Compulsory education of American children begins with kindergarten. They get there in about 5 years, and in 6-7 go to elementary school (still called it "elementary"). The education lasts for 5 classes. Therefore, children who have completed primary school have 10-11 years of age.
Then they go to high school for three years - from grades 6 to 8, and from 9 to 11 they study at the senior (or more top) school. A schoolboy who has completed full school education has 17-18 years of age.
School education is mostly state-owned, 15% of pupils study in private schools. Educational institutions are monitored and funded by local authorities. Primary school, middle and senior, are not just different corps, but quite different schools, in different districts, with various directors and teachers.
Their level can also be fundamentally different. For example, in a district with an excellent primary school can be much worse than average. Therefore, parents have to combine - either to carry a child to another area for lessons or to change their place of residence.
Mobile Americans are not surprising, but often another district needs more significant housing costs - and this raises the problem. Such a story was in the Steve Jobs family.
The talented boy got to the class with an intensive program, and in the 4th form passed the exam at the level of 10-class. The director suggested that he leave grade 4 immediately before the seventh, and his parents decided to jump only one and gave it to grade 6 - and this is already a high school.
It was located 8 blocks from the previous one and belonged to a different world. They fought hard, came to school with a cold weapon, and mocked the smaller ones.
Before moving to Steve's school, some students were convicted of group rape from there, and others burnt a school bus. Classmates did not let Jobs pass, and in grade 7, he put an ultimatum to his parents: either he goes to another school or ceases to study. Parents barely made ends meet, but they still had to limit spending and collect money for a house in a better neighborhood with a decent school.
There are also religious schools (mostly Catholic) and specialized schools in the United States. The latter is called Magnet Schools - because they are like a magnet attracting children gifted in a particular industry.
Older children can study in boarding schools. They are quite expensive, and the main task is to set the child to future independent life on a student campus. In general, schools are very focused on preparation for higher education, and one of the indicators of prestige is the number of students who, after graduating from school, enter prestigious universities.
In school, for the most part, they do not teach actual knowledge, but practice writing works, drafting and discussing.
This is to ensure that the student learns to independently acquire information and think. As a result, the first-year student at the university has much more modest knowledge than students from post-soviet countries. Mykola Zlobin, in the book "America: Living Like People," commented this way: "I have long noticed that when American and Russian students fall into one group at the first year of the university, the graduates of US schools look very pale on the Russian background.
Quiet Americans observe enviously Russian students who easily quote Dostoevsky and Sartre, show on the map of New Caledonia, call the capital Botswana and Gabon and easily divide without a calculator.
This usually lasts until the third year, then the situation begins to change.
As the student is required not to remember and repeat, but to give critical analysis, to conclude, to find a way out, to offer an alternative, etc., Americans are beginning to drive Russians.
This is especially noticeable in senior courses and postgraduate studies. I was convinced that the 25-30-year-old American, on a much lower level of knowledge, on the average - prevails over his Russian peers in the ability to think unconventionally, to think not only creatively and critically, but also on his own and in practice. "