Elementary schools in the US - Statistics & Facts

Elementary schools in the US - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts about elementary schools in the United States

Elementary, or primary education, customarily refers to the first six years of formal education received in schools in the majority of territories, including the United States. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, there were just over 98,000 elementary schools operating in the United States in 2012; a combination of private and public schools. Enrollment levels in public and private elementary schools vary considerably and lean, unsurprisingly, considerably more in the direction of the former rather than the latter. Notwithstanding this, school enrollment in public and private institutions in general is higher in elementary schools than any other school form.


The curriculum of the public school system in the United States is determined by local authorities under district or state control. Each state selects course texts and curriculum literature that reflect its learning standards and are in keeping with its benchmarks for a given grade level. Although the variations that exist in the educational methods and structuring in individual states have their effects on how teaching and learning take place, and that these differences result in inconsistencies when considered in a national context, the concept of state learning standards has been in existence for some time. In general, the focus of learning varies little, with focuses placed on rudimentary mathematics, English proficiency and the broader fundamentals of other subjects.

How well a child learns in elementary school is, of course, to a great extent, down to the teacher. The number of teachers in elementary schools in the United States has been on a steady upward trajectory in recent years, having a positive impact on the teacher pupil ratio. The job also has attractive benefits for those wishing to enter the educating profession - the average teachers' salary in the United States is one of the highest in the world - second only to Germany. Other positive increases, including that of expenditure on public and private elementary schools, have also been recorded, as has the marked increase of expenditure per pupil, having nearly doubled since 1998.



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