Compulsory Schooling

Thomas Jefferson said, “it is better to tolerate the rare instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible asportation and education of the infant against the will of the father.”

So should we end compulsory schooling started by Horace Mann in the 1800’s? Vote and then leave a comment why or why not. What would the major obstacles be?

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46 Responses to “Compulsory Schooling”

  • Teresa:

    Yes we should end it. The word “compulsory” is repulsive to any lover of freedom. I don’t buy the argument that parents wouldn’t educate their children if the state didn’t make them. Baloney. Parents love their children more than the “state.” Parents know what’s best for their children. I also don’t buy the argument that someone with a four year degree or even an eight year degree in “Education” knows how to educate better than someone who doesn’t.

  • Fergunator:

    Some parents would not educate their children at all if there was no state education. I believe this, because I have seen it. If the parent is uneducated themselves, they do not know their children are missing anything, or it they are too strung out to care, their children lose out as well. There should always be choice in the education. Parents/families should always have the freedom to choose how and where they educate their children. If we have masses of uneducated adults a generation later, what would that do to our society?

  • Marjohna:

    The violation of the principle of agency has corrupted every one involved in ‘education.’ Everyone involved is forced one way or another and their characters diminished by bondage, the way it always does. I invite those who are truly talented in education to prove themselves in the free market, and those who are just good at coersion, to find something else to do. I agree with Teresa, and I have one of those degrees. The education profession will not be respectful until it is focussed on excellence in services in which individuals may freely financially invest instead of groveling to political powers that impose them and their cost and their ideologies and endless agencies and entities in totalitarian fashion. No more publicly funded schools! Let the socialists build their own churches.

  • Force is only justified as a negative force (an act of self defense). Compulsory schooling uses positive force which is unjust. All children should receive a quality education (not to be confused with schooling) but the method used to educate those children should be good and right. As the lines from the hymn ‘Know This That Every Soul Is Free’ go-

    1. Know then that ev’ry soul is free,
    To choose his life and what he’ll be;
    For this eternal truth is given,
    That God will force no man to heaven.

    2. He’ll call, persuade direct him right;,
    Bless him with wisdom, love, and light;
    In nameless ways be good and kind;
    But never force the human mind.

  • Jennrc3:

    Compulsory schools have got to go. They are another way the government redistrubutes our hard earned dollars. I just learned about Horace Mann this summer. Horace Mann was an evil man. He wanted the authority and responsibility of education to be shifted from the parents to the state. He didn’t think that children should be held responsible for their “natural instincts”. He wanted children to learn that there were no “absolute values” of right and wrong. He said “What the church has been for medieval man the public school must become for democratic and rational man. God will be replaced by the concept of the public good … The common schools…shall create a more far seeing intelligence and a pure morality than ever existed among communities of men.” He convinced many parents that their children had a “right “to public education and that the state should make that happen. He wanted a no sectarian school system. His vision was that education would become the salvation of society. “He wanted a new religion, with the state as its true chuurch, and education as its Messiah.” (The Messianic Character of Education by Rousas J. Rushdooney, [Nutley, N.J., Craig Press, 1968], p. 21).
    John Dewey was one of his followers. What they wanted is exactly what we have today. We need to start over. This is why I have chosen other options for my children even though I am forced to pay for this corrupted system. Anyone interested in more information on the history of education or how to teach effectively can learn more by attending the “Tools and Techniques of Effective Teaching” through the Kimber Academy in Lehi. This class is taught by Dr. Kimber who is the son in law of Cleon Skousen. That is where I got my information.

  • Anonymous:

    Compulsory Education really needs to go. The option can still be there but we should not be forced to use it. Those who are too strung out, as someone stated, would use the public school option because they would use it for the same reason they use it now – babysitting. Those who don’t care about education are not going to consider it important whether it is law or not! Their children are no better off with forced education than without it. We seem to think that forcing an idea is better than not. Some think that somehow, when it is forced, those who wouldn’t do it otherwise are changed. NOT TRUE! NO ONE is changed by force.

    And when it is forced, those who do value it are then suppressed in their love of it. Choice MUST exist for people to be free and happy.

