History UsefulNotes / AmericanEducationalSystem

9th Oct '17 2:46:48 PM KYCubbie
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The SAT and the ACT are standardized tests, both overseen by non-profit organizations. Students usually first take them during their junior year of high school (though some take them in 7th grade and upward), but because they are one of the criteria used by colleges in approving students for enrollment, some will [[LuckBasedMission retake]] them to achieve a [[TrialAndErrorGameplay better score]]. Most colleges will accept a score from either test. Some prefer one over the other.

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The SAT and the ACT are standardized tests, both overseen by non-profit organizations. [[note]]The ACT is owned and operated by an organization of the same name. The SAT is owned and developed by the College Board, but administered by the Educational Testing Service.[[/note]] Students usually first take them during their junior year of high school (though some take them in 7th grade and upward), but because they are one of the criteria used by colleges in approving students for enrollment, some will [[LuckBasedMission retake]] them to achieve a [[TrialAndErrorGameplay better score]]. Most All regionally accredited colleges in the US will accept a score from either test. Some test, but some prefer one over the other.



There are also numerous prep courses devoted to preparing students for the SAT and ACT. Some tutoring services are run through schools, but many students go to private classes and tutors after school to take practice tests and learn test-taking strategies. Sort of like an American version of Cram School. Combined with the test fees, the fees for attending test prep courses can make standardized tests very expensive for many families. The College Board took steps to counter the tutoring issues in 2014, contracting with a tutoring company to provide free online practice problems and instructional videos for the SAT.

to:

There are also numerous prep courses devoted to preparing students for the SAT and ACT. Some tutoring services are run through schools, but many students go to private classes and tutors after school to take practice tests and learn test-taking strategies. Sort of like an American version of Cram School. Combined with the test fees, the fees for attending test prep courses can make standardized tests very expensive for many families. The College Board Board, which owns the SAT, took steps to counter the tutoring issues in 2014, contracting with a tutoring company to provide free online practice problems and instructional videos for the SAT.



Colleges in the United States may be public or private, as with primary and secondary schools, but these terms are used slightly differently at the tertiary educational level. A "public" university derives ''some'' of its funding from the state (about 20-25%, in the case of the University of California system), and scrapes up the rest through tuition/patents/hitting up alums for money/etc. Private universities rely solely on tuition/patents/hitting up alums for money/etc. Public universities (also called state universities[[note]]The general rule is, if it has "University of [STATE]" or "State University" as part of its name, it's probably public. However, the University of Pennsylvania is a tricky exception, as it is a prestigious UsefulNotes/IvyLeague school that's not funded by the state of Pennsylvania. In the other direction, the same is true for Rutgers University, which was once a private college but is now the public university system of UsefulNotes/NewJersey; its full, formal name is "Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey", but that's in the fine print.[[/note]]) generally tend to be less expensive than private universities, though this is not always the case. Neither public nor private universities are required to take everyone (with the exception of community colleges; see below) — you must apply, and admission can be very competitive indeed. However, public universities are usually easier to get into than private universities, if for no other reason than they are usually larger and can therefore afford to accept a larger number of students. Students are also much more likely to go to their home state's university for various reasons — they may have grown up cheering for the sports team, their parents are likely alumni, and tuition is often drastically reduced for in-state students (even if the students themselves aren't taxpayers, their parents are, after all). The ease of gaining entry to a private university is variable, as the tuition is often drastically higher, and the minimum standards are usually stricter (even, [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections oddly enough]], [[{{Nepotism}} if your parents own it]]).

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Colleges in the United States may be public or private, as with primary and secondary schools, but these terms are used slightly differently at the tertiary educational level. A "public" university derives ''some'' of its funding from the state (about 20-25%, in the case of the University of California system), and scrapes up the rest through tuition/patents/hitting up alums for money/etc. Private universities rely solely on tuition/patents/hitting up alums for money/etc. Public universities (also called state universities[[note]]The general rule is, if it has "University of [STATE]" or "State University" as part of its name, it's probably public. However, the University of Pennsylvania is a tricky exception, as it is a prestigious UsefulNotes/IvyLeague school that's not funded by the state of Pennsylvania. In the other direction, the same is true for Rutgers University, which was once a private college but is now the public university system of UsefulNotes/NewJersey; its full, formal name is "Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey", but that's in the fine print.[[/note]]) generally tend to be less expensive than private universities, though this is not always the case. Neither public nor private universities are required to take everyone (with the exception of community colleges; see below) — you must apply, and admission can be very competitive indeed. However, public universities are usually easier to get into than private universities, if for no other reason than they are usually larger and can therefore afford to accept a larger number of students. Students are also much more likely to go to their home state's university for various reasons — they may have grown up cheering for the sports team, their parents are likely often alumni, and tuition is often drastically reduced for in-state students (even if the students themselves aren't taxpayers, their parents are, after all). The ease of gaining entry to a private university is variable, as the tuition is often drastically higher, and the minimum standards are usually stricter (even, [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections oddly enough]], [[{{Nepotism}} if your parents own it]]).



