Essay on the American Public-School System

Published: 2021/12/28
Number of words: 3419

Education to the public is an essential element to society and a flourishing democracy of a given country. In the United States, education in public schools started taking place in the 17th century. It was by the first settlers who stepped on the United States soil. In today’s setting, the American public school system is more complex with tiered forms of government and many diversified programs to address the diversifying needs of students. It’s essential to understand the definition, structures, purpose, policies, and operation of public schools in the United States. The understanding helps create a broader picture of what public education is about in the country and how it looks. Public schools are referred to as primary or secondary schools, which are available and can be accessed by everyone in the country. The schools are run, controlled, and regulated by the government’s authority. The government also influences attendance, and funding is by the government mainly through taxes. The funding money is usually allocated through ministries or departments designed to oversee the proper functioning of the public school system.

In the United States, the public school system has a basis on three tiers form of governance entitled to oversee the running of general education. They include the federals, the states, and the local levels. At the top level of the federal government (Diperna et al., 12). The education system has been overseen by the education secretary in the Department of Education. Where the president appoints the minister, the department creates policies and laws involving the education sector in the United States. In the state, there are education agencies that play a vital role in governing public schools. The elected school board runs individual school districts at the local level in most instances. They also offer their insight into public education as well (Jackson 6). There are approximately 15,000 districts schools that are operational in the US. However, alternative schools such as charter and magnet schools allow parents to take their children to school outside their immediate neighborhoods school. Many districts school usually have open enrollments that will enable parents to choose the best public schools for their children depending on their specific needs.

Need an essay assistance?
Our professional writers are here to help you.
Place an order

According to staff works in the United States during the 20007-2008 academic year, approximately 49 million taught in schools. The approximate number of teachers was about 3 million in both primary and secondary schools in the whole country (Morris 10). The average amount of funding per student was about $9,600. However, there was a significant variation in the number between state and districts school. The majority of the financing of these schools is from property taxes, and it is possible to determine the amount each school will receive depending on the location. The district’s schools also receive funding from state and federal sources.

The Education System Set-Up

The compulsory entry age to education in the United States varies according to a different state. The period is between 5 and 7 years, while the age of 6 is the most common in many forms. The compulsory age at which education is completed varies between 16 and 18, but the most common age is 16. School in the US does not end until 18 or upon completion of 12 years (Fuller et al., 10). Those that leave school after completing the compulsory years without earning a higher diploma do not get any certificate of recognition. These students are regarded as high or secondary schools drop out hence not honored. Some students may graduate one year earlier or later, depending on when they enroll in their education. For student talented in education, they can graduate earlier simply because they skipped some classes. Students who are not gifted may delay finishing because they might have forced to repeat courses. The school years in the United States are usually referred to as grades.

Each state in the US usually determines what kind of grade range will constitute the primary school education known as elementary education. Depending on the length of the elementary education, it may be followed by some years of middle school education. The number of middle school education is mostly three years. Secondary education occurs in grade 7 to grade 12 but depends on laws and policies established by the state or the local district school. Any national laws do not govern the educational system in the US. All rules are made and enacted by all states (50) together with 14,000 schools located in local districts. They formulate policies and follow and enforce them to; oversee the public education system (Synder et al., 70). Graduation has been set in all schools at state and local districts for students who complete the 12th grade. This type of graduation upon completion of secondary school education has referred to as a higher diploma. The diploma usually carries cover names and some rewards for various curriculum and standards set. There are honors, college preparatory, and general high school diplomas. To achieve the available track, they must meet the minimum state course requirements and other graduation requirements (Kreisman et al., 11). Vocational and academic or honors require the student to complete an extra set of different curricula to achieve.