  • Richard:

    School isn’t for everyone. We need to create more options to allow people to become useful and productive members of society without the traditional path of schooling, like apprenticeships. However, this will also require parents to become more involved in in educating their children.

  • Teresa:

    No offense intended, but I don’t buy that old argument either. I still choose freedom. The idea that some parents wouldn’t educate their children if there was no forced state education diverts attention from the failures of forced schooling. This argument assumes that compulsory education is the only way to handle the education of children in our communities whose parents abdicate their responsibility. Bring the responsibility of education closer to home; we’re innovative and charitable. This argument also assumes that compulsory education is doing a good job of educating those who are in the system. How successful has compulsory education been? We wouldn’t be having this discussion if there weren’t major problems with it. One of which is the question of what children are being forced to learn. Could they be learning better things? After having had my children in the compulsory schooling program for 20 years, I’ve discovered that there are so many things that I think they should learn that this system didn’t teach them. I’ve also discovered that there are much better ways to convey knowledge. Something else I’ve learned is that it absolutely matters who mentors my child all day long while they are away from me. What children are learning matters, not just that they are learning any old thing. In my 20 years experience of having children in the compulsory system, it has been conveyed in many ways that it doesn’t matter what a child reads, as long as they read. What a waste of time! Give children books that will build their characters so they will be better people. What is the purpose of education anyway? (I don’t mean compulsory schooling; I mean education.)

  • Teresa:

    The above was a response to Ferganator.

  • Marshall:

    Compulsory no. Communities would automatically organize their own schooling. Those who desired would participate. I’ve seen this in my own neighborhood. A free country should not have compulsory anything.

  • Stori:

    I love the results here! Freedom is popular, as my favorite elected official always says.

    Information is so easy to get in the 21st century and I think we’re approaching the point where it’s almost free. We ought to seriously consider the reasons compulsory education began, (see John Taylor Gatto), and whether there might be a better way for the future.

  • Edb:

    Starting with Junior High School, going to school should be a privilege. Only those who want to learn need apply. I believe 95% of the kids would show up with a different attitude and take school seriously. The 5% that elect to not go are probably the ones making it difficult for the rest to learn when they are in class. It looks like a win – win to me.

  • Interesting, I was unable to vote. I’m guessing there’s something on the server that attempts to enforce “1 vote per IP address” and someone else from my employer must already have voted.

    Institutional education comes about as a result of parents’ belief that they are incapable of providing the best education for their own children. Compulsory education comes about as a result of the belief, among the members of a society, that parents must not be trusted to decide how their children should be taught. Both attitudes are dangerous, and any effort to eliminate compulsory education must also address the impulse toward institutionalized schooling.

    Think about it. Why do so many parents seem to feel that they cannot provide, by themselves, an adequate education for their children? Because (I believe) they feel that they don’t remember enough of what they learned in school, to be able to pass it on to their children. But, doesn’t this show that much of the curriculum is being taught for the sake of teaching it, rather than for its inherent value to the individuals who are being taught? Seems to me like ever learning, but never coming to a knowledge of the truth.

    I believe that the most important thing that parents can pass on to their children is their testimony of the gospel. Certainly, there are important benefits to learning how to manage one’s own money accounts, or to learning how to figure out whether it’s better to buy 10 cows for 90 shekels, or 12 cows for 100 shekels… but in my opinion, most of the advanced skills that people end up needing for their specialized occupations is knowledge that isn’t learned before adulthood in any case, well AFTER they are raised from children, and have had the opportunity to learn and choose for themselves whether they will gain their own testimonies of the gospel. Additionally, in the cases where children may follow after the professions of their parents, the teaching of these advanced skills has the added benefit that it brings increased production to the family, while giving the (young-adult) children additional opportunities to witness the gospel acting in the lives of their parents.

  • Sisclements:

    There was a time when we were all given a chance to have an educational experience that would cover subjects we could only dream of. I believe we were told that it would be the hardest work we could ever do up to that point, and that some of us would fail and get up again, others would pass the chance by, and others would take the chance, but neither care to become educated or hardworking, and yes their children would suffer. I also believe that we were given a choice to consider another experience where we would be compelled in our grand education, never choosing what to do, when to do it, or how to do it.