This leads into another aspect of college culture — the politics. Since the student protests of TheSixties, colleges and academia in general have been a [[StrawmanU popular strawman target]] for conservatives, being stereotyped as hotbeds of flaky leftist politics pushed by radical professors and student groups. While this is sometimes TruthInTelevision, most colleges are also home to rival conservative groups, some of which may wield considerable influence. In particular, religious colleges and less elite state colleges have been known for their conservatism. For every {{Berzerkeley}}, there is a JimJonesUniversity. Modern universities have also been criticized from the left for the aforementioned college sports detracting from academics, the focus on corporate-friendly majors like computer science and engineering at the expense of liberal arts, the shift from stable tenure-track faculty positions to lower-paid adjuncts, as well as the massive debt that students take on to finance their educations.

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This leads into another aspect of college culture — the politics. Since the student protests of TheSixties, colleges and academia in general have been a [[StrawmanU popular strawman target]] for conservatives, being stereotyped as hotbeds of flaky leftist politics pushed by radical professors and student groups. While this is sometimes TruthInTelevision, most colleges are also home to rival conservative groups, some of which may wield considerable influence. In particular, religious colleges and less elite state colleges have been known for their conservatism. For every {{Berzerkeley}}, [[StrawmanU Berzerkeley]], there is a JimJonesUniversity.[[StrawmanU Jim Jones University]]. Modern universities have also been criticized from the left for the aforementioned college sports detracting from academics, the focus on corporate-friendly majors like computer science and engineering at the expense of liberal arts, the shift from stable tenure-track faculty positions to lower-paid adjuncts, as well as the massive debt that students take on to finance their educations.
16th Sep '17 4:36:26 PM nombretomado
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Just to be clear, trig and calc are taken up by those who intend to go on to college and take a math-heavy major such as math or engineering. Creative writing is taken by those who intend to go on to college and take a liberal arts degree (or, in many schools, those who want an easy A). Business, home economics, and shop students tend to be those who intend on going to community college, vocational/technical school, the workforce, or [[YanksWithTanks the military]].

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Just to be clear, trig and calc are taken up by those who intend to go on to college and take a math-heavy major such as math or engineering. Creative writing is taken by those who intend to go on to college and take a liberal arts degree (or, in many schools, those who want an easy A). Business, home economics, and shop students tend to be those who intend on going to community college, vocational/technical school, the workforce, or [[YanksWithTanks [[UsefulNotes/YanksWithTanks the military]].
11th Sep '17 11:02:36 PM KYCubbie
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This can lead to amusing situations when a BrilliantButLazy student drops out at age 16, promptly gets his/her GED, and has a diploma equivalent 2 years before their peers. Theoretically they could get an Associate's Degree while everyone else is graduating, but this is much rarer, hence the "lazy" part. A real-life example of this is current [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams Washington Nationals]] star Bryce Harper, who took and passed his GED at 16 so he could enter junior college early, thus getting a head start on a professional baseball career.[[note]] Under MLB rules, U.S. players are eligible for the draft upon high school graduation. Harper chose junior college because of another draft rule—a player who enrolls in a four-year college is ineligible until three years after enrollment or turning 21, whichever is sooner. Junior college players, on the other hand, are always eligible. This meant that Harper could be drafted at age 17 with a year of college under his belt.[[/note]] To prevent students from gaming the system in this manner, some states require a GED candidate to be at least 18 years of age.[[note]]Harper's home state of Nevada is obviously not one of them.[[/note]]

