Slovenian and American Education

By: Alex, Cal and Sam

If you could tear down everything that had to do with your school and change it to your liking, would you? The education system in Slovenia surpasses American education in more ways than one. Many people don't know if America has a good education system , so to help clear some confusion, comparing it to a different country would shed some light on the dilemma.

The most important days in a child's life are the ones that are spent at school. But how kids get to school can be a difficult challenge. “According to a June report from UNESCO, 57 million children aren't going to school—or 11% of all children of primary school age. Almost a quarter of those children had attended school but dropped out. One reason is because the journeys are too long, difficult or even dangerous” (Traveling to School Shouldn't be this Difficult or Dangerous for Children). Unlike many other countries the United States and Slovenia excel in making sure all of their children are able to get to school safely either by busing, biking or even walking. However, there are still problems facing how kids get to school in the United States. One of the problems facing many kids in the United States is the amount of bullying that is happening on the school bus. Bullying is on the rise in the United States and it’s decreasing in Slovenia. “According to the Euro-barometer (2007), Slovenia had the lowest self-reporting rate of depression/anxiety, at only 3%” (Situation on Mental Health). Preventing bullying is one thing that the Slovenian Education System prevails at, and bullying is one thing that the American Education system has done poorly to prevent. The picture below shows one of the dangerous ways kids have to get to school in poorer countries.

Overcrowding in classrooms can lead to stinky and sweaty kids and those kids aren’t able to fully concentrate on their schoolwork. That is exactly what is happening in the American Schools. But this is exactly what isn’t happening in the Slovenian Schools. “The first effect would be a drop in grades for the most part. With so many students packed into one classroom, the teacher is not going to be able to have one-on-one time with the students that need help” (Effects of Overcrowded Classrooms). In the United States the average amount of kids in a grade is 446 (National Center for Education Statistics). In Slovenia the average amount of kids per grade is about 50 students. “There are two groups of every class (Labeled A and B) so altogether there are 46 children in our grade” said Erika Reindl a student in a Slovenian school. So if the United States Education System were to limit the amount of kids per grade, then more kids would be more efficient in school.

It’s common knowledge that school is stressful. And what leads to that stress is the amount of testing that students receive. “Anecdotal reports from educators, combined with a surge in prescriptions for such medications as Ritalin and Prozac, suggest that students are experiencing increased stress in the classroom. At the root of the problem, some researchers suggest, are schools that primarily rank students based on their test scores” (Tests + Stress = Problems For Students). Students in the United States get tested yearly and in Slovenia students rarely even get tested! “At the end of the third, sixth and ninth grade pupil are examined by special state tests in math, the native language and their first foreign language, and the third subject tested in the ninth (or eighth) grade is decided by the minister” (Education in Slovenia). So if the education system in the United States were to decrease the amount of standardized tests, then many more kids would be less stressed during school and they would enjoy school more often.

The graph above shows that the number of graduates in Slovenia is increasing at a generous rate.
In conclusion, the Slovenian Education System outmatches the American Education System. Slovenia has a better system in the ways of standardized testing, class sizes, and transportation is easier to come to come by in Slovenia. Many people find it important to compare the education they already have to education in a different country and this definitely clears up the confusion.