The federal government pays little attention to school education in the USA. There is neither a uniform school system in the USA, nor a uniform curriculum. Each state has its own system of schools. But there are some common features in the organization of school education in the country.
Schools in the USA can be divided into state, or public schools, and private schools. State schools are free, and private schools are fee-paying.
Elementary and secondary schools consist of twelve grades. Classes last for about ten months a year, five days a week and five hours a day. At elementary school English, mathematics, science, social studies, music sports and other subjects are taught.
Elementary education begins at the age of six, when a child goes to the first grade. Secondary education is offered at high schools. At the age of 14 pupils go to junior high school. At the age of sixteen children leave junior high school and may continue their education at the upper grades of high school.
Besides giving general education some high schools teach some other subjects. Students choose these subjects if they want to enter colleges or universities or hope to find jobs in industry or agriculture. Many schools include classes teaching basic computer skills.
A growing number of young people go to colleges or universities. Nevertheless, many students of high school don’t finish it. One per cent of American citizens from the age of 14 can neither read nor write.