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This can lead to amusing situations when a BrilliantButLazy student drops out at age 16, promptly gets his/her GED, and has a diploma equivalent 2 years before their peers. Theoretically they could get an Associate's Degree while everyone else is graduating, but this is much rarer, hence the "lazy" part. A real-life example of this is current [[UsefulNotes/MLBTeams Washington Nationals]] star Bryce Harper, who took and passed his GED at 16 so he could enter junior college early, thus getting a head start on a professional baseball career.[[note]] Under MLB rules, U.S. players are eligible for the draft upon high school graduation. Harper chose junior college because of another draft rule—a player who enrolls in a four-year college is ineligible until three years after enrollment or turning 21, whichever is sooner. Junior college players, on the other hand, are always eligible. This meant that Harper could be drafted at age 17 with a year of college under his belt.belt (and was, as the first overall pick).[[/note]] To prevent students from gaming the system in this manner, some states require a GED candidate to be at least 18 years of age.[[note]]Harper's home state of Nevada is obviously not one of them.[[/note]]



Advanced Placement (usually abbreviated AP) tests can be taken by high school students in May. They are administered by the College Board, the same organization responsible for the [=SATs=] (the College Board ''also'' offers a ''different'' test that serves much the same purpose, the College Level Examination Program or CLEP test ... confused yet? If you're thinking about taking one, contact the college you're interested in to see which they prefer). The format of the test varies widely with the subject (ranging from calculus to psychology), but usually features multiple-choice and essay portions. Each test uses a five-point grading scale, with 3 being "Qualified" and 5 being "Extremely Qualified". Many high schools offer AP courses designed to prepare students for the associated AP Test, and some will pay the $87 testing fee.

Colleges will often offer credit for certain courses if an acceptable score on a related AP test is offered; very selective schools will only offer credit for a 5, while some schools will accept a 3. Some schools, usually private schools, have credit caps. This means that students are only permitted to use a certain number of AP credits for college credit, although AP scores may be used to place out of lower-level classes. These credit caps often come in one of two forms. One is an overall credit cap limiting the total number of credits that can be gained via AP testing. Another is a cap on the number of credits that can be gained in the subject area of one's major, while having no cap on the number of AP credits a student can use to fulfill other requirements.

Note that some schools are able to offer many more AP classes than others -- don't visit a school that's [[SaveOurStudents falling apart and has the highest drop-out rate in the state]] and expect to find the Russian Language and Culture course on the curriculum, although they might have English, World History, U.S. History, Calculus, and other more basic subjects.

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Advanced Placement (usually abbreviated AP) tests can be taken by high school students in May. They are administered by the College Board, the same organization responsible for the [=SATs=] (the [=SATs=]. (The College Board ''also'' offers a ''different'' test that serves much the same purpose, the College Level Examination Program or CLEP test ... confused yet? If you're thinking about taking one, contact the college you're interested in to see which they prefer). prefer.) The format of the test varies widely with the subject (ranging from calculus to psychology), but usually features multiple-choice and essay portions. Each test uses a five-point grading scale, with 3 being "Qualified" and 5 being "Extremely Qualified". Many high schools offer AP courses designed to prepare students for the associated AP Test, and some will pay the $87 testing fee.

Colleges will often offer credit for certain courses if an acceptable score on a related AP test is offered; very selective schools will only offer credit for a 5, while some schools will accept a 3. One hyper-selective school, Caltech, doesn't offer AP credit at all. Some schools, usually private schools, have credit caps. This means that students are only permitted to use a certain number of AP credits for college credit, although AP scores may be used to place out of lower-level classes. These credit caps often come in one of two forms. One is an overall credit cap limiting the total number of credits that can be gained via AP testing. Another is a cap on the number of credits that can be gained in the subject area of one's major, while having no cap on the number of AP credits a student can use to fulfill other requirements.

Note that some schools are able to offer many more AP classes than others -- don't visit a school that's [[SaveOurStudents falling apart and has the highest drop-out rate in the state]] and expect to find the Russian Language and Culture course on the curriculum, although they might have English, World History, U.S. History, Calculus, Calculus,[[note]]There are actually two separate AP calculus exams, AB and BC. AB is roughly equivalent to the first semester of college calculus, and BC to the first year. Since the BC test covers all AB material, and then some, students who take the BC test get an AB subscore.[[/note]] and other more basic subjects.


