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Education in the United States 美国教育(1)

(2012-08-19 23:10:37)
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 Education in the United States 美国教育(1

 

Education in the United States is mainly provided by the public sector, with control and funding coming from three levels: federal, state, and local. Child education is compulsory. There are also a large number and wide variety of higher education institutions throughout the country that one can choose to attend, both public and private.

 

Public education is universally available. School curricula, funding, teaching, employment, and other policies are set through locally elected school boards with jurisdiction over school districts with many directives from state legislatures. School districts are usually separate from other local jurisdictions, with independent officials and budgets. Educational standards and standardized testing decisions are usually made by state governments.

 

The ages for compulsory education vary by state. It begins from ages five to eight and ends from ages fourteen to eighteen. Compulsory education requirements can generally be satisfied by educating children in public schools, state-certified private schools, or an approved home school program. In most public and private schools, education is divided into three levels: elementary school, middle school (sometimes called junior high school), and high school (sometimes referred to as secondary education).

 

In almost all schools at these levels, children are divided by age groups into grades, ranging from kindergarten (followed by first grade) for the youngest children in elementary school, up to twelfth grade, the final year of high school. The exact age range of students in these grade levels varies slightly from area to area.

 

Post-secondary education, better known as "college" in the United States, is generally governed separately from the elementary and high school system, and is described in a separate section below.

 

 

Statistics

In the year 2000, there were 76.6 million students enrolled in schools from kindergarten through graduate schools. Of these, 72 percent aged 12 to 17 were judged academically "on track" for their age (enrolled in school at or above grade level). Of those enrolled in compulsory education, 5.2 million (10.4 percent) were attending private schools.

 

Among the country's adult population, over 85 percent have completed high school and 27 percent have received a bachelor's degree or higher. The average salary for college or university graduates is greater than $51,000, exceeding the national average of those without a high school diploma by more than $23,000, according to a 2005 study by the U.S. Census Bureau. The 2010 unemployment rate for high school graduates was 10.8%; the rate for college graduates was 4.9%.

 

The country has a reading literacy rate at 99% of the population over age 15, while ranking below average in science and mathematics understanding compared to other developed countries. In 2008, there was a 77% graduation rate from high school, below that of most developed countries.

 

The poor performance has pushed public and private efforts such as the No Child Left Behind Act. In addition, the ratio of college-educated adults entering the workforce to general population (33%) is slightly below the mean of other developed countries (35%) and rate of participation of the labor force in continuing education is high. A 2000s study by Jon Miller of Michigan State University concluded that "A slightly higher proportion of American adults qualify as scientifically literate than European or Japanese adults".

 

 

School grades

Most children enter the public education system around ages five or six. The American school year traditionally begins at the end of August or the day after Labor Day in September, after the traditional summer recess. Children are assigned into year groups known as grades, beginning with preschool, followed by kindergarten and culminating in twelfth grade. Children customarily advance together from one grade to the next as a single cohort or "class" upon reaching the end of each school year in late May or early June.

 

The American educational system comprises 12 grades of study over 12 calendar years of primary and secondary education before graduating and becoming eligible for college admission. After pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, there are five years in primary school (normally known as elementary school). After completing five grades, the student will enter junior high or middle school and then high school to get the high school diploma.

 

The U.S. uses ordinal numbers (e.g., first grade) for identifying grades. Typical ages and grade groupings in public and private schools may be found through the U.S. Department of Education. Many different variations exist across the country.

Students completing high school may choose to attend a college or university. Undergraduate degrees may be either associate's degrees or bachelor's degrees (baccalaureate)

 

Community college typically offer two-year associate's degrees, although some community colleges offer a limited number of bachelor's degrees. Some community college students choose to transfer to a four-year institution to pursue a bachelor's degree. Community colleges are generally publicly funded and offer career certifications and part-time programs.

 

Four-year institutions may be public or private colleges or universities.

Most public institutions are state universities, which are sponsored by state governments and typically receive funding through some combination of taxpayer funds, tuition, private donations, federal grants, and proceeds from endowments. State universities are organized in a wide variety of ways, and many are part of a state university system. However, not all public institutions are state universities. The five service academies, one for each branch of the armed forces, are completely funded by the federal government; the academies train students (cadets or midshipmen) to be commissioned officers in exchange for a mandatory term of military service. Additionally, some local governments (counties and cities) have four-year institutions of their own - one example is the City University of New York.