    How do I feel about compulsion? To sum it up in a few words: I didn’t pick that plan :).

  • home schooler:

    I hate being forced to pay for a school that I do not use and I am completely against the teachings going on inside the walls.

  • Curtis_blanco:

    I voted against ending compulsory education, I see I was out voted.

    In reality though these is no such thing anyway, so you have already won the battle. Next door neighboors I used to have claimed to home school their children. In reality, they didn’t really do it, or much of it. The kids were elementary school age, they were behind in all the subjects, reading, math etc. However the mother was taking the time and effort to teach them the deseret alphebet (did I spell that wrong? Where I am I don’t have benefit of a spell checker). I asked the parents if the school district somehow ensured they really were teaching their kids, they said no.

    From this I see that compulsory education is not enforced. If this family is an example of what happens to everyone else, a family can merely claim they are home schooling their children, then they can do it right or not, or not do it at all.

  • Tjemama:

    Right. End compulsory anything. That was the devil’s plan.

  • Lewis B:

    Facts don’t lie. Every country in the world that does not require compulsory schooling is third world country.

  • Lewis B:

    So it sounds like you are against federal or state governments requiring schooling, but don’t have a problem with local communities requiring schooling or can the people in your community opt out of sending their kids to school at all? Of course, when all of these kids turn into criminal adults because they can’t find a job because they can’t read or write, will you be okay with building more prisons or are you against compulsory prison sentences as well?

  • Lewis B:

    Home schooler, I wish the world was so black and white. I’m so grateful that I was able to receive an education and go through a system where someone else helped to pay for my education. Both of my parents were high school graduates. My father worked mostly labor jobs and my mother remained at home to raise the four of us. If our education system required my parents to completely pay for my education, I wouldn’t have been educated other than maybe just some basic reading and writing–skills my mom was able to do. My father always worked away from home, so I doubt I would have learned much math from him. To make a long story short, my parents understood the need and importance of school and pushed us to succeed in school. I had three siblings and all of us went on to graduate from college and enter successful careers. I became the first in my family to attend and graduate from college (BYU) and it was a big deal to my family. I’m so grateful that I grew up in a time where people were more giving and mindful of the needs of others rather than self-absorbed and selfish. I’m lucky I grew up in an America at a time where I had a chance at improving my situation in life rather than being stuck in a generational rut like is found in so many poverty stricken countries. I don’t have children but I pay my income taxes ($3500 in state income taxes last year) and it is enough to provide at least 1.3 children with an education in Utah. I paid about $1,000 in property taxes last year to fund buildings and materials for kids other than my own). I don’t like taxes; nobody does, but I know that it is helping provide an opportunity for someone out there like me or my siblings who needed an anonymous benefactor in the form of taxpayers. I call it giving back to those who gave so much to me. I’m sure that my debt is paid by now, but I have come to understand that love and compassion and opportunities come from giving and selflessness, not selfishness and me, me, me, me. I’m sure Christ would agree.

  • CharleyT:

    Why is THEIR morality so much higher than my morality when it comes to my children. Surely I have a greater interest in my offspring’s success than the creature we created. What really gripes me is that I am FORCED TO PAY for their morality. Why can’t more people see the truth?

  • Jennrc3:

    Lewis, I also homeschool my children after years of trying the public system including charter schools. The problem with taxing everyone for public schooling is that when the system starts to fail (as it is now) or parents don’t like what is being taught or not taught in the schools, they have no way to change it. If they can opt out and put that money toward something that works like tutors, mentors, private schools or other school options then the public schools would be more likely to listen to the parents and stop spending money on programs that don’t work. I wish the public system worked, but it really doesn’t. From what I have read, only between 68%-75% graduated from high school this year and many of them are unprepared for college. There is a special diploma for seat time also, meaning if the student didn’t really meet the requirements, but was in class enough they earn a diploma. Some students are motivated academically and as it sounds, you were one of them. On the whole, there are too many things wrong with our school system, so I would rather teach my children what I can and use my tax dollars to find them mentors for the things I can’t teach. Everyone is capable of doing that. I don’t think it is selfish to provide for the needs of our own children; it is our first responsibility since we brought them into this earth. It is not right for the state of country to decide that we can afford to provide for the education of everyone’s children. That is theft, not charity. Christ never forced anyone to pay for anything. He encouraged us as individuals to be charitable, but never took away our agency. We should be able to choose how we are going to be charitable.

