As Mark Twain once observed, he never allowed schooling to get in the way of his education. Sadly, today, he wouldn’t have the choice.
Edward Cline points out that today’s compulsory factory schools are frequently so poor that if the inmates acquire any real-world "smarts" at all, “it is only after they have left school and escaped the brow-beating cajolings and ministrations of teachers dedicated to indoctrinating students to become selfless, tolerant, non-judgmental, and self-sacrificial ‘good citizens.’”
Yet there is a move to end compulsory state-sanctioned schooling to allow education to happen.
On July 12th, U.S. State Senator Aaron Osmond of Utah called for the end of compulsory [schooling].
The idea of forcing children to attend school is outdated and should be scrapped in favour of a system that encourages learning by choice, state Sen. Aaron Osmond said in calling for an end to compulsory education in Utah.
"Some parents act as if the responsibility to educate, and even care for their child, is primarily the responsibility of the public school system," the South Jordan Republican first wrote on a state Senate blog on Friday.
Moreover, Osmond noted that:
"As a result, our teachers and schools have been forced to become surrogate parents, expected to
do everything from behavioural counselling, to providing adequate nutrition, to teaching sex education,
as well as ensuring full college and career readiness."
Opposition to the idea was immediately voiced by a state educator:
State School Board member Leslie Castle said she agrees that schools have become burdened
with non-academic responsibilities, like daily nutrition, basic health screenings and behavioural
counselling. But the reality of Utah's increasingly diverse population is that many children require
She said because of compulsory education, teachers and educators are typically the first to see evidence of trouble at home, from abuse to malnourishment. Without the requirement to attend school, or if non-academic services were removed from the public education system, it would be necessary for the state to create some other form of publicly funded service to fill that role.
I had to laugh when I read that "teachers and educators are typically the first to see evidence of trouble at home…." Trayvon Martin, the "child" shot by George Zimmerman in self-defence, was "trouble" looking for punching bag, preferably a human one. What did his public school or his parents do about his "non-academic" problems? School suspensions, slaps on wrists, behavioural counselling, and impotent finger-wagging.
Senator Osmond's position on compulsory education is laudable. But it fails to address the issue of why schooling is compulsory. What, after all, is the premise behind the forced [schooling] of children? Are children wards or the responsibility of the state (or of "society"), or are they the responsibility of their parents.
In short: Who owns them?
A question that is especially important when the State is about to begin IDing all NZ children…