High school now and before set up for college

Many districts allow students to enroll in an advanced placement program on the college governance board. The program enables the student to enroll in college-level introductory courses where qualified lectures teach them. After three years examinations are offered in every approach taken, and student who qualifies have given university awarding. Currently, there are about 35 types of this program in use, and more are has planned. Another number of students have been offered the International Baccalaureate (AB), an optional award (Liu 14). To achieve this track, they must study an additional semester beyond the required 12 years—individual students’ programs and content in every grade or the diploma and online degree. They are usually contained in a record known as a transcript. These are the official documents of proof of education, and they include the school seal and signature from the academic registrar.

High school education in the US has two levels, junior high school, and senior high school. The middle schools contain grades seven and grade 8; sometimes, they may contain grades 5, 6, and 9 depending on the state. Upon arriving in junior secondary, students enroll in class schedules to take eight classes from different teachers. The classes are most set to four core academic classes or five if there is a foreign language. These four classes include language, mathematics, science, and option between history and social studies. In some schools, foreign languages have taken place. Students who complete junior high school enroll for high school. Students in high school are from grade 8, 9, or 10 up to grade 12. The majorities of high schools in the united school are comprehensive and accept all students from their local areas regardless of their track.

Rules of Getting into Big Schools like the Ivy League

Many students in the United States dream of attending any of the colleges in the Ivy League to undertake their undergraduate education. Which they regard to be the most elite league. There are eight kinds of these colleges in the US, and achieving student enrollment has been very difficult. Princeton University ranked first position in this diamond league. The rate of student admission into Ivy College declined by approximately 8% in 2020. Students who apply early in the Ivy College are usually admitted than students who regularly use (Nikolsaka 2). Students with early applications have more competitive advantages than students who have applied lately. The pools of early applications that are selected tend to have a proportion of higher talent. However, it does not include any automatic advantage in selection. Each ivy college usually has early applications for interested candidates and encourages selected candidates to attend if they are chosen. However, some colleges in this league, like Harvard University, encourage students to apply to other colleges if admitted early.

Most of the colleges in the Ivy League provided information to the US news regarding their early acceptance rates; this rate was shorter than the regular accepted rate. For example, the student who had applied earlier for Columbia University was more by three times than who had applied lately. According to the university admission website, the difference was due to confident students who are well qualified used earlier. Applying students must have high test scores or good grades to land a spot at any college found in the Ivy League. In 2020 the early acceptance rate provided by Ivy League colleges supplied to the US news was approximately 18% (Landers 10). The rate for universities that are not in Ivy League is approximate 55%. Every college in Ivy League provides information to the US news regarding the performance of SAT scores for their freshmen except for Columbia.

The Stress and Work of Getting to these Schools

Every student who wishes to apply for college in this league should understand that admission criteria have based on academic performance, like test scores and other important factors. The decisions focus on a critical analysis of both qualitative and quantitative factors (Ornsten 335). Some elements like recommendation letters from former institutions, extra curriculum activities that students are involved in, and application essays have consideration when making admission decisions. Additionally, the Ivy Colleges look for students from remote areas, those with less presented ethnic backgrounds, who grew up in a low social, economic environment, and extreme special needs. Because the Ivy Schools usually look for what they don’t have. They aim to look for minority groups who have previously have overlooked in the current world setting.

To maintain good touch with alumni, Ivy Colleges Schools prefers to admit a student who has close connections with the schools. They select students with family connections to school compared to students with similar qualifications but have no ant attachments (Aydin et al., 76). Ivy Colleges consider the gender balance of the applicant and strive to ensure that no gender dominates the other. As a result, the applicant’s gender can affect their pick in the schools, especially if their preferred field has notable gender skew. An outsider finds it difficult to note these priorities, and they may feel that the whole system has collapsed. According to experts, an applicant with an excellent performance record has a great set of talents and won much competition finds a better priority of admission to the Ivy School League. Ivy schools usually have high competitors for seats, and a student who completes every optional component in the application demonstrates high interest in the school. Applicants who wish to gain admission to this school are encouraged that there is nothing optional. They should fill in all the optional requirements, either essays or interviews. Successful students in the application usually have enough reasons for how excellent the college is, even what those colleges don’t know.

