The USA does not have a national system of education. All educational matters are left to states. 50 per cent of funds for education come from state sources, about 40 from local funds, and only 6 per cent from the federal government. There are two major types of schools in the USA— public which are free, and private, or fee-paying. Four of five private schools are run by churches and other religious groups.
Elementary education starts at the age of 6 and continues till 10-11 years. Secondary education is provided from the age 11 — 12. Intermediate school includes grades 6 through 9 for ages 11-12 up to 14—15. A senior high school may include grades 9—10 through 12. A senior high school may be comprehensive, general or vocational. A comprehensive school offers a broad program of academic and vocational education, a general school offers a more limited program. A vocational school focuses on vocational training with some general educational subjects. All such programs — academic, technical, or practical are generally taught under one roof. Nevertheless, many students of high school don't finish it. 1 per cent of American citizens at the age of 14 can neither read, nor write. High school students who wish to attend a college or a university go through one of the two standard tests — SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) and ACT (American College Test). They are given by non-profit, non-governmental organizations.
There are several ways to continue in education: universities, colleges, community colleges, and technical and vocational schools. A university in the USA usually consists of several colleges; each college specializes in a subject area. There are colleges of liberal arts, colleges of education and business colleges. A program for undergraduates usually takes four years and leads to the Bachelor of Arts or Science degree. After that, students may leave the university or go on for a graduate or professional degree. The university may be funded from several different sources. A publicly funded university gets some money form the state government. A privately funded university gets money from private sources only. A university may be funded by a religious group.
College students usually spend four years at the college, too, and get the Bachelor's degree. In contrast to universities, colleges don't have graduate or professional programs. Colleges in the USA differ greatly in size — they may include from 100 students to 5000 and more. Most of the larger institutions fall into the category of universities, the largest being the University of California, State university of New York, New York university, Columbia University and others.
The course of study in a community college lasts two years and doesn't lead to any degree. Community colleges may give courses in the regular academic subjects or subject like dental technology, sewing and other non-academic subjects. Not all students of community colleges have high school diplomas.
Technical, or vocational schools have no academic programs and provide only job training. Programs may take from six months to two years and more.
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Из пособия "ЕГЭ. Английский язык.
Устные темы" Занина Е.Л. (2010, 272с.) - Part
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