Secondary education in America， which is known as“high school”in general， is in one period or divided into two periods. The first two or three years are called “junior high school”and the senior classes are called “senior high school”。 These two periods which are similar to the names used in our country.
American students enjoy free education until they are eighteen years old. This is different from what students do in our country， because， you know， children in China receive free education of nine years， no matter how old they are when they graduate from senior high school. American children have little difficulty in going to senior high school because of the free education system. But things are different if they want to go to special schools or classes which are set up for children showing academic ability.
High school students in America take part in many activities outside the classroom， such as joining a musical group or a sports team. Among those activities， perhaps， the football team is the most important. But just as middle school students do in our country， American students in high schools have to work hard if they want to go on to a university of high reputation after they finish high school because these universities take in senior high school students with high marks.
American high school students do not specialize in any particular direction， and they take classes in all kinds of subjects all through the high school period. Sometimes some of them complain that the progress is too slow and they do not learn much. This is because students of all levels of academic ability study in the same school and in the same class. Those who come out with low marks at the end of a school year to be supposed to repeat a grade are often allowed to go on to the next grade.
Many children who do not want to go to school are sent to high schools in central city areas. So fighting or hurting or other kinds of bad behaviors is often seen in these schools. As a result， children who want to go to universities are often sent to suburban high schools， where most students aim at going to universities and the atmosphere is quite different. Like what happens in China， some children from rich families study in private schools.
aim at 瞄准、以…为目的