Added DiffLines:

Another dramatic difference between AP tests and the ACT and SAT is that each AP test can only be taken once in a lifetime.
25th Jun '17 12:59:30 PM nombretomado
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It is the rule, not the exception, for a high school to have sports programs. School athletes tend to be at or near the top of the PopularityFoodChain, especially if they're on a winning team and the sport they play is basketball and/or football. A sizable chunk of a school's budget will be devoted to supporting its athletic programs, much to the ire of teachers and the more academically inclined. Student athletes are nominally required to maintain a certain GPA in order to stay on the team, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that student athletes have better than average disciplinary records and academic performance. However, there is often a lot of pressure placed on teachers from coaches, the administration, and the community to give athletes special favors in the grading department. Sometimes, even school districts will be redrawn in order for a high school to get at a hot prospect for its team. All of this is especially true in rural communities, where the high school football field or basketball court is often, along with [[UsefulNotes/AmericanChurches the church]], one of the main focal points of community life (as seen in ''FridayNightLights''). The most popular sports at the high school level are usually [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball football]] and UsefulNotes/{{basketball}}, although most schools also have [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball soccer]], UsefulNotes/{{ice hockey}} (mostly in New England and the Great Lakes states), wrestling, volleyball (mostly a girls' sport in the US, with California a partial exception), lacrosse (mainly in the eastern states), baseball and track programs.

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It is the rule, not the exception, for a high school to have sports programs. School athletes tend to be at or near the top of the PopularityFoodChain, especially if they're on a winning team and the sport they play is basketball and/or football. A sizable chunk of a school's budget will be devoted to supporting its athletic programs, much to the ire of teachers and the more academically inclined. Student athletes are nominally required to maintain a certain GPA in order to stay on the team, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that student athletes have better than average disciplinary records and academic performance. However, there is often a lot of pressure placed on teachers from coaches, the administration, and the community to give athletes special favors in the grading department. Sometimes, even school districts will be redrawn in order for a high school to get at a hot prospect for its team. All of this is especially true in rural communities, where the high school football field or basketball court is often, along with [[UsefulNotes/AmericanChurches the church]], one of the main focal points of community life (as seen in ''FridayNightLights'').''Literature/FridayNightLights''). The most popular sports at the high school level are usually [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball football]] and UsefulNotes/{{basketball}}, although most schools also have [[UsefulNotes/AssociationFootball soccer]], UsefulNotes/{{ice hockey}} (mostly in New England and the Great Lakes states), wrestling, volleyball (mostly a girls' sport in the US, with California a partial exception), lacrosse (mainly in the eastern states), baseball and track programs.
2nd Apr '17 6:21:14 PM DavidDelony
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Students may choose their entire curriculum. While there are certain standards that must be met in order to graduate, students have a great deal of leeway in when and how to meet those standards. Graduation requirements vary from institution to institution; some schools let you take whatever classes you want whenever you want; others have a very strict core curriculum and set "tracks" for majors, though most schools are somewhere in between. This is where the trig and calc students from high school move on to the even more complicated maths or start learning to apply that trig and calc while building things, and the creative writing students of old have taken up law or begun the process of becoming teachers.

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Students may choose their entire curriculum. While there are certain standards that must be met in order to graduate, students have a great deal of leeway in when and how to meet those standards. Graduation requirements vary from institution to institution; institution and even from department to department; some schools let you take whatever classes you want whenever you want; others have a very strict core curriculum and set "tracks" for majors, though most schools are somewhere in between. This is where the trig and calc students from high school move on to the even more complicated maths or start learning to apply that trig and calc while building things, and the creative writing students of old have taken up law or begun the process of becoming teachers.
25th Mar '17 12:46:31 PM TMNTFanGirl
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* A '''public school''' (sometimes called a "traditional public school" and "district-run public school" to disambiguate them from charter schools. [[note]] You'll also hear the term "government school" from either a conservative StrawmanPolitical or someone trying to be transatlantically unambiguous[[/note]] "Public School" is the American term for a school run by the government and funded by taxes. This is [[SeparatedByACommonLanguage what the British call a]] "state school", a term used only in a post-secondary context in the US. Every American youth has the privilege to receive taxpayer-supported education in a public school, and it is the default form of schooling for the vast majority.

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* A '''public school''' (sometimes called a "traditional public school" and "district-run public school" to disambiguate them from charter schools. [[note]] You'll also hear the term "government school" from either a conservative StrawmanPolitical or someone trying to be transatlantically unambiguous[[/note]] "Public School" is the American term for a school run by the government and funded by taxes. This is [[SeparatedByACommonLanguage what the British call a]] "state school", a term used only in a post-secondary context in the US. Every American youth has the privilege to receive taxpayer-supported education in a public school, and it is the default form of schooling for the vast majority.majority (roughly 87% of American kids go to a public school of some kind).



