What Youre Not Supposed To Know About Public School In America
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A small percentage of students who apply to these schools gain admission. Also renowned within the United States are the so-called Little Ivies and a number of prestigious liberal arts colleges. Certain public universities sometimes referred to as Public Ivies are also recognized for their outstanding record in scholarship. Some of these institutions currently place among the elite in certain measurements of graduate education and research, especially among engineering and medical schools.
Each state in the United States maintains its own public university system, which is always non-profit. Most areas also have private institutions , which may be for-profit or non-profit. Unlike many other nations, there are no public universities at the national level outside of the military service academies. Prospective students applying to attend four of the five military academies require, with limited exceptions, nomination by a member of Congress. Like acceptance to "top tier" universities, competition for these limited nominations is intense and must be accompanied by superior scholastic achievement and evidence of "leadership potential.
Aside from these aforementioned schools, academic reputations vary widely among the 'middle-tier' of American schools, and even among academic departments within each of these schools. Most public and private institutions fall into this 'middle' range. Some institutions feature honors colleges or other rigorous programs that challenge academically exceptional students, who might otherwise attend a 'top-tier' college. Some apply to a relatively prestigious school with a low acceptance rate, gambling on the chance of acceptance but, as a backup, also apply to a safety school.
Lower status institutions include community colleges. These are primarily two-year public institutions, which individual states usually require to accept all local residents who seek admission, and offer associate's degrees or vocational certificate programs. Many community colleges have relationships with four-year state universities and colleges or even private universities that enable their students to transfer to these universities for a four-year degree after completing a two-year program at the community college. Regardless of perceived prestige, many institutions feature at least one distinguished academic department, and most post-secondary American students attend one of the 2, four-year colleges and universities or 1, two-year colleges not included among the 25 or so 'top-tier' institutions.
Economics professor Alan Zagier blames credential inflation for the admission of so many unqualified students into college. He reports that the number of new jobs requiring college degrees is less than the number of college graduates. In other words, it is not enough simply to spend more time in school; something has to be learned there. Currently, the state and national governments share power over public education, with the states exercising most of the control.
Except for Hawaii, states delegate power to county , city or township -level school boards that exercise control over a school district. Some school districts may further delegate significant authority to principals, such as those who have adopted the Portfolio strategy. Education is not mentioned in the constitution of the United States , but the federal government uses the threat of decreased funding to enforce laws pertaining to education.
Nonprofit private schools are widespread, are largely independent of the government, and include secular as well as parochial schools.
Educational accreditation decisions for private schools are made by voluntary regional associations. All but seven of the leading countries are developing countries; ranked high because of a low GDP. Figures exist for education spending in the United States, both total and per student, and by state and school district. They show a very wide range in spending, but due to the varying spending policies and circumstances among school districts, a cost-effectiveness analysis is very difficult to perform. Changes in funding appear to have little effect on a school system's performance.
However, scores in mathematics, science and language arts over that same period remained almost unchanged. Multi-year periods in which a state's funding per student declined substantially also appear to have had little effect. Property taxes as a primary source of funding for public education have become highly controversial, for a number of reasons. First, if a state's population and land values escalate rapidly, many longtime residents may find themselves paying property taxes much higher than anticipated.
In response to this phenomenon, California's citizens passed Proposition 13 in , which severely restricted the ability of the Legislature to expand the state's educational system to keep up with growth. Some states, such as Michigan, have investigated or implemented alternative schemes for funding education that may sidestep the problems of funding based mainly on property taxes by providing funding based on sales or income tax.
These schemes also have failings, negatively impacting funding in a slow economy. One of the biggest debates in funding public schools is funding by local taxes or state taxes. The federal government supplies around 8. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved June 4, The remaining split between state and local governments averages Rural schools struggle with funding concerns. State funding sources often favor wealthier districts. The state establishes a minimum flat amount deemed "adequate" to educate a child based on equalized assessed value of property taxes.
This favors wealthier districts with a much larger tax base. This, combined with the history of slow payment in the state, leaves rural districts searching for funds. Lack of funding leads to limited resources for teachers. Resources that directly relate to funding include access to high-speed internet, online learning programs and advanced course offerings. One study found that school districts spend less efficiently in areas in which they face little or no competition from other public schools, in large districts, and in areas in which residents are poor or less educated.
