Presentation on theme: "Education System in the United States of America An Overview Martha R. Green, M.Ed. Program Coordinator: Office of International Outreach & The Confucius."— Presentation transcript:
Education System in the United States of America An Overview Martha R. Green, M.Ed. Program Coordinator: Office of International Outreach & The Confucius Institute at Texas A&M University
The United States has a decentralized system of education; there is no national school system. In accordance with the U.S. Constitution, the ultimate authority to create and administer education policy rests with the 50 states, and most states have delegated authority to operate schools to local governments. There are no national laws addressing a prescribed curriculum, the establishment and recognition of institutions, the recognition of degrees or professions, the governance of institutions, or the legal status of students or faculty. The federal government plays a limited but important role in ensuring equity, supporting state and local educational improvement efforts, providing financial support for postsecondary education, gathering statistics and conducting research, and helping to make education a national priority. The United States has a Decentralized System of Education
Federal Government The United States Department of Education Secretary of Education: Arne Duncan (Cabinet-level position) National Education Budget (2007): $972 billion (public and private funds, all levels) Function: Responsible for federal education policy Official Mission: To ensure equal access to education and promote educational excellence throughout the nation. Collecting and disseminating information: educational statistics, research data, best practices; Playing a leadership role by influencing public opinion and building partnerships with states, communities, educators, parents, and the private sector to improve education; Ensuring equal educational opportunity by enforcing civil rights laws. The Department can withhold federal funding from any organization that is found in violation of civil rights law Supporting educational improvement and reform by providing grants to states, local governments, and individual schools (often targeted to disadvantaged groups Providing financial assistance to students to help pay for postsecondary education. No Child Left Behind Policy: Requires states to conduct annual proficiency tests
Role of State Governments Education policy and administration in the United States begins at the state level and continues at the local and institutional levels. Regardless of size, each state and territory is internally self-governing and has authority with respect to educational matters within its jurisdiction. Education policy is developed by the State Board of Education and the State Legislature, while the State Department of Education is responsible for implementing policy and overseeing the state's school districts. State Boards of Education are bodies of citizens that are either appointed by the legislature or governor, or elected by the public. Their job is to conduct oversight of statewide educational policies and operations, determine budget priorities, approve new policies and guidelines including curriculum guidelines and textbook selection, approve certain professional appointments, and consider requests from local education agencies. The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is the policy-making body of the Texas Education Agency (TEA), which coordinates all public educational activities and services except those of colleges and universities. Texas Education Agency establishes state curriculum guidelines and mandates a yearly schedule of testing to assess student progress (Texas Assessment of Academic Skills)
Responsible for the day-to-day affairs of state departments of education and report periodically to the state board, the legislature, and the governor Chartering or licensing institutions to operate within their jurisdictions; Establishing curriculum guidelines; Setting the minimum number of school days; Establishing school health and safety laws; Licensing or certifying school teachers and administrators; Developing policies and regulations governing public primary and secondary education; Designating and appointing agencies and boards to oversee public education at all levels; Providing funding and technical assistance to local government agencies and schools. Education tends to be the largest expenditure item in the budget of every state territory. On average, state education expenditures account for about 48% of total education spending in the United States. States do not generally regulate postsecondary education as closely as they do elementary and secondary education. State Commissioner of Education
Even though constitutional authority over education is ultimately vested in the state governments, most states delegate the operation and many aspects of policymaking to local school districts Authority over the curriculum varies, with some states prescribing general curriculum guidelines, while others require compliance with specific requirements. Local school districts are governed by a School Board whose members can be elected and/or appointed. School board selects and hires the District Superintendent as the individual responsible for implementing policy and managing the day-to-day operations of the school district. School districts are responsible for the following: Hiring teachers, principals, and other staff; Setting teacher and administrator salaries; Administering teacher in-service training; Coordinating school bussing; Allocating budgets among schools and programs; Overseeing building construction and maintenance; Entering into partnerships with the community. Role of Local Government
Elementary and secondary education generally spans 12 academic years, or grades. The academic year generally lasts approximately 9 months, or 180 days. Classes normally are in session September to June. The school day for all but the youngest children lasts from about 8:00 A.M. to 3:00 P.M. Ages for compulsory schooling in the United States vary by state, but all jurisdictions require school attendance. In general, school attendance is required between the ages of 6 and 16. There are about 26 million children in public elementary schools (grades K-5) and almost 17 million children in public secondary schools (grades 6-12). Private elementary and secondary schools enroll another 5 million children. Organization and Administration of Local School Districts
The funding of public elementary and secondary schools in the United States is decentralized. The federal government provides approximately 7% of total funding, while 47% and 46% of funding comes from the state and the local governments, respectively. The federal government provides grants to states and school districts to support improved educational quality and reforms. The state governments also provide grants to school districts and individual schools. In addition, states generally administer to school districts those funds granted to the state by the federal government. In Texas, the state allocates funds to local districts based on the average daily attendance of each student. In addition to the funding received from the federal government, the state government, and the private sector, local school districts receive a significant portion of their budget from local government funds such as bond issues and local property taxes School Finance
Curriculum Development There is no standard national curriculum set by law. The federal government is barred from establishing curriculum. States establish their own guidelines and policies for the curriculum and considerable freedom is often left to local and school authorities. Elementary education is not divided into different tracks such as academic or vocational. Secondary school students generally have the option to pursue a university preparation or a vocational-technical curriculum.
Primary School: Kindergarten to fifth grade (Early Childhood Education) American children start school at the age of five years. It is required of all American children enrolled in the American education system. Secondary school: Grades six through twelve Middle School: Grades six through eight High School: Ninth through twelfth grades High School Diploma: Certificate indicating completion of the twelfth grade. In the American education system, students must obtain a high school diploma before they are admitted into college or university. Undergraduate Schools: Course of study In a specific area Associate degree (two year degree) Bachelors Degree) (four-year degree) Graduate School Students who obtain a bachelor’s degree can continue their education by pursuing one of two types of degrees: Master’s degree (a two-year degree that is highly specialized in a specific field). PhD degree (three to seven years depending on required research) Certain courses of study are only available at the graduate school level in America: law, dentistry, and medicine. Structure of the Education System in the United States
Special Programs in Secondary Education Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: The federal law that grants children with disabilities the right to receive “a free appropriate public education.” Inclusion/Mainstreaming Individual Education Plan (IEP)/ Educational Modifications Gifted Education: Inquiry Academy, Jane Long Middle School & Harmony Science Academy “Gifted and talented student’ means a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who: Exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area; Possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or Excels in a specific academic field.” Bilingual Education/English as a Second Language Programs: Every student in the state who has a home language other than English and who is identified as limited English proficient shall be provided a full opportunity to participate in a bilingual education or English as a second language program Alternative Education Programs (AEP) Each school district shall provide a disciplinary alternative education program in a setting other than a student's regular classroom; provides that students who are assigned to the disciplinary alternative education program be separated from students who are not assigned to the program; focuses on English language arts, mathematics, science, history, and self-discipline; provides for students' educational and behavioral needs; provides supervision and counseling.
Education System in the United States of America An Overview Martha R. Green, M.Ed. Program Coordinator: Office of International Outreach & The Confucius Institute at Texas A&M University firstname.lastname@example.org http://worldroom.tamu.edu