Ivy League Colleges are challenging to reach for many students, even those with good grades and justifiable test scores. Experts have warned students from putting great hope in them. Students who have performed brilliantly in their high school levels may benefit more by overlooking these colleges. They should focus more on other selective colleges that may match their interests. Many other high-rated colleges are not in the Ivy College, but they exhibit outstanding features. Students can enroll in these colleges and live happily and get excellent performance in their education and end up in very successful careers even better than students of Ivy College.

College Life and how to Maintain the Balance of Life and School

For students to perform better, they have to optimize their role in suitable ways-it is crucial for students to find a balance in their role in daily life. Students usually wear a hat of different functions such as; partner, student, family, worker, and schoolmate. Times for these are often in conflict, and students should adopt proper strategies to attend all of them (Herman 22). Students should have a school-life balance to achieve excellent academic results. Usually, students mostly give education priority compared to personal factors like exercise and leisure. This action may reduce performance level as the body’s fitness and good health are not considered. Also, the nature of one relationship can impact performance. Too much focus on education can as well impact personal relationships reducing support. Also, paying more attention to personal relationships can deteriorate one academic performance. The student should look for measures so that they can have a balanced school-life relationship.

Students succeeding in their academics means focusing more on studies; most of what is achieved on graduation does not come from class but from student research. Other activities like attachments, internships, fieldwork, conferences, etc., also contribute to excellent performance. These all activities require extra time other than class time to achieve them. Factors that will enable students to sacrifice a lot of time are; self-motivation, good time management, prioritization, and good self-discipline. Good time management is essential for academic success and requires various skills that enable students to have better concentration;

  • Good schedule plan by the student
  • Make a weekly list of things to do
  • Good work prioritization
  • Ability to break a large number of tasks into small ones that can be handled easily
  • Estimating goals to be achieved within a specific timeline
  • Trying to avoid being perfect
  • Accessing the time wasted and making recovery plans

Students should be aware of too much stress that makes them not focus on what needs to be done. Students who have less stress are usually motivated to study and complete their projects on time. When stress becomes too much in such a way, it surpasses motivation student experiences stress overload. Students who have stress overload have anxiety and panic attacks (Rawal 12). These students often feel pressured, lessened, and hurried by life activities, making them more irritable and moody. Stress overload has physical symptoms like stomach aches, headaches, or even body pains. Students with stress should carry activities to relieve stress like exercise, recreation, laughing, increasing vitamin D, positive self-talk, believing they can handle it, talking to friends, seeking help, etc.

In addition, students should strive to achieve high goals other than perfectionism; perfectionism makes students have thoughts and behaviors that aim to reach unrealistic goals. These self-defeating thoughts are perceived to a certain standard level of excellence triggered by one need for approval. The student should strive to achieve what they can through;

The setting standard that is high but is realistic to achieve

Enjoying the whole process of study not only the outcomes

By monitoring their positive and negative thoughts

Taking mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning

Reacting positively to constructive feedback

Maintaining a good healthy lifestyle

Ability to manage the conflicting demands from work, family school

Impact of Essay and the Message to the Public.

The importance of public education is regarded as one of the most critical things in the education system today. At first, public schools in the United States were formed to express democracy, and it’s still the greatest example even today. Education is incorporated to ensure all persons participate in democracy by providing the majority of the people contribute to the system. Citizens require having core knowledge and skills that will make them active and productive to the democracy in a social setting. For this process to be successful, members of the society should have a good education system giving birth to the public school system (Damron 9). The education system in the United States provides for free access to education for all its citizens. The department of education in the United States offers equal opportunities to education even to persons living with disabilities. The federal law in the US requires students with both physical and mental issues to receive appropriate instruction in line with their specific needs. The same case applies to students of all races and gender regarding their income status. The US does not restrict citizens from obtaining public education that can make them successful in their lives.

Students and University; bad and good Changes to the Public School System

At the university level, the first stage is the associate degree, then the bachelor’s degree, followed by an advanced certificate and first professional degree. In the United States, the first degree to achieve after completing high school is an associate degree designed to take two years or more. Holders of this award can apply for bachelor’s degree programs but cannot directly apply to advanced certificates.

