One of the main criteria for the development of our society is the new knowledge and technology that we develop. Without a good education, it is impossible to create a new product, construct a building or write a program. Today, the labor market is crowded, so quality education and work experience are the main criteria for a successful and happy life. All parents know that the first knowledge must be obtained from childhood. At this time, the child’s brain absorbs all new information as much as possible. The love of knowledge is formed in this period. Therefore, primary school is so important in the life of every person. Here, the child not only gets his first skills but also adapts to life in society. Let’s find out how things are with primary education in Fort Worth.
For most children, schooling begins at the age of 5 to 6 years and necessarily lasts 12 years. As in any American state, the secondary education system is divided into the following periods:
- Preschool. The so-called zero class. The main purpose of education is to prepare children aged 3 to 5 years for primary school.
- Primary school. This period of education includes grades 1-5. It is attended by children aged 6-10 years.
- Middle school includes grades 6-8. Children aged 11-13 years independently choose the most suitable additional subjects.
- The high school consists of grades 9-12. It’s the last stage of secondary education. Teenagers from 14 to 17 years can continue further studies for higher education.
Preschool education does not have a hierarchical system. Starting about 3 years old, young Americans get their first knowledge. Children are preparing for the first class in the form of a game. Over time, however, they gradually move on to learning the basics of writing, reading, and arithmetic. It should be noted that Preschool institutions are located based on ordinary schools. More than 60% of children under the age of 5 attend them. Other parents send their children to private institutions. In Fort Worth, the percentage of students from kindergarten through grade 12 enrolled in public institutions is 92 % (schedule 1). Other statistics can be found here: https://www.towncharts.com/Texas/Education/Fort-Worth-city-TX-Education-data.html
(Schedule 1: ratio of students in public and private schools)
Fort Worth Elementary School, as in the rest of the states, is a self-existing educational institution. Primary, secondary, high schools are located in different buildings, with autonomous control. So it is much safer to keep children of different age groups separately from each other. And this has a certain meaning in caring for the personality, safety, and development of the student.
One teacher conducts all classes with the class. The acquisition of classes according to the abilities of students is characteristic of this period. Children who have just started their classes are divided into groups according to the results of screening tests. They consist of various tasks that the child must complete in a given time. After determining mental abilities, teachers create A (gifted), B (normal) and C (incapable) groups for teaching children. For each group, a training program corresponding to the abilities is selected. Teachers conduct serious, intensive classes with capable children with fairly high requirements for student knowledge. These children are oriented to higher education from the first years of schooling.
There is no strict discipline in elementary school. Teachers allow children to walk around the classroom. They can study by sitting in a mug on the floor. Someone can read on their own. They are taken out for a walk near the school and then offered to write something about what they saw. However, by the fifth grade, students are sitting at single desks. A typical lesson is a lively lecture. The teacher engages students in the discussion of a topic proposed in advance or stated in the lesson. Those who wish to answer raise their hand and say, the teacher aggravates the questions. Participation in the discussion is not a survey; there are no verbal tests of knowledge here.
In the elementary grades, as elsewhere, basic skills are being developed. Training is conducted according to the traditional curriculum. Children study the following subjects:
- native language
- natural science
- physical education
- manual labor
Native language and reading occupy almost half of the study time. Teachers devote as much time to arithmetic as they do to music, art, and manual labor. About a sixth of the time is occupied by physical education and hygiene.
Students do their homework in writing and take it in class or over the Internet every day. Sometimes instead of it, and even together with homework, there are larger tasks, so-called projects. Teamwork is an important skill acquired in school. Therefore, both projects and classwork are performed by two or four people.
Teachers give marks in the letter system: A, B, C, D, and F, with the addition of minuses and pluses. In the alphabetical system, letters denote passing points in descending order. The role of unsatisfactory assessment is performed by “E” or “F”. The alphabetical order speaks in favor of the former, but the latter is an understandable abbreviation “fail”. The remaining estimates have the following meaning:
- “D” is satisfactory
- “C” is enough
- “B” is good
- “A” is very good
- “A +” is excellent
Teachers give marks, but do not report them in class. They simply give parents a password for the site with their child’s current grades. Fort Worth has 79 elementary schools. Parents can choose the most suitable educational institution for their children. You can find the full list of schools and their ratings here: https://www.fwisd.org/
The academic year runs from late August (early September) to late May (early June). It is usually divided into two semesters with breaks for the holidays. The exact dates are set by the institution itself. Most state-funded schools offer free places to students living in the school district to which the elementary school belongs. Primary and secondary education is compulsory for everyone and therefore mostly free. About 87% of American children go to public schools, where tuition is not provided. Of course, there are private schools. However, they are preferred by only 10% of parents, and about 3% of young Americans study at home.
A young middle-income American family has a choice: to buy a luxurious house in the district with a mediocre school or a modest house in the area of a good school. Those who choose the second option fall into the circle of like-minded neighbors. These are educated people who value their children’s education above personal amenities. In this environment, there will be better teachers who receive higher salaries in a good school and work in a normal human atmosphere. There will be peers who have been selected for motivation, if not internal, then at least under the pressure of their families. Consequently, the child will receive better knowledge that will help him in the future in secondary and high schools.