In the United States, secondary education, also known as secondary ed, typically encompasses the final four years of formal public education. In most school districts across the country, these years are found within the high school. Sometimes it is possible for the system to be structured so that one year of junior high school falls into this categorization. These are grades nine through 12. Keep reading to learn more about the structure of the secondary ed system, the curriculum and the teacher requirements.
Secondary Ed Curriculum
Federal grants and funding are available to secondary institutions within the U.S., and the Department of Education, along with the U.S. Congress, have limited authority with regard to regulation of constitutional oversight. By and large, authority over public education at this level lies with the individual states. States are not obligated to accept federal funding. A core curriculum is required across the board. This coursework includes various combinations of Math, Science, English and Social Studies. There are generally two types of high schools. These are college preparatory institutions and vocational ones. The latter is focused on providing trade education for students who wish to go to work immediately upon their graduation. College prep-based schools are providing students with the academic foundation to move onto post-secondary, or higher, education.
Types of Schools
There are various types of secondary education formats among schools in the United States. Public schools are run by the state. All students are eligible to attend these institutions. There are also private schools that are usually overseen by organizations such as a church or civic group. Private schools aren’t regulated by the government, but they do receive oversight from an accrediting body. There are also charter schools, which receive a mixture of government and private funding. They are subject to less regulatory oversight. Many of these charter programs are administer in an online learning environment. Home schooling is another option. In this type of secondary ed, parents or other designated educators teach students a particular curriculum. They must meet certain criteria, but families do have more leeway with regard to the content of their teachings.
As with other aspects of secondary ed oversight, teacher credential vary by state. The umbrella of secondary education can cover various grade combinations. Some certificates cover grades six through 12 in order to account for systems that place ninth grade within their junior high schools. In addition, there are states that require prospective teachers to specialize in a subject area. For example, in order to teach history and geography, a teacher would need a degree in secondary ed with a focus on social studies. Institutions of higher education will provide curriculum based on state education regulations.
Secondary ed can mean different things to different people. It often depends upon the state or the type of institution being discussed. There are various options, but most curricula cover similar subject matter and makeup. Secondary education refers to the teacher of students in the ninth through the twelfth grade in the United States.