  • Curtis_blanco:

    Jefferson was generally and educated and wise person, but he HAD SLAVES. Given this why do we hang on his every word as if he can do no wrong? If he has something to say, it must be judged on its merits. Not accepted just because Jefferson said it.

    Does a father have a right to keep his children or child in ignorance? Does what is good for the child mean nothing in comparison to the fathers wishes? I think not. Does the man of the house have the right to beat his wife, his children? To subject his children to undue risk? Shall society have nothing to say if he does?

    I really prefer a world where society can step in where parents are deficient and make things right. The will of the parents is not the be all – end all, the good of the children matters too. Thomas Jefferson’s words not withstanding.

  • Jennifer:

    I vote no on compulsory education. I think you would see a time period where those who didn’t care much for real education probably wouldn’t go out of their way to educate their children, which would be extremely unfortunate. However, we can’t be so afraid of failure; failure teaches valuable lessons. I truly believe that when uneducated people saw the difference education made in the lives of others (and I don’t just mean financially!) they would be motivated to educate themselves and their children. We all appreciate something so much more when we’ve put forth effort rather than just had it force-fed. Additionally there is no question in my mind that the quality of schools would improve drastically if the government got out and it was a matter of parents being able to choose the kind and quality of education they wanted…

  • Curtis, I strongly recommend you get “The Real Thomas Jefferson” which gives a different perspective on Jefferson’s slaves and how he treated them. They loved him. He educated them and treated them like family. And lest someone chime in about him sleeping with one of his slaves, that is most likely his younger brother (Randolph?) as someone else has detailed in a book published a few years ago. This book on Jefferson really opened my eyes. Plus the last half of the book is a concordance of his quotes on a wide variety of subjects.

  • Jennrc3:

    Most fathers don’t beat their wives or children, most parents want to give their children everything they have and more. Just like “no gun zones” and gun laws don’t keep criminals from using guns, no law that is made prevents the beating of wives, and likewise no law will make children learn. There will always be wicked people who do bad things, but the majority of the population are good people. I am not saying we should have no laws, but they should be limited and not infringe on the right of the majority who are good. Compulsary school implies that the state is more able to decide what the children need than the parents, which is just not true. It also allows the state to dip its sticky finger into our paychecks, without our permission and use it for what they decide is best for our children. Our school sysytem is failing. Many students graduate knowing what they were taught in school, but they often times don’t know how to apply it in life. Parents know best where the strengths and weaknesses of their children are and we should be allowed to use that knowledge to guide our children and teach them. We are accountable to God for what we do or don’t do. While you are picking up “The Real Thomas Jefferson” , take some time to read about John Dewey and Horace Mann, and why they love the idea of public schools. There are many lies written about our Founding Fathers in order to disregard that our Constitution was inspired. Don’t believe the lies. God doesn’t inspire evil men to do such great things.

  • Curtis_blanco:

    “when all of these kids turn into criminal adults because they can’t find a job because they can’t read or write, will you be okay with building more prisons or are you against compulsory prison sentences as well”?

    Good point, the people on this list seem to think their definition of freedom trumps everything else of value. A father of a family has the right to not pursue education himself if he chooses, but he has no right to keep his children in ignorance, his kids are not an appendage of him, they are their own people. Even the doctrine and covenants says children have a claim on their parents for their maintence. Education is part of that maintenance.

  • Jennrc3:

    I think you missed the point I was trying to make: The majority of people want what is best for their children and will provide that themselves, even if no one forces them. The rest of them are going to slack off anyway, with or without government stepping in. I agree that an education is part of our children’s “maintenance”, but it not the responsibility of the government to provide this. There several are other very effective ways to educate your children. This is just what we are use to, because we have be raised to believe it is the best way. Nowhere in any scripture that I am aware of does it say that the state is responsible to take on our children’s education. We should also note that in The Family: A Proclaimation to the World, it specifically tells us our responsibility as parents. Nowhere does it delegate any responsibilities regarding the upbringing of our children to the state. Also, what do you think is the result of most people sending their children to Athiest schools? More crime, lack of responsibility, low morality (teen pregnancies and std’s), more drug use and all other sorts of problems. If all parents would take their own children under their wings and “train up a child in the way he should go”, we would not have as many problems as we do today. Our children are instead gone all day at school, being taught by someone else who we usually don’t even know. Then they have other activities and friends who they trust more than their parents. How much time do we have left each day to teach our children what we should? Not enough. So, if you think your children are getting the best education in a public school, send them there. However, no one should tell me that I have to pay for a system I don’t believe in. I should be able to opt out, take my tax dollars and use them to provide the education for my children the way I know is best for them. I pray about the individual needs of my children, the state doesn’t.

  • Gwkingjr:

    While the state may not be responsible for our children’s education, I believe society is responsible for it’s own self preservation. We are only one generation away from anarchy. Therefore I think it is critical to have compulsory education. The question becomes what that education looks like. We have a government of the people, by the people and for the people; therefore it is not the government who educates our children but we the people. How we chose to educate our children is our business. The government does not educate our children because they want to develop automatons but because (we the people) thought the best way to educate our children was to let the government organize the educational system. If we don’t like the way the education system is being handled we need to either appoint and elect serious leaders who take education seriously or create a public education system that is not run by the Federal Government per se. We also need to view education as more than memorizing facts. We need to educate with a purpose that goes beyond maximizing financial security. Many parent do not have the time or energy to even do homework with their children and we expect a whole society to maintain itself based on self education. Part of education is to create discipline. It’s ludicrous to think that is even possible. A global economy requires global thinking which I don’t believe it can be accomplished through home schooling or some laissez faire attitude toward education. Neither can global societies function together without a world view. Public education also provides the opportunity to socialize children which is an education in its self. No public education system will be ever be considered perfect but we need an education system that strives to educate in its imperfection.

  • Jennrc3:

    We are only one generation away from SOCIALISM. You have had too much progressive medicine. If you study the history of education you will know that mentors and homeschooling have been what most people had up until about 70 years ago. If it worked for Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, and many other great, smart people, it can also work now. We are raising a generation of people who know how to do what they are told, but they don’t know how to think. It doesn’t take all day to homeschool, just a few hours of time each day. (We don’t have to wait long to get the class to pay attention, nor is there time waisted between classes). Because I was concerned for our children’s well-being, I fully studied out the pros and cons of homeschooling, and statistically on average homeschoolers do better socially and academically than children in our public system. We homeschoolers choose where we want to sociallize our children rather than putting them in an environment that I would not put myself in to learn social skills. There are a lot of myths about homeschooling.

  • Aarond61:

    I would vote no. I lived in Missouri for a few years and they have no compulsory education. It allowed the homeschooler association to form. The homeschoolers have a library, band, orchestra, sport teems on a highschool level, and more extra curricular activities then the public schooling system. The rich in the homeschooling system donated more so the poor could also participate. It also gave the state the option, when it didn’t have enough funds for education, to close down some public schools. For the politicians knew that the parents had a better system of education. This allowed the state to balance the budget and not raise taxes.

  • Marjohna:

    Sorry, Furgunator, but we have masses of uneducated adults already. Just look at who they vote into power, what they find entertaining, the general irrationality of behavior, and the work non-ethic. The right of parents and families to choose is God-given. It is not for us to allow or not. That right is and has been under attack by tyrants.

  • Marjohna:

    We are all compelled to pay for compulsory education at an alarming rate, so we have not won. I, as a teacher, am not free to work in a free market. The school district doesn’t care if the homeschool parents are ‘actually educating’ their own children any more than they care if the children in their schools are actually being ‘educated’ as long as they get the money. Also, you might be equally upset by how much time at ‘school’ is wasted on party days and other meaningless activities, how many children are passed through the grade levels without aquiring competency in key skills and the politically correct curriculum items that might seem somewhat obscure as to the practical application other than to create some good little minions of the state who are quite incapable of self-support, let alone self-government and liberty. How did you assess that the neighbor children were behind in their skills? I know it is somewhat disturbing, but that family does not have to answer to anyone, other than God, on how they choose to educate their children.

