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Old 2012-04-18, 01:20 PM   [Ignore Me] #154
Re: Santorum Drops Out

Originally Posted by Figment View Post
No, which means there's also a good possibility that there's a difference in system.

As this article suggests, the pacing in the US is slower. That corresponds to what classmates of mine (who did their final year in the US) said: when they took the last year of high school in the US, it was three years behind our own class - the only new thing they learned was Spanish, since it was the only thing they never had taken (wasn't taught at our school, though some other schools have Spanish, Russian and Chinese as optional langauges).

Another thing is that it suggests the US system is very inwards oriented (US focused), which means knowledge of the outside world is poor, whereas in pretty much all other high ranking countries, a much wider perspective is given.

If you once again excuse the comparison with the Netherlands, our school system is focused on seperating students by performance levels on the previous school. To get into a specific higher level school, college or university, your grades have to match requirements.

This means that not everyone of the same age attends the same schools and classes, but rather they're grouped together so they can be taught by the same teacher on the same level and a different focus, without having to wait for those further behind to catch up. Pacing between the different schools differs greatly. What some schools do in 4-6 years, others do in three and then have 3 more years of advanced classes. Someone who is a bit slower learner can progress and advance from a lower class through the different schools if they meet requirements.

As I understand it, in the US it is the opposite in public schools, where everyone gets the same level of education, regardless of personal performance.
What you're referring to is called "tracking" in the US. Mostly its based off standardized tests administered. If you do really well you are tracked up higher where generally the better performing teachers are. If you do not so well you are tracked lower and placed in classes that designed to play catch-up but generally have lower performing teachers.

The bad thing with our public teachers union is that they are not paid based off performance in the classroom. In DC a public school reformist gave the union the opportunity to have wages as high 140kUSD but they had to give up tenure which basically means you can't be fired, ever. The union never let it come up for a vote to its members.
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