The Education System in the United States The education system in the United States allows each individual to choose the type and level of education they receive. In the United States there are three ways to earn an education: through public school, private school or home schooling. The most common form is public school where school and books are free. Students will attend elementary school (grades K-5), followed by middle school (grades 6-8) then high school (grades 9-12) and finally a college degree (bachelor, masters or doctorate). If a family chooses, they can pay a yearly fee for a private education. The grade structure is identical (“Structure of Education”). Although some private schools combine elementary and middle, others may combine middle with high school. In addition to public and private school, one can earn an education through homeschooling. Homeschooling can be done online or at ones home from a certified homeschooling teacher. Regardless of the method an individual chooses, the standards are the same and therefore the education is more or less identical. The educational system in the United States provides a forum for individuals to personally direct their program. The ability to choose which delivery method is right for the individual is a choice that is often taken for granted, but makes the USA superior.
Poverty level and Unemployment Rate in the United States There are often two measures that economist look at when determining economic success. They are the poverty level and the unemployment rate. In the United States a family is counted as poor if its pretax money income is below its poverty threshold (“Poverty in the United States”). According to the 2010 census, 46.9 people in the USA were below the poverty level. This was up slightly from 2007. Typically, the poverty level and unemployment level work hand in hand. According to Trading Economics, the unemployment rate can be defined as the number of people actively looking for a job as a percentage of the labor force. In May of 2012, the unemployment rate was last reported at 8.2 percent (United States Unemployment Rate). However, because the USA is so much larger in size when compared to other countries, the poverty and unemployment rates are often skewed. Smeeding in his article, “Poor People Rich Nations”, notes that the USA is ranked second in poverty