  • Lewis B:

    Oak, it is kind of an oxymoron isn’t it? Treating your slaves kindly. You can kidnapping someone and treat them kindly and they may even love you, but it still doesn’t deter from the fact that kidnapping is wrong. The fact still remains that Jefferson engaged in the trafficking of human beings no matter how guilty he may have felt about it and no matter how hard we try to rationalize the fact that many of our founding fathers were slave owners.

  • Lewis B:

    Jennrc3, I’m not sure where you went to school, but we are not one generation away from socialism. We have been slowly becoming more socialized since the end of the Westward Movement and the availability of free or cheap land and resources ended. We are becoming more socialist, but there is no barrier between socialist and non-socialist, just like there is no abrupt barrier between the layers of the atmosphere. Socialism means government owned and regulated. Communism is basically 100% government ownership and 100% control of an individuals social life as well. I doubt we will be 100% socialist within the next generation.

    I also disagree with your blanket comment about schools failing. It is kind of like the mantra that there is no recession or depression for those who are happily employed. Schools are successful for those who take advantage of what they have to offer and they are a failure for those who don’t. I just read an article published in Britain about why American schools are better than British schools. That came as a shock to me because all you hear in the U.S. is how bad our schools are performing. When reading the article, things became more clear. American schools are different than the rest in the world in that America makes an attempt to educate every students regardless of their socio-economic background. Our school system has been the backbone of American prosperity and innovation. While we send officials to Singapore to learn about their automaton system of producing worker drones, they send officials to our country to learn the secret of teaching students to be innovative.

    As far as colleges complaining that students aren’t prepared….well, they have always done that. Even way back in the dinosaur era when I went to school, colleges said that. That is just the pecking order of arrogance. Junior High teachers complain about Elementary schools. High Schools complain about Junior High schools. America has the best college system in the world. Logically, we wouldn’t have such great colleges if our public schools were such an abysmal failure. When I started BYU, we heard the same story about how unprepared we were from our college professors. They never did any remediation, but taught their curriculum as usual which I though was pretty easy. When we graduated, the professors commended themselves for a job well done in taking a bunch of stupid kids who should still be in high school because of a lack of preparation and turned us into intelligent creatures. It makes me laugh when I think about those days and makes me sad when so many people today buy into the rhetoric. The real problem is that public schools have become a major issue for politicians. The politicization of public schools is the reason for the public perception that they are a complete failure. If anything has drastically changed about our schools over the last two decades, it is politics.

    I do believe that some schools are better than others, but when you look closely at these schools, a major truth is revealed–schools are merely a reflection of society and the communities they serve. If one really wants to change schools, we need to change the way we live our lives.

  • I suppose that is a bit of an oxymoron to us, but read the book. Jefferson was a standout. You can’t really say he trafficked in slaves since he inherited them from his father along with a couple thousand acres of plantation property they worked. I think he acquired more through marriage. Throughout his life he spent considerable time trying to figure out how to end the institution of slavery. He thought it was evil and needed abolished. He did things for his slaves that others did not. He was a great and noble man.

  • Schools have changed. Here’s a good article from one teacher who details her observations.

    Lewis, this has been intentionally done. Our enemies both within the country and outside of it have deliberately tried to dumb us down, break up the family, and cause such unrest that we are easy to topple. We are there. Government control of industries is happening. It’s not just Obama, but it almost feels like we’ve been watching “endgame” moves the last couple years.

  • Marjohna:

    Thomas Jefferson inherited a world situation in which slavery was common and had been practiced for thousands of years in all parts of the world and in every culture. He and many others worked to end a difficult situation and tradition and did more to end it than people who believe that they have the right to the slave labor of those forced to support their spurious ideas of education and charity and denigrate the characters of those who stood before armies to establish liberty. That’s rich.

  • You’re making a very broad assumption that compulsory education results in educated people. I know plenty of highly ignorant (by choice) people that came through a school. Forcing someone to collect and regurgitate information isn’t going to have a significant impact on whether they are “educated” or not. They can be handed the opportunity, but that doesn’t mean they will want, appreciate, or take advantage of it.


