Can you please enlighten us Huntard on what they typically teach in European schools and the level of knowledge an average 5th grader and 12 th grader should know after graduating so we can adequately compare the two (US and European schools)?
Uhm, could you then please tell me what 12th graders are? We've got a bit different classification here, I think.
You've got 1st grade through to 8th grade. That's the "basisschool"(basic school).
Then you move to a new school, depending on your level of knowledge. This happens when you're 12-13. You've basically got three levels in this "middelbare school" (middle school). VMBO (preparing for middle work-eductation, lasting 4 years) HAVO (Higher preparation for next level education, lasting 5 years) and VWO (preparation for scientific education, lasting 6 years).
After that (16-19 years) you go to either an MBO (middle work-eduation), HBO (higher work-education) or WO (scientific education, we also call this a university). When you finish a HBO, you're a bachelor. When you finish your complete WO (university) you're a master. These are the same level as your degrees, I believe.
And all of this is basically public school, paid for (at least in part, or sometimes completely, depending on income of the parents) by the government. Also, everyone on a MBO, HBO or WO education gets a "study finance" of about 100 euros when living at home with their parents, and about 450 euros (I believe) when living on their own, every month.
That's in a nutshell our education system. I hope you can figure out how much knowledge is required for each step. If not, ask away