Gudersnipe School System
In Foundation-controlled space, the education system is identified as the Gudersnipe School System or somtimes simple "GS" ("Gudersnipe System") for short. This should not be confused with the actual Gudersnipe School, which does not have a kindergarten.
The core philosophy of the system hinges upon a high degree of flexibility, allowing for as much individual customization as possible. This allows children to openly excel in some areas without being hindered by a lack of over-all academic excellence.
Each subject is divided into a series of ranks, with promotion from one rank to the next determined by aptitude test.
The school system does not seperate students into grades by year, but ranks them in each subject and places them in classes among students of a similar rank. This allows children deficient on one subject or another to progress at their own pace, without being left behind by their peers. Typically there is an average of 3-ranks' difference within a given age group.
Graduation is achieved once a child has achieved Rank 12 in all subjects, typically around age 17 or 18 (though signficantly younger and older graduates are by no means uncommon). Because the system allows youth to progress at a more individual rate, it is also not uncommon to find a student who has achieved Rank 12 in one subject or another by a very young age but is perhaps behind or merely on track with his or her peers.
The main goal of the rank system is to act as a sort of carrot on a stick. Rather than being confined to a rigid system that rinks children by age, they learn from early on that hard work pays off. As soon as Rank 12 is achieved in a given subject, that subject no longer must be studied. Thus, with hard work and determination, an unsavory subject can be completed and put out of the way very early on. The entire program can even be completed early without signficant difficulty.
Graduates as young as 14 and 15 are not uncommon, nore are students who complete greater proficiencies than 12 by the age of 18. Because of these factors, institutions of higher learning are also equipped to acomodate teenagers and young adults.
Officially speaking, juveniles must remain in school until either Rank 12 in all subjects or the age of majority (which can very greatly throughout the Foundation). They may remain in school after the age of majority if Rank 12 has not yet been achieved.
There do exist in most places various continuation programs allowing individuals to graduate and receive a diploma after entering adulthood, so few remain in the traditional school system.
Within most GS Towns and otherwise Foundation-controlled areas, failure to graduate is highly stigmatized. Thus, even individuals who fail to achieve Rank 12 along with their peers will often continue to pursue it. The final graduation rate throughout most of the Foundation is 98.7%.
Value of the Diploma
In Gudersnipe Foundation (which owns as much as 60% of the economy) will not employ any individual who has not received a diploma or completed equivalent education. This does not apply to low-level menial labor positions, though is a requirement for promotion to anything higher. Because of the stigma surrounding dropouts, most companies employ a similar policy.
Foundation schools employ a zero-tolerance policy with teeth. Any form of drug, alcohol, or tobacco is not permitted, and students who violate this rule face harsh punishments. In most cases there is no alternative to the Foundation's school system, so expulsion is not an option. Rather, students can be sent to strict 'reform'-style schools, or even military schools. For serious infractions, the Foundation has even been known to pay students to go major military academies, if it is believed only drastic action will force behavioral changes.
As in the rest of the Foundation, the basic concept is "those that do nothing wrong have nothing to hide". Students' belongings can therefore be searched at any time without cause.