The reliance on local funding sources has led to a long history of court challenges about how states fund their schools. These challenges have relied on interpretations of state constitutions after a U. Supreme Court ruling that school funding was not a matter of the U. Rodriguez , U.
Public schools: fact and fiction | Parenting
The state court cases, beginning with the California case of Serrano v. Priest , 5 Cal. More recently, state court cases have begun to consider what has been called 'adequacy. Perhaps the most famous adequacy case is Abbott v. Burke , N. The background and results of these cases are analyzed in a book by Eric Hanushek and Alfred Lindseth.
Washington State ,  Supreme Court decision that found the state had failed to "amply" fund public education for Washington's 1 million school children. On September 11, , the state Supreme Court found the legislature in contempt for failing to uphold a court order to come up with a plan to boost its education budget by billions of dollars over the next five years. The state had argued that it had adequately funded education and said diverting tax revenue could lead to shortfalls in other public services.
While the hiring of teachers for public schools is done at the local school district level, the pension funds for teachers are usually managed at the state level. Some states have significant deficits when future requirements for teacher pensions are examined.
In , these were projected deficits for various states: Still others accept both, and a few schools will not accept either, in which case students must seek out private alternatives for student loans. Grant funding is provided by the federal Pell Grant program. Major issues include assessment of proficiency versus growth, funding and legal protection of special education, and excessive student loan debt.
It has been alleged, since the s and especially in recent years, that American schooling is undergoing a crisis in which academic performance is behind other countries, such as Russia, Japan, or China, in core subjects. Congress passed the National Defense Education Act in in an attempt to rectify these problems, and a series of other legislative acts in later decades such as No Child Left Behind.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, however, American students of ranked 25th in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading compared with students in 27 other countries. Recent allegations take the perspective of employers who demand more vocational training. Voters in both major parties have been critical of the Common Core initiative. In a Supreme Court decision concerning affirmative action in universities allowed educational institutions to consider race as a factor in admitting students, but ruled that strict point systems are unconstitutional.
African American academics Henry Louis Gates and Lani Guinier , while favoring affirmative action, have argued that in practice, it has led to recent black immigrants and their children being greatly overrepresented at elite institutions, at the expense of the historic African American community made up of descendants of slaves. The rise of the high school movement in the beginning of the 20th century was unique in the United States, such that, high schools were implemented with property-tax funded tuition, openness, non-exclusivity, and were decentralized.
The academic curriculum was designed to provide the students with a terminal degree. The students obtained general knowledge such as mathematics, chemistry, English composition, etc. The provision of the high schools accelerated with the rise of the second industrial revolution. The increase in white collar and skilled blue-collar work in manufacturing was reflected in the demand for high school education. In the 21st century, the educational attainment of the US population is similar to that of many other industrialized countries with the vast majority of the population having completed secondary education and a rising number of college graduates that outnumber high school dropouts.
As a whole, the population of the United States is becoming increasingly more educated. Post-secondary education is valued very highly by American society and is one of the main determinants of class and status. Since the s the number of educated Americans has continued to grow, but at a slower rate. Some have attributed this to an increase in the foreign born portion of the workforce. However, the decreasing growth of the educational workforce has instead been primarily due to slowing down in educational attainment of people schooled in the United States.
The cause cannot be excessively demanding college courses, since grade inflation has made those courses increasingly easy in recent decades. According to research from within the past 20 years, girls generally outperform boys in the classroom on measures of grades across all subjects and graduation rates.
This is a turnaround from the early 20th century when boys usually outperformed girls. Boys have still been found to score higher on standardized tests than girls and go on to be better represented in the more prestigious, high-paying STEM fields. There is an ongoing debate over which gender is the most short-changed in the classroom.
Solon City School District
The racial achievement gap in the US refers to the educational disparities between Black and Hispanic students compared with Asian and Caucasian students. African-American and Hispanic students are more likely to receive lower grades, score lower on standardized tests, drop out of high school, and are less likely to enter and complete college.
One explanation is the disparity in income that exists between African Americans and Whites. This school of thought argues that the origin of this "wealth gap" is the slavery and racism that made it extremely difficult for African-Americans to accumulate wealth for almost years after slavery was abolished. A comparable history of discrimination created a similar gap between Hispanics and Whites.
