Public School Education in the United States

Millions of children are enrolled in public schools in the U.S., spread out over primary, middle and high school.

The education system in the United States is fairly massive, distinct and complicated. It mirrors the history, civilization and ideals of the great American nation. In fact, the country’s educational structure can be distinguished by the huge magnitude, organization, noticeable devolution and variety. The public school system developed rapidly all through the post-Second World War epoch which was between 1946 and 1964. It plunged during the eighties but enrollment picked up soon after primarily due to the increase of the Hispanic populace. At present, there are roughly 95,000 public elementary schools and high schools as well as over 4,000 institutes of advanced learning. The federal government spends approximately $880 billion annually for education.

Difference between Public and Private Schools

There is a significant difference between public education and private schooling in the U.S. The two distinct factors include the manner of administration and funding. Public academic institutions obtain financial support from the federal and state governments. On the other hand, private schools get theirs from private organizations and donations from individuals or corporate organizations. Majority of public schools are managed by local governments but funds are provided by federal, state and local governments. Private schools are administered by a private entity or consortium.

Public schools education is more widespread in the U.S. compared to the private system with a whopping 90 percent of kids attending these schools run by the government. Traditional levels in public schooling are the following:

  • Elementary or Primary School – Kindergarten to Grade 5
  • Middle or Junior High – Grades 6 to 8
  • Secondary or High School – Grades 9 to 12

Rules and regulations are established by members of the school board who are elected under the local authority.

Public Education Issues

The student population of almost all public schools is too big. It is twice the size of their private counterparts. One study revealed that the ratio is a minimum of 16 students for every mentor as against 13 students for private schools. One of the reasons is free education. However, the drawback is that pupils tend to get less attention from the teacher. The core curriculum may not be as advanced compared with the private educational system. There are usually standard programs and testing for all students. Private schools maintain specialized modules and evaluation system. In other words, state governments decide on what students will learn in public schools.

Another concern is that all students are accepted regardless of aptitude. Students cannot be denied admission by any public school. This translates to a snail-pace method of learning. That is why private schools demonstrate better performance during achievement examinations. Besides, there is higher incidence of violent behavior and dropout rate in public schools. There is no selection process so anybody can simply study in public schools.

Parents have to check the background of these schools along with school rankings before enrolling their kids. You also need to verify the safety policies of each institution. The advantage in sending your children to these schools is the exposure to different kinds of people from different socio-economic upbringing. This teaches them to get along well with other kids. However, it is still your choice on whether to opt for a private or public school system.