How Are K-12 Schools Different In Mexico Compared To the U.S.?

No matter what part of the world one is in, the educational statistics of a country remains a big deal. Super powers are much expected to raise outstanding results especially when compared to developing countries. One reason why education is different for various territories is the educational system that the country follows. Although almost 95% of territories and nations have adapted with the K-12 educational system, fact still remains that it had turn out in diverse ways for other countries and have reared both positive and negative results.

Two educational systems that could well be compared is the United States' and Mexico's K-12 schools. How are K-12 schools different in Mexico compared to the U.S.? The first difference is the division of the 12 years of schooling. America follows the so called 5-3-4 system for most states, wherein after the universal kindergarten, children attend compulsory grade school education for half a decade, go to middle school for the next 3 years and are sent to high school for 4 years. Meanwhile, most Mexican schools use a 6-3-3 structure. And after grade school, middle school is no longer obligatory (or at least not yet).

Another difference between the two is the type of education one receives from high school. Although there are a number of different high schools in America, most of these institutions still work as a springboard towards college education - or what is called as academic high schools. Mexico however, has almost an equal distribution between academic and technical high schools. Technical or vocational institutions cater to students who decide to not pursue college education and work immediately upon graduating from the K-12 system. It is commonly a choice for students in the lower or middle class.

This can also be compared by its budget allotment. Because of poverty problems in Mexico, only a small percentage of the annual financial plan is reserved for education. In this case, although most K-12 schools promise free education, students are required to buy their own textbooks after the initial 6 years of grade school - a problem that is said to have contributed to the higher dropout rates. America on the other hand has almost all the educational problems covered by budget. Free 12 years of education is available in all, or if not, almost every state, though the children could still choose to go to a non-funded private grade school, middle school or senior high school and pay tuition fees.

The subjects taught in these two countries are almost the same with the exception of language. Bilingual education is common in Mexico, where apart from their native tongue, Mexican students are trained a second language, usually French or English. Bilingual programs are well taken seriously in Mexico and kids really do become fluent in the language chosen by their school. However, the 89% literacy rate of Mexico for kids age 15 and up is still considered a big blow for the country. The USA is among the top 30 countries when it comes to literacy and has been reported to have reached a 98%.

The level of education also contributes to how K-12 schools are different in Mexico compared to the U.S. One might well say that Mexico is falling behind USA by many points primarily because of the much lower budget allotment. Although USA has slipped down under Asian countries, it is still among the top countries in terms of performance in Mathematics, Science, Language and History. Mexico however has poor rates despite the centralization of a general curriculum. Mathematics and Geography are weak points for Mexican students and have pointed low academic achievement in the years.

English as a Second Language Teaching Jobs in Mexico

  1. Work in Mexico- This site has a wide range of opportunities for International teachers.