 

Private institutions are privately funded and there is wide variety in size, focus, and operation. Some private institutions are large research universities, while others are small liberal arts colleges that concentrate on undergraduate education. Some private universities are nonsectarian while others are religiously affiliated. While most private institutions are non-profit, a number are for profit.

 

Curriculum varies widely depending on the institution. Typically, an undergraduate student will be able to select an academic major or concentration, which comprises the main or special subjects, and students may change their major one or more times.

Some students, typically those with a bachelor's degree, may chose to continue on to graduate or professional school. Graduate degrees may be either master's degrees (e.g., M.S.,M.B.A., M.S.W.) or doctorates (e.g., Ph.D., J.D., M.D.). Academia-focused graduate school typically includes some combination of coursework and research (often requiring a thesis ordissertation), while professional school (e.g., medical, law, business) grants a first professional degree and aims to prepare students to enter a learned profession.

 

 

Preschool

In large cities, sometimes there are private preschools catering to the children of the wealthy. Because some wealthy families see these schools as the first step toward the Ivy League, there are even counselors who specialize in assisting parents and their toddlers through the preschool admissions process. Increasingly, a growing body of preschools are adopting international standards such as the International Preschool Curriculum

 

 

Elementary and secondary education

Schooling is compulsory for all children in the United States, but the age range for which school attendance is required varies from state to state. Most children begin elementary education with kindergarten (usually five to six years old) and finish secondary education with twelfth grade (usually eighteen years old). In some cases, pupils may be promoted beyond the next regular grade. Some states allow students to leave school between 14–17 with parental permission, before finishing high school; other states require students to stay in school until age 18

 

Educational attainment in the United States, Age 25 and Over (2009)

 

Education      Percentage

High school graduate   86.68%

Some college 55.60%

Associates and/or Bachelor's degree 38.54%

Master's degree    7.62%

Doctorate or professional degree      2.94%

 

Most parents send their children to either a public or private institution. According to government data, one-tenth of students are enrolled in private schools. Approximately 85% of students enter the public schools, largely because they are tax-subsidized(tax burdens by school districts vary from area to area).

 

There are more than 14,000 school districts in the country.

 

More than $500 billion is spent each year on public primary and secondary education.

 

Most states require that their school districts within the state teach for 180 days a year.

 

Parents may also choose to educate their own children at home; 1.7% of children are educated in this manner.

 

Nearly 6.2 million students between the ages of 16 and 24 in 2007 dropped out of high school, including nearly three of 10 Hispanics.

 

The issue of high-school drop-outs is considered important to address as the incarceration rate for African-American male high school dropouts is about 50 (fifty) times the national average.

 

In 1971, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that forced busing of students may be ordered to achieve racial desegregation. This ruling resulted in a white flight from the inner cities which largely diluted the intent of the order. This flight had other, non-educational ramifications as well. Integration took place in most schools though de facto segregation often determined the composition of the student body. By the 1990s, most areas of the country have been released from mandatory busing.

 

In 2010, there were 3,823,142 teachers in public, charter, private, and Catholic elementary and secondary schools. They taught a total of 55,203,000 students, who attended one of 132,656 schools.

 

States do not require proper reporting from their school districts to allow analysis of efficiency of return on investment. The Center for American Progress, called a "left-leaning think tank", commends Florida and Texas as the only two states that provides annual school-level productivity evaluations which report to the public how well school funds are being spent at the local level. This allows for comparison of school districts within a state.

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In 2010, American students rank 17th in the world. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development says that this is due to focusing on the low end of performers. All of the recent gains have been made, deliberately, at the low end of the socioeconomic scale and among the lowest achievers. The country has been outrun, the study says, by other nations because the US has not done enough to encourage the highest achievers.

 

About half the states encourage schools to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

 

Teachers worked from about 35 to 46 hours a week in a survey taken in 1993. In 2011, American teachers worked 1,097 hours in the classroom, the most for any industrialized nation measured by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. They spend 1,913 hours a year on their work, just shy of the national average of 1,932 hours for all workers.