* A '''private school''' is a school run by private individuals that requires students to pay tuition. Private schools usually follow the same model as public schools do, but there can be some variation depending on the philosophy behind it. Test scores are often higher than in public schools, although many allege that this is because they are able to select the brightest students with the best access to learning materials, while the public schools have to take everyone else. Private schools fall into several categories:
** '''Preparatory schools''', or prep schools, are elite private schools designed to prepare teenagers for college life. They usually have an advanced curriculum, are very selective, and very expensive. Many are also {{boarding school}}s. This is what most people think of when they hear "private school." Prep school students are stereotyped as being rich snobs, often [[BlueBlood "old money"]] -- this is where we get the slang term "preppy" from. These schools are essentially the [[TransAtlanticEquivalent American equivalent]] to [[UsefulNotes/BritishEducationSystem U.K. "public schools."]]

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* A '''private school''' is a school run by private individuals that requires students to pay tuition. Private schools usually follow the same model as public schools do, but there can be some variation depending on the philosophy behind it. Test scores are often higher than in public schools, although many allege that this is because they are able to select the brightest students with the best access to learning materials, while the public schools have to take everyone else.else (only about 10% of American kids go to a private school of some kind). Private schools fall into several categories:
** '''Preparatory schools''', or prep schools, are elite private schools designed to prepare teenagers (or students of all ages) for college life. They usually have an advanced curriculum, are very selective, and very expensive. Many are also function as {{boarding school}}s. This A preparatory school is probably what most people think of when they hear "private school." Prep school students are stereotyped as being rich snobs, often [[BlueBlood "old money"]] -- this is where we get the slang term "preppy" from. These schools are essentially the [[TransAtlanticEquivalent American equivalent]] to [[UsefulNotes/BritishEducationSystem U.K. "public schools."]]
14th Mar '17 11:42:30 PM KYCubbie
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The SAT score formerly consisted of 800 points for math and 800 for reading, making a [[HundredPercentCompletion perfect]] score 1600. Recently, a writing portion has been added, for another 800 points. If the writing portion is used, that makes the possible perfect score 2400 points. In 2016, the perfect score will again become 1600, as the writing score will be reported separately from the main test. The test is frequently retuned so that the national average score falls around 500 points per section. Most colleges, however, still use the old system for admissions, and the minimum score for admission tends to fall between 1100 and 1300 for the math and reading sections combined[[note]]Nearly all colleges say they don't have a minimum score requirement, and technically this is true, but you're not going to find many incoming freshmen with an SAT much under 1100 unless the school's policy is to admit everyone who applies, and if by chance you do find someone with an 800 at an Ivy League school, then that student wowed the admissions committee in some other way... probably by being Chip Buffington IV, who will be residing in Buffington Hall[[/note]]. Some colleges include minimums in math or reading as well as the total score. In areas where the SAT is popular (generally the East Coast), students might also take a PSAT (Pre-SAT) as a practice in the 10th Grade (and possibly again in the spring). This test is also used as a qualification test for the National Merit Scholarship.

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The SAT score formerly consisted currently consists of 800 points for math and 800 for reading, making a [[HundredPercentCompletion perfect]] score 1600. Recently, a A writing portion has been added, for was added in 2005, with another 800 points. If points possible. During this time, when the writing portion is was used, that makes the possible perfect score was 2400 points. In 2016, the perfect score will again become 1600, as became 1600; the writing score will be is now reported separately from the main test.test, and uses a completely different scoring scale (0 to 24, in one-point increments). The test is frequently retuned so that the national average score falls around 500 points per section. Most colleges, however, still use the old system for admissions, and the minimum score for admission tends to fall between 1100 and 1300 for the math and reading sections combined[[note]]Nearly all colleges say they don't have a minimum score requirement, and technically this is true, but you're not going to find many incoming freshmen with an SAT much under 1100 unless the school's policy is to admit everyone who applies, and if by chance you do find someone with an 800 at an Ivy League school, then that student wowed the admissions committee in some other way... probably by being Chip Buffington IV, who will be residing in Buffington Hall[[/note]]. Some colleges include minimums in math or reading as well as the total score. In areas where the SAT is popular (generally the East Coast), students might also take a PSAT (Pre-SAT) as a practice in the 10th Grade (and possibly again in the spring). This test is also used as a qualification test for the National Merit Scholarship.



