On Compulsory Education

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In the United States we benefit from many freedoms: of religion, of press, of arms, etc.
These liberties are one of the central philosophies our country was founded on, and are not to be taken for granted.
One of the freedoms Americans do not have, however, is freedom of education.
The government has deliberately positioned itself as sole provider of education, making it near impossible for anybody to be educated otherwise.
Education is also compulsory in the United States, and in many countries of the world.
Children must attend school, and families will be punished for not enrolling in the state-mandated school system.
I think this set-up is extremely problematic, for a number of reasons: 1.
It is not news that when we force people to do something, that thing loses its perceived value, and ultimately its real value.
Children will not enjoy going to school if they are forced to do it.
2.
The government is not intimately involved in the lives of the millions of children in the country, and therefore does not know how to make a system that will meet the specific needs of each child.
For education to work, it must be arranged at the local level.
3.
Parents should be able to choose how to educate their children.
They should be able to send them to whichever public school they wish, not just the one closest by.
Private schools should be widely available.
Homeschooling should be widely accepted.
How can we say we live in a democracy, when we do not give freedom to our people? It is time to restore democracy in the United States.
I suggest that we remove the requirement for mandatory attendance in schools.
I believe that this will have the utmost positive effect on our children; not a negative effect, as some would believe.
Some will say, "We need compulsory education.
How will our children learn if we don't force them to go to school?" I have a few answers to this: 1.
Most children will still attend school, despite the fact that the requirement is no longer there, because education is something that is inherently valued by most people.
2.
For children who choose not to attend school, all democratic educators know that education is happening constantly, in and out of the classroom.
Being outside of school will not stop a child from learning.
3.
Compulsory education has only been in effect in the United States for less than a century.
Surely, children were capable of going to school, gaining education, and becoming capable adults before the government forced them to.
It is time to give our citizens freedom in education.
We can begin by ending compulsory education.
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