Basics and stages of education in America


As a complement to my career in comparing the education systems of the world and the Egyptian system, I dealt first with Japanese education and today we address the American education system

Structure of the American educational system and admission system

The road is open to every child in the United States to go to university. Compulsory education starts at the age of six or eight to eighteen - in different states and local units - and there are stages of study passed by the American student. We can complete these stages in the following stages:

- Kindergartens and kindergartens:

It includes nurseries from the age of two to four. And aims to achieve the integrated development of the child and the development of personality in various aspects, and the adoption of habits of health and behavior, and the use and development of muscles, restraint and adherence to the rules of social behavior and self-reliance and cooperation with peers.

Kindergartens start from the age of four to the age of seven at most. The first school for kindergartens was established in 1855 by a German woman in Watertown, and since then it has become a part of the education system.

. Primary stage:

With the difference in laws between states, but most education is compulsory and free from the age of six years or seven to the age of sixteen, seventeen or eighteen. Primary public schools are common schools for all children of all faiths, origins and wealth.

If the study is eight years old, the study is divided into three sections:

The primary section consists of the first three grades, the second section is the intermediate section and includes the fourth, fifth and sixth, and the higher section includes the seventh and eighth.

Organization of primary education:

A) Staging organization:
The student moves from row to row higher each year if successful in certain materials. Another organization is "multi-gradation" where there are two or more students in the same class. The student can study in two different classes simultaneously, such as reading at the fourth grade and the computer at the level of the fifth grade and science at the level of the third grade.

B. Horizontal regulation:
In which students are distributed on a homogeneous or heterogeneous basis. In the heterogeneous distribution, students are divided according to their mental abilities and their achievement. The time is uniform for all students, but the time allotted for completion is different according to the student's speed of achievement.

- Secondary stage:

They are called secondary schools in the United States of America or higher schools, which are free public schools for Americans. This stage takes a variety of forms of organization. There are four-year schools that are preceded by eight years in middle schools. There are six-year schools, which are preceded by six years in middle schools. These are divided into two types:

A - The junior high school and duration of three years, and these are considered for professional studies and are currently common.

B - High school and a three-year high, and these schools are for university colleges

Supervision of education in the United States of America

The United States of America - it is often remembered - is the ideal of a decentralized system between the most modern and advanced countries. This feature applies in particular to school arrangements. Each state has an independent sovereign authority with regard to education. It determines the duration of compulsory education, develops special school rules, sets standards for teacher preparation, appointment, and so on. However, these challenges are a kind of external boundary that allows the local initiative to be highly capacitive, although it is implemented with precision.

So we can say that education is historically a responsibility of states and localities, but the federal government has intervened in educational activities since it was granted state lands in 1872 to establish the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts.

Three departments are involved in the Department of Education in America: the federal government, the state government, and local governments. Responsibility for the education system in the US system lies with local governments.

First: Federal Government:

The federal government does not directly supervise education, but it does contribute effectively to many aspects. Represented by the United States Bureau of Education, was established in 1876 and was the first to be headed by Henri Bernad. The office has three main functions:

- Educational research.
- Administering federal educational grants.
- Provide educational services to the United States and national institutions.

In addition to collecting statistics and data on education, disseminating information about schools and promoting education. The Office has been an adviser to the Ministry of Health and Education.

Second: Government of the States: 

The tenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America in 1791 gave the states supervision over their educational affairs. Thus, education is the responsibility of the states, and each state has a governor elected by the people and has important powers of education. It has powers over the budget of the states it spends on education and has an impact on state legislation. Some state governors are involved in state education policy, and in most states, the state governor appoints members of the state's education board.

The state administers all education matters, including setting educational levels, distributing federal government assistance, enforcing laws, defining curricula and materials, and adopting textbooks or making recommendations.

Each State has in its general organization the following: 

. State Legislature:

It is the competent authority to draw up the educational policy, determine the financial allocations for spending on education, issue educational laws and appoint the members of the State Council for Education.

. State Council for Education:
It is considered the highest authority in the vast majority of states after the legislature. The main responsibility of the State Council is to plan education in the light of the decisions of the legislature and the needs of the mandate, and to appoint the director of education in the state. It consists of 5-15 members who are ordinary citizens chosen by election or appointment. There are no qualifications required for membership of the Council. Members do not receive Agora on their membership. The term of membership shall be between (2-6) years.

. Director of General Education:
He is the chief executive officer and secretary of the Education Council. He is appointed by the state governor or the education board and may be appointed by election. And requires that he be a university with appropriate experience in the field of education. 

. State Education Directorate:
It implements the educational policy drawn up and determined by the Board of Education. The State Education Directorate is the executive body for education and assists the Director of Education in directing and supervising education. The Directorate includes various sections for primary, secondary, technical and higher education, teacher training, adult education and educational research.

Third: Local governments:
Each state is divided into cities, villages and counties. Each has its own council, the Council for Local Education, which carries out all matters of education mandated by its own states. This council is headed by a local director of education. The Council for Local Education establishes, prepares and maintains schools, appoints teachers, staff and administrators, and regulates the admission of students at various levels.