 

Transporting students to and from school is a major concern for most school districts. School buses provide the largest mass transit program in the country; 8.8 billion trips per year. Non-school transit buses give 5.2 billion trips annually. 440,000 yellow school buses carry over 24 million students to and from school.

 

School start times are computed with busing in mind. There are often three start times; for elementary, for middle/junior high, and for high school. One school district computed its cost per bus (without the driver) at $20,575 annually. It assumed a model where the average driver drove 80 miles per day. A driver was presumed to cost $.62 per mile (1.6 km). Elementary schools started at 7:30, middle schools/junior high school started at 8:15 and senior high schools at 9:00. While elementary school started earlier, they also get out earlier, at 2:25; middle schools at 3:10 and senior high schools at 3:55. All school districts establish their own times and means of transportation within guidelines set forth by their own state.

 

Elementary school

Historically, in the United States, local public control (and private alternatives) have allowed for some variation in the organization of schools. Elementary school includes kindergarten through fifth grade (or sometimes, to fourth grade, sixth grade or eighth grade). In elementary school, basic subjects are taught, and students often remain in one or two classrooms throughout the school day, with the exceptions of physical education ("P.E." or "gym"), library, music, and art classes. There are (as of 2001) about 3.6 million children in each grade in the United States.

 

Typically, the curriculum in public elementary education is determined by individual school districts. The school district selects curriculum guides and textbooks that are reflective of a state's learning standards and benchmarks for a given grade level. Learning Standards are the goals by which states and school districts must meet adequate yearly progress (AYP) as mandated by No Child Left Behind (NCLB). This description of school governance is simplistic at best, however, and school systems vary widely not only in the way curricular decisions are made but also in how teaching and learning take place. Some states and/or school districts impose more top-down mandates than others. In others, teachers play a significant role in curriculum design and there are few top-down mandates. Curricular decisions within private schools are made differently than they are in public schools, and in most cases without consideration of NCLB.

 

Public Elementary School teachers typically instruct between twenty and thirty students of diverse learning needs. A typical classroom will include children with a range of learning needs or abilities, from those identified as having special needs of the kinds listed in the Individuals with Disabilities Act IDEA to those that are cognitively, athletically or artistically gifted. At times, an individual school district identifies areas of need within the curriculum. Teachers and advisory administrators form committees to develop supplemental materials to support learning for diverse learners and to identify enrichment for textbooks. Many school districts post information about the curriculum and supplemental materials on websites for public access.

 

In general, a student learns basic arithmetic and sometimes rudimentary algebra in mathematics, English proficiency (such as basic grammar, spelling, and vocabulary), and fundamentals of other subjects. Learning standards are identified for all areas of a curriculum by individual States, including those for mathematics, social studies, science, physical development, the fine arts, and reading. While the concept of State Learning standards has been around for some time, No Child Left Behind has mandated that standards exist at the State level.

 

Elementary School teachers are trained with emphases on human cognitive and psychological development and the principles of curriculum development and instruction. Teachers typically earn either a Bachelors or Masters Degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. The teaching of social studies and science are often underdeveloped in elementary school programs. Some attribute this to the fact that elementary school teachers are trained as generalists; however, teachers attribute this to the priority placed on developing reading, writing and math proficiency in the elementary grades and to the large amount of time needed to do so. Reading, writing and math proficiency greatly affect performance in social studies, science and other content areas. Certification standards for teachers are determined by individual states, with individual colleges and universities determining the rigor of the college education provided for future teachers. Some states require content area tests, as well as instructional skills tests for teacher certification in that state.

 

The broad topic of Social Studies may include key events, documents, understandings, and concepts in American history, and geography, and in some programs, state or local history and geography. Topics included under the broader term "science" vary from the physical sciences such as physics and chemistry, through the biological sciences such as biology, ecology, and physiology. Most States have predetermined the number of minutes that will be taught within a given content area. Because No Child Left Behind focuses on reading and math as primary targets for improvement, other instructional areas have received less attention. There is much discussion within educational circles about the justification and impact of having curricula that place greater emphasis on those topics (reading, writing and math) that are specifically tested for improvement.