A key difference between the SAT and the ACT is how they're graded, at least for now. In the ACT, if you get a question wrong, it doesn't add anything to the score. If you get something wrong in the SAT, then it takes ''away'' from the overall score. In 2016, the guessing penalty will be eliminated from the SAT.

There are also numerous prep courses devoted to preparing students for the SAT and ACT. Some tutoring services are run through schools, but many students go to private classes and tutors after school to take practice tests and learn test-taking strategies. Sort of like an American version of Cram School. Combined with the test fees, the fees for attending test prep courses can make standardized tests very expensive for many families.

to:

A Until 2016, a key difference between the SAT and the ACT is was how they're graded, at least they were graded. The SAT penalized takers for now. In the ACT, if you get a question wrong, it doesn't add anything to the score. If you get something wrong in the SAT, then it takes ''away'' answers—in other words, a wrong answer ''took away'' from the overall score. In 2016, A wrong answer on the ACT neither added nor took away points. The SAT removed its guessing penalty will be eliminated from the SAT.

in 2016.

There are also numerous prep courses devoted to preparing students for the SAT and ACT. Some tutoring services are run through schools, but many students go to private classes and tutors after school to take practice tests and learn test-taking strategies. Sort of like an American version of Cram School. Combined with the test fees, the fees for attending test prep courses can make standardized tests very expensive for many families.
families. The College Board took steps to counter the tutoring issues in 2014, contracting with a tutoring company to provide free online practice problems and instructional videos for the SAT.



Most schools have two proms — one for juniors, one for seniors — although some (particularly smaller schools) have a single junior-senior prom[[note]]often in combined proms, the junior class has to do all the work (come up with a theme, decorate, hire a band) while the seniors just get to show up (they had to do all the work the year before)[[/note]]. The senior prom is usually considered more important, although at some, it's junior prom that's the really big deal, with senior prom being more of a chance for a last fling with your friends before graduation. On a similar note, in fiction, Prom is seen as a night for high school couples to "go all the way." The reality is less impressive; teens who are inclined to do it have probably already done it.

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Most schools have two proms — one for juniors, one for seniors — although some (particularly smaller schools) have a single junior-senior prom[[note]]often prom.[[note]]Often in combined proms, the junior class has to do all the work (come up with a theme, decorate, hire a band) while the seniors just get to show up (they had to do all the work the year before)[[/note]]. before).[[/note]] The senior prom is usually considered more important, although at some, it's junior prom that's the really big deal, with senior prom being more of a chance for a last fling with your friends before graduation. On a similar note, in fiction, Prom is seen as a night for high school couples to "go all the way." The reality is less impressive; teens who are inclined to do it have probably already done it.



Of course, this is all seen in the case of an Active Shooter situations (cases where the perpetrator is killing with no pattern or method to his or her victims). These are the most common to be featured in media, but it goes without saying that not all school shootings are Active Shooter events. Weapons are brought to school with intention to kill specific victims for any numerous reasons. In some cases, shootings at schools may be related to criminal activity, and while may occur on school grounds, may not occur in the school building (another critical part of an Active Shooter event). [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement The reasons these are not covered as much are best discussed someplace else.]] Many school systems have taken practice of employing a school officer, typically a fully deputized police officer of some kind, to assist in security matters. This is OlderThanTheyThink. The first police response in UsefulNotes/{{Columbine}} were made by an on duty school resource officer, who engaged in a brief firefight with the shooters before they retreated inside, less than 5 minutes after the shootings occurred.

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Of course, this is all seen in the case of an Active Shooter situations (cases where the perpetrator is killing with no pattern or method to his or her victims). These are the most common to be featured in media, but it goes without saying that not all school shootings are Active Shooter events. Weapons are brought to school with intention to kill specific victims for any numerous reasons. In some cases, shootings at schools may be related to criminal activity, and while may occur on school grounds, may not occur in the school building (another critical part of an Active Shooter event). [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement The reasons these are not covered as much are best discussed someplace else.]] Many school systems have taken practice of employing a school officer, typically a fully deputized police officer of some kind, to assist in security matters. This is OlderThanTheyThink. The first police response in UsefulNotes/{{Columbine}} were made by an on duty on-duty school resource officer, who engaged in a brief firefight with the shooters before they retreated inside, less than 5 minutes after the shootings occurred.



American colleges are delineated between community colleges (sometimes called Junior Colleges) and four-year colleges. Community colleges will focus on Associate's Degrees and various certification programs, which usually take only two years to attain, while four year colleges will focus on Bachelors' Degrees (which, as the name suggests, usually take four years) and have post-graduate programs available. However, some community colleges also have Bachelor's programs (the actual degree being conferred by a cooperating senior college or university, classes offered on the community college campus), and many four year colleges have certification programs (which may be incorporated into a degree).