This results in many minority children being born into low socioeconomic backgrounds, which in turn affects educational opportunities. Another explanation has to do with family structure. Professor Lino Graglia has suggested that Blacks and Hispanics are falling behind in education because they are increasingly raised in single-parent families. A third explanation which has been suggested, by, for example University of California, Berkeley Professor Arthur Jensen , in a controversial paper published in , is that there is an innate difference in intelligence between blacks and whites.
Other publications are critical of Jensen's methods and disagree with his conclusions. The idea that the difference in achievement is primarily genetic is controversial,  and few members of the academic community accept these findings as fact. Other explanations offered for the racial achievement gap include: Most authors mention several such factors as influential on outcomes, both in the United States  and worldwide. In the OECD 's Programme for International Student Assessment , which emphasizes problem solving, American year-olds ranked 24th of 38 in mathematics, 19th of 38 in science, 12th of 38 in reading, and 26th of 38 in problem solving.
Reading scores could not be reported due to printing errors in the instructions of the U. However, the picture changes when low achievers, Blacks and Hispanics, in the U. White and Asian students in the United States are generally among the best-performing pupils in the world; black and Hispanic students in the U. Black and Hispanic students in the US do out perform their counterparts in all African and Hispanic countries.
US fourth and eighth graders tested above average on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study tests, which emphasizes traditional learning. The United States is one of three OECD countries where the government spends more on schools in rich neighborhoods than in poor neighborhoods, with the others being Turkey and Israel. Poor education also carries on as students age. In the most recent survey done in , 33 nations took part with adults ages 16 to 65 in numeracy, literacy and problem-solving. Millennials in Spain and Italy scored lower than those in the U.
Current education trends in the United States represent multiple achievement gaps across ethnicities, income levels, and geography. In sum, McKinsey's report suggests, "These educational gaps impose on the United States the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession. Overall the households and demographics featuring the highest educational attainment in the United States are also among those with the highest household income and wealth. Thus, while the population of the US is becoming increasingly educated on all levels, a direct link between income and educational attainment remains.
In , Americans stood second only to Canada in the percentage of to year-olds holding at least two-year degrees. Among to year-olds, the country stands tenth. The nation stands 15 out of 29 rated nations for college completion rates, slightly above Mexico and Turkey. It involved lengthy interviews of over 26, adults statistically balanced for age, gender, ethnicity, education level, and location urban, suburban, or rural in 12 states across the U.
In addition to its economic impact, social science provides evidence that the level of educational attainment of a community also has quantifiable impacts on many aspects of well-being, including life expectancy, low birthweight rates, crime, and political engagement. A study found that students who were expelled were three times as likely to become involved with the juvenile justice system the following school year.
The United States is one of the very few developed countries where corporal punishment is officially permitted and practiced in its public schools, although the practice has been banned in an increasing number of states beginning in the s. The punishment virtually always consists of spanking the buttocks of a student with a paddle in a punishment known as " paddling.
Mississippi, Texas, Alabama, Arkansas, and Georgia. The National Center for Education Statistics reported statistics about public schools in the United States in During the —16 school year in the United States, the National Center for Education Statistics reported the following: Nine percent of schools reported that one or more students had threatened a physical attack with a weapon. Ninety five percent of schools had given their students lockdown procedure drills, and ninety two percent had drilled them on evacuation procedures.
Forty-two percent of schools had at least one school resource officer. In some schools, a police officer, titled a school resource officer , is on site to screen students for firearms and to help avoid disruptions. Curricula in the United States can vary widely from district to district. Different schools offer classes centering on different topics, and vary in quality.
Some private schools even include religious classes as mandatory for attendance. This raises the question of government funding vouchers in states with anti-Catholic Blaine Amendments in their constitution. This in turn has produced camps of argument over the standardization of curricula and to what degree it should exist. These same groups often are advocates of standardized testing, which is mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act. There is debate over which subjects should receive the most focus, with astronomy and geography among those cited as not being taught enough in schools.
Schools in the 50 states, the District of Columbia , the U. Virgin Islands , Guam , and the Northern Mariana Islands , teach primarily in English, with the exception of specialized language immersion programs. In , , students in Puerto Rico were taught in Spanish , their native language. The Native American Cherokee Nation instigated a year language preservation plan that involved growing new fluent speakers of the Cherokee language from childhood on up through school immersion programs as well as a collaborative community effort to continue to use the language at home.