 

Secondary education

Junior and senior high school

Middle school and Junior high school include the grade levels intermediate between elementary school and senior high school. "Middle school" usually includes sixth, seventh and eighth grade; "Junior high" typically includes seventh, eighth, and ninth grades. The range defined by either is often based on demographic factors, such as an increase or decrease in the relative numbers of younger or older students, with the aim of maintaining stable school populations. At this time, students are given more independence, moving to different classrooms for different subjects, and being allowed to choose some of their class subjects (electives). Usually, starting in ninth grade, grades become part of a student’s official transcript.

 

Senior high school is a school attended after junior high school. High school is often used instead of senior high school and distinguished from junior high school. High school usually runs either from 9th through 12th, or 10th through 12th grade. The students in these grades are commonly referred to as freshmen (grade 9), sophomores (grade 10), juniors (grade 11) and seniors (grade 12).

 

Basic curricular structure

Generally, at the high school level, students take a broad variety of classes without special emphasis in any particular subject. Students are required to take a certain minimum number of mandatory subjects, but may choose additional subjects ("electives") to fill out their required hours of learning.

 

The following minimum courses of study in mandatory subjects are required in nearly all U.S. high schools:

   Science (usually three years minimum, normally biology, chemistry and physics)

   Mathematics (usually four years minimum, normally including algebra, geometry, pre-calculus, statistics, and even calculus)

   English (usually four years minimum, including literature, humanities, composition, oral languages, etc.)

   Social sciences (usually three years minimum, including various history, government/economics courses)

   Physical education (at least two years)

 

Many states require a "health" course in which students learn about anatomy, nutrition, first aid, sexuality, drug awareness and birth control. Anti-drug use programs are also usually part of health courses. In many cases, however, options are provided for students to "test out" of this requirement or complete independent study to meet it. Foreign language and some form of art education are also a mandatory part of the curriculum in some schools.

 

Electives

Common types of electives include:

   Computers (word processing, programming, graphic design)

   Athletics (cross country, football, baseball, basketball, track and field, swimming, tennis, gymnastics, water polo, soccer, softball, wrestling, cheerleading, volleyball, lacrosse, ice hockey, field hockey, crew, boxing, skiing/snowboarding, golf, mountain biking)

   Career and Technical Education (Agriculture/Agriscience, Business/Marketing, Family and Consumer Science, Health Occupations, and Technology Education, including Publishing(journalism/student newspaper, yearbook/annual, literary magazine))

   Performing Arts/Visual Arts, (choir, band, orchestra, drama, art, ceramics, photography, and dance)

   Foreign languages (Spanish and French are common; Chinese, Latin, Ancient Greek, German, Italian, Arabic, and Japanese are less common)

   Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps

 

Advanced courses

Many high schools provide Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses. These are special forms of honors classes where the curriculum is more challenging and lessons more aggressively paced than standard courses. AP or IB courses are usually taken during the 11th or 12th grade of high school, but may be taken as early as 9th grade.

 

Most post-secondary institutions take AP or IB exam results into consideration in the admissions process. Because AP and IB courses are intended to be the equivalent of the first year of college courses, post-secondary institutions may grant unit credit, which enables students to graduate earlier. Other institutions use examinations for placement purposes only: students are exempted from introductory course work but may not receive credit towards a concentration, degree, or core requirement. Institutions vary in the selection of examinations they accept and the scores they require to grant credit or placement, with more elite institutions tending to accept fewer examinations and requiring higher scoring. The lack of AP, IB, and other advanced courses in impoverished inner-city high schools is often seen as a major cause of the greatly differing levels of post-secondary education these graduates go on to receive, compared with both public and private schools in wealthier neighborhoods.

Also, in states with well-developed community college systems, there are often mechanisms by which gifted students may seek permission from their school district to attend community college courses full-time during the summer, and part-time during the school year. The units earned this way can often be transferred to one's university, and can facilitate early graduation. Early college entrance programs are a step further, with students enrolling as freshmen at a younger-than-traditional age.

 

Home schooling

In 2007, approximately 1.5 million children were homeschooled, up 74% from 1999 when the U.S. Department of Education first started keeping statistics. This was 2.9% of all children.

 

Many select moral or religious reasons for homeschooling their children. The second main category is "unschooling," those who prefer a non-standard approach to education.