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American colleges are delineated between community colleges (sometimes called Junior Colleges) and four-year colleges. Community colleges will focus on Associate's Degrees and various certification programs, which usually take only two years to attain, while four year colleges will focus on Bachelors' Bachelor's Degrees (which, as the name suggests, usually take four years) and have post-graduate programs available. However, some community colleges also have Bachelor's programs (the actual degree being conferred by a cooperating senior college or university, classes offered on the community college campus), and many four year four-year colleges have certification programs (which may be incorporated into a degree).



Four-year colleges refer to incoming students as freshmen, second-year students as sophomores, third year as juniors, and fourth year as seniors. Anybody on their last year before graduating can also be referred to as a senior, although students may teasingly refer to those who have been there for 5+ years as "Super Seniors." This is not the same as being "kept back" in primary or secondary school and does not carry much of a stigma; a student may abort a half-completed major to start over on a new one, may take a sabbatical, or may suffer other impediments to their progress, such as money problems or illness. For instance, California's San Jose State University has an Animation department which is so under-staffed and so over-attended (due to its proximity to Creator/{{Pixar}} and Creator/IndustrialLightAndMagic) that its students are only allowed to take ''one animation course a semester,'' resulting in a ''seven-year'' program whose graduates take longer to obtain their Bachelor's degree than their contemporaries take for their Master's. Similarly, not finishing college at all has nowhere near the stigma that dropping out of high school does. Bill Gates, one of the world's richest people, dropped out of Harvard at 19 to found Microsoft. In fact, open disdain for college degrees has become fashionable in some corners of Silicon Valley.

Students may declare one or more majors and minors, indicating the course of study they will pursue. This is typically done at the end of the sophomore year. Students who have not yet indicated a major are referred to as underclassmen. Having more than one major is called ''double-majoring'' (having more than ''that'' may be possible, but is ridiculous), and is usually very difficult (you must meet ''all'' the requirements of ''both'' majors). Having a minor is, at many colleges, strictly optional; it consists of taking a defined subset of the courses required for the major.

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Four-year colleges refer to incoming students as freshmen, second-year students as sophomores, third year as juniors, and fourth year as seniors. Anybody on their last year before graduating can also be referred to as a senior, although students may teasingly refer to those who have been there for 5+ years as "Super Seniors." Seniors". This is not the same as being "kept back" in primary or secondary school and does not carry much of a stigma; a student may abort a half-completed major to start over on a new one, may take a sabbatical, or may suffer other impediments to their progress, such as money problems or illness. For instance, California's San Jose State University has an Animation department which is so under-staffed and so over-attended (due to its proximity to Creator/{{Pixar}} and Creator/IndustrialLightAndMagic) that its students are only allowed to take ''one animation course a semester,'' semester'', resulting in a ''seven-year'' program whose graduates take longer to obtain their Bachelor's degree than their contemporaries take for their Master's. Similarly, not finishing college at all has nowhere near the stigma that dropping out of high school does. Bill Gates, one of the world's richest people, dropped out of Harvard at 19 to found Microsoft. In fact, open disdain for college degrees has become fashionable in some corners of Silicon Valley.

Students may declare one or more majors and minors, indicating the course of study they will pursue. This is typically done at the end of the sophomore year. Students who have not yet indicated a major are referred to as underclassmen. Having more than one major is called ''double-majoring'' (having more than ''that'' may be possible, but is ridiculous), and is usually very difficult (you must meet ''all'' the requirements of ''both'' majors). Having a minor is, at many colleges, strictly optional; it consists of taking a defined subset of the courses required for the major.
major. Some academic departments will not recognize minor subjects, even if a minor is earned.[[note]]This is often the case for engineering departments, where degree programs often require enough courses to earn a minor in one or more non-engineering areas.[[/note]]
6th Dec '16 8:05:22 AM drwhom
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School funding is both complicated and politically sensitive. The US has the highest per-pupil spending for schooling in the world. A large part of funding of schools is based on property taxes for the area where the school is located. If you guess that means school districts in poor areas have a lot less money than those in rich areas, you'd be absolutely correct. Even worse, the gap is self-creating: the quality of local public schools is by ''far'' the most influential criteria on the cost of housing and real estate, and thus property tax, in any given area. In fact, many rich suburbs and gated communities were created partly because parents wanted their kids to have the best free education money could buy, and bought it. To help keep things in balance, some courts have ordered various corrective remedies, such as taking all the money in the state and averaging it out. In some places, the state will add money, taken from the general fund or from other taxes. Some states use whatever funds come from the state lottery. And some will use federal grants based on other criteria. A few states use alternate taxes, such as income taxes (in Ohio, using property taxes to fund schools has been ruled illegal per the state constitution.) State aid allows school systems in some poorer areas, notably some in Maryland and New Jersey, to spend far more per pupil than school systems in some wealthier areas; however, the promised improvement in school outcomes has not occurred.