Of those, about 1. In the School Board of the state of Kansas caused controversy when it decided to eliminate teaching of evolution in its state assessment tests. On February 13, , the board rejected these amended science standards enacted in , overturning the mandate to teach Intelligent Design. Almost all students in the U. Many states have laws governing what is taught in sex education classes or allowing parents to opt out. Some state laws leave curriculum decisions to individual school districts. For example, a study by the Guttmacher Institute found that most U. Other studied topics, such as methods of birth control and infection prevention, sexual orientation , sexual abuse , and factual and ethical information about abortion , varied more widely.
However, according to a survey, a majority of the parent groups polled wants complete sex education in the schools. The American people are heavily divided over the issue. The margin of error was plus or minus 4. According to The 74 , an American education news website, the United States uses two methods to teach sex education.
Comprehensive sex education focuses on sexual risk reduction. This method focuses on the benefits of contraception and safe sex. The abstinence-emphasized curriculum focuses on sexual risk avoidance, discouraging activity that could become a "gateway" to sexual activities. In some states, textbooks are selected for all students at the state level, and decisions made by larger states, such as California and Texas, that represent a considerable market for textbook publishers and can exert influence over the content of textbooks generally, thereby influencing the curriculum taught in public schools, .
In , the Texas Board of Education passed more than amendments to the curriculum standards, affecting history, sociology and economics courses to 'add balance' given that academia was 'skewed too far to the left'. This effect is however reduced with modern publishing techniques which allow books to be tailored to individual states. As of January , the four largest college textbook publishers in the United States were: Davis Company , W. Culturally-responsive curriculum is a framework for teaching that acknowledges and the various cultural backgrounds of all students in the classroom to make learning more accessible, especially for students of color.
The goal of culturally-responsive curriculum is to ensure equitable access to education for students from all cultures. Culturally-responsive curriculum draws directly on the idea of a " hidden curriculum " or system of values that teachers impart on students in the classroom. Culturally-responsive curriculum attempts to break down the dominant cultural bias that often pervades curriculum and instruction.
Similar to the anti-bias approach , culturally-responsive curriculum is intended to help students and teachers "recognize the connections between ethnicity, gender, religion, and social class, and power, privilege, prestige, and opportunity. A study by Howard in , documents student's responses to culturally-responsive curriculum and teaching strategies. The study found that these methods had a positive effect on student engagement and effort in the classroom.
These findings are consistent with the theoretical claims of culturally-responsive curriculum. Teachers can gain in-depth understandings of their students' individual needs by engaging with parents, learning about culturally-specific ways of communicating and learning, and allowing students to direct their learning and to collaborate on assignments that are both culturally and socially relevant to them.
Culturally-responsive curriculum is also implemented at the level of preservice teacher education. One study by Evans-Winters and Hoff found that preservice teachers do not necessarily recognize or acknowledge the intersections of race and other social factors in understanding and characterizing systems of oppression. The notion of gender-sensitive curriculum acknowledges the current reality of our bi-gender world and attempts to break down socialized learning outcomes that reinforce the notion that girls and boys are good at different things.
Teacher attention to content is also extremely important. For example, when trying to hold boy's attention teachers will often use examples that reference classically male roles, perpetuating a gender bias in content. In addition to curriculum that recognizes that gender impacts all students and their learning, other gender-sensitive curriculum directly engages gender-diversity issues and topics.
Some curricular approaches include integrating gender through story problems, writing prompts, readings, art assignments, research projects and guest lectures that foster spaces for students to articulate their own understandings and beliefs about gender. They study found that LGBT students in inclusive school-settings were much less likely to feel unsafe because of their identities and more likely to perceive their peers as accepting and supportive. Implementation of LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum involves both curriculum decisions and harnessing teachable moments in the classroom.
One study by Snapp et al. Ability-inclusive curriculum is another curriculum model that adapts to the social, physical, and cultural needs of the students. Inclusion in the US education system refers to the approach to educating students with special needs in a mainstream classroom. This model involves cultivating a strong relationship between teacher and student, and between non-special needs students and special needs students.