 

Most homeschooling advocates are wary of the established educational institutions for various reasons. Some are religious conservatives who see nonreligious education as contrary to their moral or religious systems, or who wish to add religious instruction to the educational curriculum (and who may be unable to afford a church-operated private school or where the only available school may teach views contrary to those of the parents). Others feel that they can more effectively tailor a curriculum to suit an individual student’s academic strengths and weaknesses, especially those with singular needs or disabilities. Still others feel that the negative social pressures of schools (such as bullying, drugs, crime, sex, and other school-related problems) are detrimental to a child’s proper development. Parents often form groups to help each other in the homeschooling process, and may even assign classes to different parents, similar to public and private schools.

 

Opposition to homeschooling comes from varied sources, including teachers' organizations and school districts. The National Education Association, the largest labor union in the United States, has been particularly vocal in the past. Opponents' stated concerns fall into several broad categories, including fears of poor academic quality, loss of income for the schools, and religious or social extremism, or lack of socialization with others. At this time, over half of states have oversight into monitoring or measuring the academic progress of home schooled students, with all but ten requiring some form of notification to the state.

 

 

Grading scale

In schools in the United States children are constantly assessed throughout the school year by their teachers, and report cards are issued to parents at varying intervals. Generally the scores for individual assignments and tests are recorded for each student in a grade book, along with the maximum number of points for each assignment. At any time, the total number of points for a student when divided by the total number of possible points produces a percent grade, which can be translated to a letter grade.

Letter grades are often but not always used on report cards at the end of a marking period, although the current grade may be available at other times (particularly when an electronic grade book connected to an online service is in use). Although grading scales usually differ from school to school, the most common grade scale is letter grades—"A" through "F"—derived from a scale of 0–100 or a percentile. In some areas, Texas or Virginia for example, the "D" grade (or that between 70–60) is considered a failing grade. In other jurisdictions, such as Hawaii, a "D" grade is considered passing in certain classes, and failing in others.

 

Standardized testing

Under the No Child Left Behind Act, all American states must test students in public schools statewide to ensure that they are achieving the desired level of minimum education, such as on the Regents Examinations in New York, or the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT), and the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS); students being educated at home or in private schools are not included. The act also requires that students and schools show "adequate yearly progress." This means they must show some improvement each year. When a student fails to make adequate yearly progress, No Child Left Behind mandates that remediation through summer school and/or tutoring be made available to a student in need of extra help.

 

During high school, students (usually in 11th grade) may take one or more standardized tests depending on their postsecondary education preferences and their local graduation requirements. In theory, these tests evaluate the overall level of knowledge and learning aptitude of the students. The SAT and ACT are the most common standardized tests that students take when applying to college. A student may take the SAT, ACT, or both depending upon the post-secondary institutions the student plans to apply to for admission. Most competitive schools also require two or three SAT Subject Tests (formerly known as SAT IIs), which are shorter exams that focus strictly on a particular subject matter. However, all these tests serve little to no purpose for students who do not move on to post-secondary education, so they can usually be skipped without affecting one's ability to graduate.

 

Extracurricular activities

A major characteristic of American schools is the high priority given to sports, clubs and activities by the community, the parents, the schools and the students themselves. Extracurricular activities are educational activities not falling within the scope of the regular curriculum but under the supervision of the school. These activities can extend to large amounts of time outside the normal school day; home-schooled students, however, are not normally allowed to participate. Student participation in sports programs, drill teams, bands, and spirit groups can amount to hours of practices and performances. Most states have organizations that develop rules for competition between groups. These organizations are usually forced to implement time limits on hours practiced as a prerequisite for participation. Many schools also have non-varsity sports teams; however, these are usually afforded less resources and attention.

 

Sports programs and their related games, especially football and/or basketball, are major events for American students and for larger schools can be a major source of funds for school districts.

 

High school athletic competitions often generate intense interest in the community.

In addition to sports, numerous non-athletic extracurricular activities are available in American schools, both public and private. Activities include Quizbowl, musical groups, marching bands, student government, school newspapers, science fairs, debate teams, and clubs focused on an academic area (such as the Spanish Club) or cultural interests (such as Key Club).

 

Education of students with special needs

Commonly known as special classes, are taught by teachers with training in adapting curricula to meet the needs of students with special needs.

