History UsefulNotes / AmericanEducationalSystem

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.
2nd Nov '16 7:22:28 PM hszmv1
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These policies quickly became highly controversial, with many people, particularly students and social scientists, feeling that they go too far and violate the First Amendment. A report by the Secret Service stated that schools were taking false hope in such security measures, and that they wouldn't do anything to deter another massacre. Metal detectors? The kids could just be shot at as they wait in line. Scrutiny of goths and loners? The Columbine killers were neither, so singling out those two groups would allow real killers to fly under the radar. Zero-tolerance policies? They concluded that such policies may actually backfire, as they could very well drive an unstable student over the edge by getting him or her suspended or expelled for a minor infraction.

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These policies quickly became highly controversial, with many people, particularly students and social scientists, feeling that they go too far and violate the First Amendment. A report by the Secret Service stated that schools were taking false hope in such security measures, and that they wouldn't do anything to deter another massacre. Metal detectors? The kids could just be shot at as they wait in line. Scrutiny of goths and loners? The Columbine killers were neither, so singling out those two groups would allow real killers to fly under the radar. radar [[note]]This cannot be stressed enough. The Secret Service explicitly noted in their report that in the cases they studied, there was no evidence of a profile that all attackers fit. Kids from all walks of life from Popular Jocks to Loners could be a potential shooter. In addition, they noted that shooters never fit a common racial or socio-economic background.[[/note]]. Zero-tolerance policies? They concluded that such policies may actually backfire, as they could very well drive an unstable student over the edge by getting him or her suspended or expelled for a minor infraction.
infraction.

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.
13th Sep '16 12:28:05 PM drwhom
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Parents, however, could choose to move to other areas if they didn't like their neighbors or the schools their kids would have to go to, or put their kids into private "segregation academies" (''Brown v. Board of Education'' didn't apply to private schools). Oftentimes, they did just that, in a phenomenon known as "white flight" that saw white middle-class families moving into the {{suburb|ia}}s, leading to the decline of many an inner city due to falling tax revenue -- which only caused more people to leave, furthering the decline.

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Parents, however, could choose to move to other areas if they didn't like their neighbors or the schools their kids would have to go to, or put their kids into private "segregation academies" (''Brown v. Board of Education'' didn't apply to private schools).schools[[note]]That case was decided under the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which limits the power of states and by extension local governments, not private entities.[[/note]]). Oftentimes, they did just that, in a phenomenon known as "white flight" that saw white middle-class families moving into the {{suburb|ia}}s, leading to the decline of many an inner city due to falling tax revenue -- which only caused more people to leave, furthering the decline.
10th Sep '16 12:48:46 AM Morgenthaler
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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 [[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.

to:

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 [[AmericanChurches [[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.
18th Aug '16 7:25:17 AM Morgenthaler
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Each school district will have its own School Board. The ''number'' of boards is set at the state level -- some have one per county, some have one per city, some major cities have one for the whole metro area, {{Hawaii}} has one school district and board for the entire state, and [[HollywoodNewEngland Vermont]] has (depending on how you count two schools of different grade levels that share a campus and part or all of their identity) more school boards than public schools [[note]]Vermont's public schools, incidentally, are some of the most highly-rated in the country, perhaps due to the fact that community oversight is on them around the clock.[[/note]]

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Each school district will have its own School Board. The ''number'' of boards is set at the state level -- some have one per county, some have one per city, some major cities have one for the whole metro area, {{Hawaii}} UsefulNotes/{{Hawaii}} has one school district and board for the entire state, and [[HollywoodNewEngland Vermont]] has (depending on how you count two schools of different grade levels that share a campus and part or all of their identity) more school boards than public schools [[note]]Vermont's public schools, incidentally, are some of the most highly-rated in the country, perhaps due to the fact that community oversight is on them around the clock.[[/note]]
12th Aug '16 8:16:04 PM nombretomado
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Fraternitiess choose their new members once or twice a year, always in the fall and, more rarely, in the spring. The application process is called ''rushing''. An applicant will choose to rush anywhere from one to several frats, who will then accept or reject the applicant. Once selected, the new member is called a ''pledge''; he or she may be subject to a difficult, dangerous, and/or embarrassing {{initiation ceremony}}. These ceremonies are another sticking point between frats and college administrations, as they have been known to devolve into hazing and outright abuse (as famously portrayed in ''AnimalHouse'').

to:

Fraternitiess choose their new members once or twice a year, always in the fall and, more rarely, in the spring. The application process is called ''rushing''. An applicant will choose to rush anywhere from one to several frats, who will then accept or reject the applicant. Once selected, the new member is called a ''pledge''; he or she may be subject to a difficult, dangerous, and/or embarrassing {{initiation ceremony}}. These ceremonies are another sticking point between frats and college administrations, as they have been known to devolve into hazing and outright abuse (as famously portrayed in ''AnimalHouse'').
''Film/AnimalHouse'').
9th Aug '16 8:48:03 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.)

to:

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.
30th Jun '16 10:15:54 AM ScrewySqrl
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Grades out of 100% translate into a letter grading system. Passing grades are A, B, C, and D, although some districts do not use the D grade. A failing grade is an F. Plus and minus are used to show distinctions between grades; some students and their parents are [[AluminumChristmasTrees surprised to find]] that there's such a thing as an F- (usually a grade of 50 or below). A student's grades in high school translate into a grade point average, or GPA, according to a formula. By most systems, the highest GPA possible is a 4.0. [=GPAs=] are of great interest to colleges; they also determine class rank. The two students with the highest class ranks are the valedictorian and salutatorian, who usually have to make a speech at graduation.[[note]]Students who earn these positions will probably regard it as "GET to make a speech" instead, though it's possible for bookish-but-exceptionally-shy students to dread the traditional graduation speech... while those who are in no danger of being in that position probably dread them also, but for different reasons.[[/note]]

to:

Grades out of 100% translate into a letter grading system. Passing grades are A, B, C, and D, although some districts do not use the D grade. A failing grade is an F. Plus and minus are used to show distinctions between grades; some students and their parents are [[AluminumChristmasTrees surprised to find]] that there's such a thing as an F- (usually a grade of 50 or below). A student's grades in high school translate into a grade point average, or GPA, according to a formula. By most systems, the highest GPA possible is a 4.0. [[note]]Advanced Placement classes (college level classes taken to get an early start on college classes) often get +1 to the basic GPA score for each letter, making a 5.0 unlikely, but possible.[[/note]] [=GPAs=] are of great interest to colleges; they also determine class rank. The two students with the highest class ranks are the valedictorian and salutatorian, who usually have to make a speech at graduation.[[note]]Students who earn these positions will probably regard it as "GET to make a speech" instead, though it's possible for bookish-but-exceptionally-shy students to dread the traditional graduation speech... while those who are in no danger of being in that position probably dread them also, but for different reasons.[[/note]]
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