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School funding is both complicated and politically sensitive. The According to OECD figures, the US has long had one of the highest rates of per-pupil spending for schooling in the world. A large part of funding of schools is based on property taxes for the area where the school is located. If you guess that means school districts in poor areas have a lot less money than those in rich areas, you'd be absolutely correct. Even worse, the gap is self-creating: the quality of local public schools is by ''far'' the most influential criteria on the cost of housing and real estate, and thus property tax, in any given area. In fact, many rich suburbs and gated communities were created partly because parents wanted their kids to have the best free education money could buy, and bought it. To help keep things in balance, some courts have ordered various corrective remedies, such as taking all the money in the state and averaging it out. In some places, the state will add money, taken from the general fund or from other taxes. Some states use whatever funds come from the state lottery. And some will use federal grants based on other criteria. A few states use alternate taxes, such as income taxes (in Ohio, using property taxes to fund schools has been ruled illegal per the state constitution.) State aid allows school systems in some poorer areas, notably some in Maryland and New Jersey, to spend far more per pupil than school systems in some wealthier areas; however, the promised improvement in school outcomes has not occurred.
3rd Dec '16 9:04:14 PM MsChibi
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While religious instruction is mandatory (even for non-Catholic students), as are uniforms, Catholic schools otherwise have the same curriculum as public schools (the biology classes teach evolution, sex-ed classes are fairly comprehensive and don't bash gays, and proselytizing is kept to a minimum), and they have a reputation for providing a very high-quality education for their price. In addition, the Church heavily subsidizes its schools, allowing them to have lower tuition and grant more scholarships. These two factors make them a popular choice not only among Catholic families, but among those parents who don't want to send their kids to public school but don't want to spend too much money or invest their time in homeschooling. The image of nuns beating students with yardsticks is a common stereotype of how Catholic schools are taught, but this [[TwoDecadesBehind hasn't been true (at least in the US) for decades]]. This is where the [[CatholicSchoolGirlsRule American version of the "schoolgirl fetish"]] has its roots.

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While religious instruction is mandatory (even for non-Catholic students), as are uniforms, Catholic schools otherwise have the same curriculum as public schools (the biology classes teach evolution, sex-ed classes are fairly comprehensive and don't bash gays, and proselytizing is kept to a minimum), and they have a reputation for providing a very high-quality education for their price. In addition, the Church heavily subsidizes its schools, allowing them to have lower tuition and grant more scholarships. These two factors make them a popular choice not only among Catholic families, but among those parents who don't want to send their kids to public school but don't want to spend too much money or invest their time in homeschooling. [[SternNun The image of nuns beating students with yardsticks yardsticks]] is a common stereotype of how Catholic schools are taught, [[DiscreditedTrope but this this]] [[TwoDecadesBehind hasn't been true (at least in the US) for decades]]. This is where the [[CatholicSchoolGirlsRule American version of the "schoolgirl fetish"]] has its roots.
3rd Dec '16 9:03:11 PM MsChibi
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** '''Alternative schools''' are those schools that specialize in providing an alternative to mainstream education styles. Many specialize in having smaller, more intimate classes and less focus on standardized testing, although there are some that go further and make fundamental changes to the curriculum, such as Waldorf, Montessori, and Sudbury schools. Increasingly, a number of public school districts have started experimenting with alternative methods.

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** '''Alternative schools''' are those schools that specialize in providing an alternative to mainstream education styles. Many specialize in having smaller, more intimate classes and less focus on standardized testing, although there are some that go further and make fundamental changes to the curriculum, such as Waldorf, Montessori, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_education Waldorf]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montessori_education Montessori]], and Sudbury [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudbury_school Sudbury]] schools. Increasingly, a number of public school districts have started experimenting with alternative methods.
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