    The more I think about it, the more “Libertarian” I am about most things and this is one of them. I don’t believe the State has the right to force anyone to educate themselves or their children.
    The caviat’ is that as we would also have to do away with Socialistic Gov’t programs so there is more incentive to get the education. If more people had to look the person in eye that they were taking money from instead of allowing the Gov’t to steal it for them, people might not feel so comfortable in their ignorant poverty.

  • Bill:

    Compulsory education has made ‘baby sitting’ sessions and ‘disciplinary counsels’ out of our schools. Kids who truly want an education are hindered by kids who don’t want to be there!

  • Curtis_blanco:

    Oak is correct that there is a great movemenet that has been trying to dumb us down. Math education is a great example of this. Kids not being taught proper arithmetic anymore, this results in students not having a foundational sense of numbers, so that they can go on and succeed in Algebra. Then in secondary math, the math has also been dumbed down. Students seldom do proofs or challenging problems anymore. Geometry as it is taught in todays schools is a hollow shell of what it used to be. Whats more, when this is pointed out to math education “professionals” they deny there is a problem. The math education community has dropped the ball, they have lost their way.

    If any teachers read this, I hope they will take the attitude that there needs to be improvement and not be defensive. When there is a problem, and the people responsible for it refuse to see that there is a problem, this is a very bad situation.

  • Loni:

    We have masses of uneducated adults NOW who DID go to school. LOL. The responsible parents will send their kids to school because they care about their kids’ education. The irresponsible parents will send their kids to school to get them out of their hair. Only the truly bad parents will not educate their children at all. This happens now, in spite of compulsory education. Give the people the freedom to choose and we may just end up with a better system than we currently have. It certainly couldn’t get much worse.

  • Loni:

    Compulsory schooling applies to local communities as well as federal or state government mandates. People opt out of sending their kids to school NOW. Non-compulsory education does not mandate that all who do not participate will inevitably become illiterate OR criminals. I believe that the number of prisons needed is more directly related to the level or morality taught in the home than to formal academic education.

  • Loni:

    I don’t believe that we are one generation away from anarchy. I believe we are less than one presidential term away from tyranny. Although this government was originally designed to be a government of, by and for the people, that is not the way it is currently operating; it is currently operating more like an oligarchy where only a small group of governing elite have all the power and make all the decisions for the rest of us, often against our will. The current educational system is an example of this. I believe that the consensus majority of Americans don’t like what is being taught or how it is being taught in our schools, but are all but powerless to change it or to convince our oligarchal leaders to change it. I believe that the current government DOES want to develop automatons; it supports the oligarchy, which leads to tyranny. It is time to break that cycle before it’s too late, if it’s not too late already.

  • Loni:

    I completely disagree with your notion that we are not on a track to socialism. Our charming commander in chief and all of the czars and other minions he surrounds himself with either will not deny it, or openly admit to it. I have heard them admit to it with my own ears. Hiding your head in the sand does not make it less true.

    I also completely disagree with the notion that schools are successful for those who take advantage of what they have to offer and that they are a failure for those who don’t. It is just as possible for schools to be successful in spite of an individual’s choice to take advantage of it, as it is for schools to be dismal failures in spite of an individual’s best effort to take advantage of all that is offered.

    I recently listened to a graduation speech given by a class valedictorian who demonstrated this point swimmingly. She said that in spite of the fact that she was the valedictorian, got the best grades in the class, took advantage of every acedemic and extracurricular opportunity she was offered, she completed her schooling with the madening knowledge that it was almost all a complete waste of time as it did little to teach her how to think for herself or prepare her to succeed in the real world. All that compulwory schooling had taught her was how to pass a test and obey orders.

    My children have already been inundated in the public school system with the teachings of the liberal agenda which I am opposed to. But I am neither informed nor invited to voice my objection in the current school system. This must change. This should be our choice, not dictated to us against our will.

    While foreign countries USED to send their officials to our country to learn the secret of teaching students to be innovative, that is no longer the case. The learning of actual innovation, science, technology, etc. have been outsourced to Japan. OUR educational system has become a laughing stock of the world.

    I agree whole-heartedly, however, that our schools have become targets of political agendas. But it follows that academics will inevitably suffer when the agenda becomes politically based. We’re there.