Some of the best changes introduced to the public education system include; provisions of tutors to students who usually perform below average to boost performance (Harashchenko et al., 1). It should take place through national programs, fellowships, volunteers, etc. Another measure is offering free meals, i.e., breakfast and lunch, to students, disregarding their income level. Also, allowing the student to combine college education with technical training in various workplace settings. It makes them incorporate all the learned skills in the classroom. Finally, the reduction of class hours from nine to less than seven best fits parents’ needs.

Worry about your grades?
See how we can help you with our essay writing service.

The bad assumption introduced in the public school system is that people with higher education usually enjoy high social class, great power, prestige, and a higher income level. It has made many people strive to achieve higher education levels disregarding other important things that could make them successful. When such persons fail to achieve the targeted groups, they become frustrated with life and engage in awful acts to counter frustrations. Another issue is the high drop rate of school by minority students. It can be attributed to an increase in tuition fees for public schools.


The United States education system is formed based on a complex structure to accommodate various student needs. Education is governed by three levels; federal, state, and district level. The set-up of the education system is from elementary education to junior level secondary, after the junior class to high school level from where students qualify to study in higher institutions. There are also some set rules for the student to be eligible for Ivy College schools. These rules are accompanied by a lot of work and stress towards achieving the requirements. Students should also have better measures to maintain between life and school. A good balance between life and school ensures a successful life. Public education has great importance to citizens as they learn the role of education in democracy. Another important thing is that public education has taken both positive and negative changes since its introduction.

Work cited

Aydin, Hasan, Burhan Ozfidan, and Douglas Carothers. “Meeting the challenges of curriculum and instruction in school settings in the United States.” Journal of Social Studies Education Research 8.3 (2017): 76-92.

Damron, Aryssa. “The Path to the Ivy League Leads Straight through the Public Library.” Hope and a Future: Perspectives on the Impact that Librarians and Libraries Have on our World. Emerald Publishing Limited, 2021.

DiPerna, Paul, and Michael Shaw. “2018 Schooling in America: Public Opinion on K-12 Education, Parent and Teacher Experiences, Accountability, and School Choice.” EdChoice (2018).

Fuller, J., Rachel Lipson, and Jo Encinas. “Working to Learn: Despite a growing set of innovators, America struggles to connect education and career.” (2021).

Harashchenko, Larysa, et al. “Models of corporate education in the United States of America.” Journal of Entrepreneurship Education 22.3 (2019): 1-6.

Herman, Katya M., and Richard Larouche. “Active commuting to work or school: Associations with subjective well-being and work-life balance.” Journal of Transport & Health 22 (2021): 101118.

Jackson, Samantha N. “Standardizing America: Why it Should Be a Method of the Past.” OUR Journal: ODU Undergraduate Research Journal 8.1 (2021): 6.

Kreisman, Daniel, and Kevin Stange. “Vocational and career tech education in American high schools: The value of depth over breadth.” Education Finance and Policy 15.1 (2020): 11-44.


Liu, Changming. “Research on the Educational Mechanism of Donation Culture and Architectural Culture in American Ivy League School.” (2018).

Morris, Robin A. “Running heading: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN INDIA AND AMERICA.” Fuller, J., Rachel Lipson, and Jo Encinas. ”


Ornstein, Allan. “Wealth, legacy and college admission.” Society 56.4 (2019): 335-339.

Rawal, Debyani Mukherjee. “Work-life balance among female school teachers [k-12] delivering online curriculum in Noida [India] during COVID: Empirical study.” Management in Education (2021): 0892020621994303.

Snyder, Thomas D., Cristobal De Brey, and Sally A. Dillow. “Digest of Education Statistics 2017, NCES 2018-070.” National Center for Education Statistics (2019).

Cite this page

Choose cite format:
Online Chat Messenger Email
+44 800 520 0055