Funding Education in the United States of America

The education budget varies from one state to another as a result of the differences resulting from the existence of slums and rich ones. Three main sources of funding for education in the United States are:

. The federal government, which is involved in financing education by 4%.

. The state government, which participates about 39%.

. The local government bears the largest share by 57%.

Consequently, the largest burden of funding American education lies with local and state authorities, and this is because the 10th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America gave each state the power to regulate its educational institutions.

Governments rely heavily on taxes of various kinds in financing education. Therefore, spending on education is a big problem because of the different states within America at their social and economic levels. Therefore, if the state is rich and the tax revenues are large, spending on education is great, and this has helped to provide a good educational service. The low level of economic activity in some regions is pushing some other states to provide grants to poor regions and regions.

In the United States, taxes are levied for the purpose of spending on education at the following levels:

. Local taxes: imposed by the Council of Local Education for the purpose of increasing the cost of education. These taxes are collected and spent on education in the local area.

. State-mandated taxes: The state council is required to compensate for the shortfall in the educational budget of each of the local education boards from the state budget if local taxes are insufficient to deliver the level of education to the minimum level to be reached.

3. Taxation at the federal level: One of the most important taxes on education spending in most US states is the real estate tax, which is highly controversial on the grounds that it is insufficient and unfair, since the physical value of the property or company only know its real value when sold, Opponents of real estate tax suggest that income is the most appropriate measure of local wealth, so people can pay their taxes. But supporters of this tax see that real estate is a measure of wealth and material potential such as income or any measure of wealth

American Curriculum 

There is no formal national curriculum for education in the United States of America. Curriculum responsibility, planning and development rests with state education departments, with local states and schools given a certain amount of participation. Curriculum planning and development are typically attended by specialists in the subject, principals and teachers, as well as university professors from education specialists, business interest groups (authors of books and educational materials), national teacher institutions and national testing agencies.

It can be said that the responsibility for defining, planning and developing the curricula is based on the following:

- Departments of education in the states.
- Localities and schools.
- National institutions of teachers.
- Article specialists, school principals and teachers.
National testing agencies. 
- University professors from specialists in education.
- Parents and people of interest.
- Students in some states.

Each stage has its own curriculum. Kindergartens and nurseries Its curriculum includes training in basic math skills, group games, music and dance, and instilling public health habits and behavior.

The curriculum of the preparatory or primary stage is characterized by a flexible character, which takes into consideration the wishes and tendencies of the students and their speed of achievement.

Secondary school curricula are characterized by a variety that is not limited to preparation for life and methods of organizing the secondary school curriculum: 

. Multi-Curriculum: The student selects a program of programs prepared by the school (college enrollment programs - general programs - business administration programs - technical education programs), with a range of electives.

. Curriculum with fixed materials and variable materials: All students study a particular set of materials with a different set of optional materials.

. The curriculum with the main specialization and sub-specialization where the student chooses a subject (or two subjects) for the main specialization and the subject of the sub-specialization (among a group of subjects or fields). In addition, the compulsory study of some subjects is usually studied three years and two years.

. Elective Courses: The student chooses the various subjects offered by the school to complete the study of a certain number of credit hours stipulated in the graduation requirements.

The curricula of the secondary stage are of a distinctive nature and are based on the following principles:

. The function of secondary school is not limited to preparation for continuing education in universities, but includes preparation for life.

. Taking into consideration individual differences among students in terms of tendencies, abilities and preparations.

. Subjecting the curriculum to choose the student where he chooses the course he wishes, and in some states free choice of curriculum for the student

School year in American schools

Students begin their school year on the day following Labor Day in early September of each year and continue until early June of the following year. The total number of days of the school year is actually 180 days - except for the days when schools are closed due to ice and other natural factors - divided into two semesters separated by the holiday of the Chrismas.

The school day varies from place to place, but on average it ranges from six to seven hours.

American schools generally have a three-month summer break with the Christmas holiday and a number of days when classes are canceled to mark national or state events.

Benefit from the educational system in the United States of America

There are several lessons learned from the educational system in the United States of America, including:

. The importance of early education lies in the necessity and lies in the need for experiences and experiences that move the child's desire to learn at an early age, as a vital factor in order to find equal opportunities and progress and achievement.

. To allocate or increase the time devoted to teaching the curriculum, especially science, mathematics and technology during the preparatory and secondary school years, and this requires a significant extension of the school day, week or year to cover such programs.

. Education is a societal issue whose problems can only be resolved by collective participation, by reforming society's responsibility, and by volunteering to express this responsibility.

. Education reform must be comprehensive, not partial.

. Education reform starts from the students, and starts from the classes and not from the offices of officials.

. Establishment of educational councils to accelerate the process of change, and the development of educational objectives at the local and national levels.

. Provide training on the basis of scientific correct to solve the crisis of teaching, as the preparation of summer training programs for teachers, and on-the-job education activities.

. Revisiting educational curricula so that scientific progress is consistent with the needs of the local community.

. Provide parents with a role in the educational system at all stages on various topics.

. Attention should be given to developing information vessels and training learners to self-learning.

. Cooperation between the school and other social institutions must be greater than it is now. 

. مرونة الإدارة التعليمية وتزويد المعلمين ومدراء المدارس بالمشاركة في جهود التطوير والإصلاح