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Types of schools in the USA

Public schools are required to provide an education free of charge to everyone of school age in their districts. Admission to individual public schools is usually based on residency. To compensate for differences in school quality based on geography, school systems serving large cities and portions of large cities often have ďmagnet schoolsĒ that provide enrollment to a specified number of non-resident students in addition to serving all resident students. This special enrollment is usually decided by lottery with equal numbers of males and females chosen. Some magnet schools cater to gifted students or to students with special interests, such as the sciences or performing arts. Admission to some of these schools is highly competitive and based on an application process. Curriculum decisions in public schools are made largely at the local and state levels; the federal government has limited influence. In most districts, a locally elected school board runs schools. The school board appoints an official called the superintendent of schools to manage the schools in the district.

Private schools in the United States include parochial schools (affiliated with religious denominations), non-profit independent schools, and for-profit private schools. Private schools charge varying rates depending on geographic location, the schoolís expenses, and the availability of funding from sources, other than tuition. For example, some churches partially subsidize private schools for their members.

Private schools have various missions: most of them take sports very seriously and recruit athletes heavily, some cater to college-bound students seeking a competitive edge in the college admissions process; others are for gifted students, students with learning disabilities or other special needs, or students with specific religious affiliations. Some cater to families seeking a small school, with a nurturing, supportive environment. Unlike public school systems, private schools have no legal obligation to accept any interested student. Admission to some private schools is highly selective. Private schools also have the ability to permanently expel persistently unruly students, a disciplinary option not always legally available to public school systems. Private schools offer the advantages of smaller classes, under twenty students in a typical elementary classroom, for example; a higher teacher/student ratio across the school day, greater individualized attention and in the more competitive schools, expert college placement services. Unless specifically designed to do so, private schools usually cannot offer the services required by students with serious or multiple learning, emotional, or behavioral issues. Although reputed to pay lower salaries than public school systems, private schools often attract teachers by offering high-quality professional development opportunities, including tuition grants for advanced degrees. According to elite private schools themselves, this investment in faculty development helps maintain the high quality program that they offer. Some examples of successful private schools are Deerfield Academy, Phillips Academy Andover and St Paulís School.



Home schooling. Parents select moral or religious reasons for home schooling their children. Most homeschooling advocates are wary of the established educational institutions for various reasons. Some are religious conservatives who see nonreligious education as contrary to their moral or religious systems, or who wish to add religious instruction to the educational curriculum (and who may be unable to afford a church-operated private school, or where the only available school may teach views contrary to those of the parents). Others feel that they can more effectively tailor a curriculum to suit an individual studentís academic strengths and weaknesses, especially those with singular needs or disabilities. Still others feel that the negative social pressures of schools (such as bullying, drugs, crime, and other school-related problems) are detrimental to a childís proper development. Parents often form groups to help each other in the homeschooling process, and may even assign classes to different parents, similar to public and private schools.


Date: 2014-12-29; view: 365


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Junior and senior high school | Post-secondary (higher) education in the USA
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