Like the other models of culturally-inclusive curriculum, ability-inclusive curriculum often involves collaboration, parental-involvement, the creation of a safe and welcoming environment, returning agency to the students over their learning, and fostering open discussion about individual differences and strengths. Research generally demonstrates neutral or positive effects of inclusive education. A study by Kreimeyer et al. However research on the social dynamics of inclusive classrooms suggest that special needs students might occupy a lower social standing that non-special needs students.
The method of placing students in a specific grade based on birthday cut off dates has often been used with immigrant children. A study conducted by Dylan Conger on effects of grade placement on English learners found that schools are often rushed to make a decision on what grade an incoming student should be placed, so they base their decision on the child's birthday.
A study conducted on teacher expectation of Somali Bantu refugee students found that teachers can hold expectations for students to already know certain material when they enter their classroom, such as how to use a computer or how to behave in a classroom. A study focused on the impact of late arrivals for immigrant students found that, due to constant moving, students entering in the middle of the academic year encountered material they were not familiar with or ended up repeating material they had already learned. There is still limited research that has been conducted in the United States on the effects of placing immigrant students in a specific grade based on birthday cut off dates.
In a study about Thailand's education policy on children of migrants, Thai schools often required migrant students to be proficient in the Thai language and to have gone through a learning center before enrolling into a public school. The purpose for these methods was to ensure that migrant students were better prepared to start school, but it did cause some issues for both the student and the teachers. The study found that even though older students placed in first grade classrooms were more obedient, the students had trouble connecting with their classmates and teacher had to address them differently due to their age.
Libraries have been considered important to educational goals. The average American borrowed more library books in than his or her peers in Germany, Austria, Norway, Ireland, Luxembourg, France and throughout the Mediterranean. Teachers have been frustrated with lack of parent involvement in the learning process, particularly in the earlier grades. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Finance — Law — Literacy — Reform Levels: History of education in the United States. Primary education in the United States. Secondary education in the United States. Special education in the United States.
Charter schools in the United States. Homeschooling in the United States. Higher education in the United States. College tuition in the United States. Affirmative action in the United States. Educational attainment in the United States. Racial achievement gap in the United States , Race and intelligence , and African-American family structure. Sex education in the United States. United States portal Education portal. Retrieved December 4, Retrieved September 21, Bachelor Degree Rate Passes Milestone". The New York Times. Federal Education Budget Project.
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Education in the United States
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Public schools: fact and fiction
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Retrieved October 21, Of course, the reality is that some schools and some kids are failing. Even with this progress, less than a third of fourth and eighth graders in scored at or above proficient on the NAEP reading test. Public schools accept all students, which means teaching kids with a wide range of interests, abilities, and issues, including poverty and difficult home situations. Charter schools are better than traditional public schools. Read more about comparing charter schools, public schools, and private schools.
Public school teachers are not high quality. More than half of public school teachers have advanced degrees and more than half have at least ten years of classroom teaching experience. All 50 states require public school teachers to earn credentials, but requirements vary from state to state. Also, public school teachers may hold different levels of credentials. A small percentage of teachers have emergency credentials, which permit them to teach without meeting initial credential requirements.
Public schools are more diverse. It varies from school to school. According to the National Association of Independent Schools, only about 27 percent of private school students are non-white. Compare that to public schools, where almost 46 percent of public school students are non-white. In fact, nearly 75 percent of African American and 79 percent of Latino students go to schools where minority students are the majority, and 85 percent of white students go to schools where they are the majority.
Public schools have a more diverse curriculum. Curricula at public schools vary widely. Only 2 percent of public schools have an International Baccalaureate IB program , while 64 percent offer Advanced Placement AP courses and 68 percent have programs for gifted and talented students. The larger districts, larger schools, and well-funded schools tend to have a broader range of offerings. Public schools are woefully underfunded. Again, it depends on where you live. The range can vary wildly even within states. Even with all the myths debunked, the reality is that no school — public or private — can be all things to all people.
The most important factor in deciding the best school always comes down to one thing: If you live in a larger district that offers a choice of schools, you have a bigger job to find the best fit for your child. Talk to people you know whose children attend, or have attended, the school in question. Weigh the pros and cons of a school you are considering and make sure you can answer the question: Is this school right for my child?
Choosing the wrong college can be bad for mental health. How to talk to your teen about their reach school. Please enter a valid email address.