The peculiar feature of American education is the absence of national administration. Each of the 50 states controls and directs its own school. Most states require that children attend school from the time they reach six or 7 years old until they are 16 or 17.
There is no school uniform organization or curriculum throughout the nation. But certain common features exist. Preschool education is part of the elementary school. Elementary and secondary schools consist of 12 years of classes, which meet for about ten month a year, five days a week and five hours a day. Almost every elementary school curriculum includes English, mathematics, science, social studies, music, art and physical education. Many schools include classes teaching basic computer skills.
After graduating from secondary schools a growing number of Americans go on to higher education. American institutions of higher education include: technical training schools, community colleges; and universities which contain one or more colleges and graduate schools offering master’s or doctoral degree programmes.