 

According to the National Association of School Nurses, 5% of students in 2009 have a seizure disorder, another 5% have ADHD and 10% have mental or emotional problems.

 

Educating children with disabilities

The federal law, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires states to ensure that all government-run schools provide services to meet the individual needs of students with special needs, as defined by the law. All students with special needs are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).

 

Schools meet with the parents or guardians to develop an Individualized Education Program that determines best placement for the child. Students must be placed in the least restrictive environment (LRE) that is appropriate for the student's needs. Public schools that fail to provide an appropriate placement for students with special needs can be taken to due process wherein parents may formally submit their grievances and demand appropriate services for the child.

 

Criticism

At-risk students (those with educational needs that aren't associated with a disability) are often placed in classes with students with minor emotional and social disabilities. Critics assert that placing at-risk students in the same classes as these disabled students may impede the educational progress of both the at-risk and the disabled students. Some research has refuted this claim, and has suggested this approach increases the academic and behavioral skills of the entire student population.

 

Public and private schools

In the United States, state and local government have primary responsibility for education. The Federal Department of Education plays a role in standards setting and education finance, and some primary and secondary schools, for the children of military employees, are run by the Department of Defense.

 

K-12 students in most areas have a choice between free tax-funded public schools, or privately funded private schools.

 

Public school systems are supported by a combination of local, state, and federal government funding. Because a large portion of school revenues come from local property taxes, public schools vary widely in the resources they have available per student. Class size also varies from one district to another. Curriculum decisions in public schools are made largely at the local and state levels; the federal government has limited influence. In most districts, a locally elected school board runs schools. The school board appoints an official called the superintendent of schools to manage the schools in the district.

 

The largest public school system in the United States is in New York City, where more than one million students are taught in 1,200 separate public schools. Because of its immense size – there are more students in the system than residents in the eight smallest US states – the New York City public school system is nationally influential in determining standards and materials, such as textbooks.

 

Admission to individual public schools is usually based on residency. To compensate for differences in school quality based on geography, school systems serving large cities and portions of large cities often have "magnet schools" that provide enrollment to a specified number of non-resident students in addition to serving all resident students. This special enrollment is usually decided by lottery with equal numbers of males and females chosen. Some magnet schools cater to gifted students or to students with special interests, such as the sciences or performing arts.

 

Private schools in the United States include parochial schools (affiliated with religious denominations), non-profit independent schools, and for-profit private schools. Private schools charge varying rates depending on geographic location, the school's expenses, and the availability of funding from sources, other than tuition. For example, some churches partially subsidize private schools for their members. Some people have argued that when their child attends a private school, they should be able to take the funds that the public school no longer needs and apply that money towards private school tuition in the form of vouchers. This is the basis of the school choice movement.

 

5,072,451 students attended 33,740 private elementary and secondary schools in 2007. 74.5% of these were Caucasian, non-Hispanic, 9.8% were African American, 9.6% were Hispanic. 5.4% were Asian or Pacific Islander, and .6% were American Indian. Average school size was 150.3 students. There were 456,266 teachers. The number of students per teacher was about 11. 65% of seniors in private schools in 2006-7 went on to attend a 4-year college.

 

Private schools have various missions: some cater to college-bound students seeking a competitive edge in the college admissions process; others are for gifted students, students with learning disabilities or other special needs, or students with specific religious affiliations. Some cater to families seeking a small school, with a nurturing, supportive environment. Unlike public school systems, private schools have no legal obligation to accept any interested student. Admission to some private schools is often highly selective. Private schools also have the ability to permanently expel persistently unruly students, a disciplinary option not legally available to public school systems.

 

Private schools offer the advantages of smaller classes, under twenty students in a typical elementary classroom, for example; a higher teacher/student ratio across the school day, greater individualized attention and in the more competitive schools, expert college placement services. Unless specifically designed to do so, private schools usually cannot offer the services required by students with serious or multiple learning, emotional, or behavioral issues. Although reputed to pay lower salaries than public school systems, private schools often attract teachers by offering high-quality professional development opportunities, including tuition grants for advanced degrees. According to elite private schools themselves, this investment in faculty development helps maintain the high quality program that they offer.

 

An August 17, 2000 article by the Chicago Sun-Times refers to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago Office of Catholic Schools as the largest private school system in the United States.

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