The Differences Between American and Foreign Education
One might assume that all education is the same, but those people would be wrong. Here are seven differences between education in American and other countries:
Students in the United States Start School Later
In the United States, most students begin kindergarten at the age of five (earlier if they go to pre-school). In fact, there are some students that are not enrolled in kindergarten until they turn 6. But, in other countries, such as Germany, Italy, France, and the United Kingdom, almost all students are enrolled in school by the age of four, some at the age of three. But, a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that students that start school at an older age are more likely to graduate high school than students that start at a younger age.
The United States Spends More Money Per Student
The United States’ “Daddy Warbucks” reputation is not entirely unfounded, as the country spends more money on education than just about any other. Each public-school student (from grades kindergarten to twelve) costs the country $11,800, with college students costing the country $25,000. This puts the United States in the top five, according to the OECD. Unfortunately, the high amounts of spending have less to do with sending students to great schools but rather just the volume of children in the United States that must go to school. Very little of the high spending goes to better training or facilities.
Graduation Rates Fluctuate
Although more money is spent on education in the United States, that does not mean the money is well-spent. In fact, the statistics seem to indicate the money is going to the wrong places, as the United States has a middle of the road graduation rate for its students. As of 2015, it was determined that male students graduate 45% of the time, and women graduate 65.3% of the time (this indicates graduation rates over their lives, not just high school). This places the United States lower than Spain, Denmark, New Zealand, Japan, Russia, amongst many other countries.
There is More Appropriate School Funding Outside of the United States
In the United States, the amount of money a school receives is all based on property taxes. So, if a school is in a wealthy area, they will receive a lot more money, not only from the property tax but also from state tax. If your school is in a poor area, the amount of funding it will receive is significantly lower. These means that the level of education being provided to students in these poorer areas is much lower than that of the wealthier areas. This equality problem does not exist in most other countries, as the governments have done their best to bridge the gap of inequality. For example, Canada changed the fund structure to a province-level formula, which has led to an increase in academic success from its students.
School Success is Dictated by Your Level of Wealth
In conjunction with the notion of pooper schools not getting as much funding as wealthier schools, poorer students are also at a disadvantage in the United States. They will have less help with homework assignments, as their parents have to be away from the house more often to get the funds necessary to live on. That lack of structure for impoverished students leads to lower test scores and higher dropout rates that do not exist in countries that have bridged the gap between the wealthy and the poor, such as Canada.
There is Less Homework and Class Time in Other Countries
According to a study done by the Economist, the most successful education system in the world is that in Finland. The main difference between Finland and the United States is that the students have very little homework and less time spent in school. The looser structure of school has led to higher grades, contrasting against the rigorous education of the United States.
America Has One of the Worst Math Programs in the World
As of 2013, the United States ranked at the 26th most proficient math testing country out of 34 countries listed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The students of the country on average scored by the PISA math mean, with only nine percent of students scoring in the highest level and four percent scoring in the second highest level. The more staggering statistic is that one in four United States students did not reach the PISA baseline of mathematics proficiency, which proves that the way math is taught in the United States is much too far beyond for one of the most privileged, advanced countries on the globe.