

Ugh...I live in California, our public education system sucks. I actually go to what's considered a 'good' school, up in the hills and all, but they still have the mantra: "If at first he doesn't suceed, give him 3,296 more chances!" That's really how it is, it's very difficult to fail the lower tier classes, you actually have to try. Now, the higher tier ones, such as A.P. History and A.P. Calculus, are very difficult courses, but they continually lose funding to lesser classes. We strive to be mediocre.

By the way, at my school, we are required to take a foreign language, (or a performing art), 4 years of English, 3 years of Math (which starts with pre-algebra for the less intellectually inclined students,) 2 years of science, 2 years of History, and Goverment classes.

To continue my rant, VWHobo, the classes you listed sarcastically aren't half-wrong...
Here's some examples:
"Gay-Pride Class" - The Gay Strait Alliance
"Teen Pregnency Class" - ASC (Basically study hall for slackers to hang out and not do work. Originally set-up so students that have trouble learning could get extra help from teachers.)
"Self-Esteem Class" - Any class without "A.P." or "Advanced" put in front of it.
"Sleeping Class" - See ASC above.

I'd also like to add:
"Get Stoned in the Bathroom Class"
"Hit-and Run in the Parking Lot Class"
"'I can kick your ass' 'No you can't!' Class"
"Let's pretend we're in a gang Class."

Sorry for my spelling/grammar, I'm a product of public education...what can I say? (And lacking MS Word after a HD re-format.)

posted by  Widowmaker2k

Thanks for the replies.

posted by  snoopewite

ok in NY theres a diff story-

grades K-5 are elementary school
grades 6-8 are Middle school
grades 9-12 are high school

New York has what we call Regents Examinations in several subjects. some of them include:

Math A- taken in January of ones Sophmore year
Math B/III - Taken in June of ones Junior Year

Earth Science- 9th grade
Biology- 10th grade
Chemistry- 11th grade
Physics- 12th grade

Spanish- end of 11th grade
Hebrew- whenever

Business- whenever

Global- end of 10th grade

English- end of 11th grade

and many others.....

in my specific case, i am accelerated in Math, Science, and Spanish. so i'm a sophmore in junior-level Math, Science and language. you can thank private school until 8th grade for that.

now in NY math is a complicated situation. the math program used to be 3 years, 3 courses, each one year: Math I, II, and III. but a number of years ago, New York decided to make each course longer- to 1 and a half years! so now the math is called Math A and B. math A is taken your freshman year into second semester of your sophmore. then B continues to the end of your junior year. this is fucking up many kids and failure rates are rising steadily.

also, failure rates for the Physics Regents are alarmingly high, but the state is apparently doing nothing.

aint that a bitch?

posted by  SuperJew

Well, here in Chesapeake, Virginia the school system isn't the best. I'm in the 12th grade and life's not that great. Here, you can choose from regular, Honors or AP classes and in order to graduate, you need to select a diploma, upon entrance into your freshman or 9th grade year, with x amount of credits. For instance, I have chosen a 24 credit diploma, which means I have to have:

4 credits in Math, English, Science and History
3 credits in a foreign language
2 credits in physical education and electives
1 credit in fine or practical arts

Now, with class options, I have more than the required number of credits, but to add a twist to the system, in order for a student to pass a class (non-elective), he/she must pass the SOL and the final exam. If you fail to pass, then you can take the class over again during summer school, but you won't fail your entire grade. Here, once in highschool, you can't really fail an entire grade unless you get kicked out of school or 10 days out-of-school suspension (OSS). Otherwise, you only fail individual classes. We have block scheduling here also.

I'm not entirely sure, but you are allowed to stop attending school at the age of 18, but if a parent were to take you out, then I'm not sure about the age limit.

So, it's not too bad, except that we've outgrown our school and it's only been up for 7 years now. Next year, their going to hold all the upcoming freshman (9th graders) back at the middle school and all the upcoming 6th graders will be held back at the elementary school simply because there isn't enough room for the new freshman class. The fact that we have to take an SOL and a final exam really sucks.

posted by  ferrarichika

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