Rethink education compulsion laws

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  • redshirt007 tranquility base, 00
    Aug. 22, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    Conservatives can be led to the obvious truth, but you can't make them believe it.

    Nobody is being forced to send their kids to public education. Way to rail against a problem that doesn't exist, again.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    If America wants to go the route of letting government people or think-tanks decide what education you must get, and be able to make that compulsory... then I assume they can also make RE-Education camps compulsory for people who don't seem to get it, or don't follow the party-line? Like they did in Communist Russia, Germany, and North Korea.

    Is that the direction we want to go? More "Compulsion"? Or more "Freedom"? Even if that freedom would allow us to make BAD decisions?

    Freedom will ALWAYS allow people to make bad decisions. And Compulsion will always be the anti-thesis of Freedom.

    I guess we just need to decide which we want more of. Freedom or Compulsion.

  • micki Sebastopol, CA
    Aug. 17, 2013 4:22 p.m.

    I am having a hard time believing what I am reading. That in this 21st Century people are actually talking about rolling back Public Education?! Eliminating compulsory education has 2 sides: on the one hand, families ALREADY have the option to "opt out" and homeschool their children, on the other hand removing Public education would be a disaster for those who are poor, who's parents HAVE TO WORK and who are deserving of receiving a quality education, and wouldn't get it because the next logical step in eliminating Public Education is to CLOSE SCHOOLS. Then education becomes the privilege of the wealthy few, while the many will languish. This is unacceptable. We must not go back to the bad old days of rampant illiteracy, and the disenfranchisement of our future generations of children.

  • elbow orem, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 10:32 p.m.

    I don't understand why the Deseret News would choose to print this opinion piece. After spending my whole life in education I can tell you that it is full of inaccuracies and only passes on misinformation.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 10:19 p.m.

    As a historian I was wondering where this guy got his information about Karl Marx and compulsory education. I suppose one can blame Marx for a lot of bad ideas but not this one. If you could blame this on anyone, maybe those Puritans but they lived a long time before Marx. That was some pretty weak stuff by this author...

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Aug. 16, 2013 4:52 p.m.

    Article author - “I want to be clear that I am totally in favor of universal education.”

    Really?! You had me fooled…

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 2:26 p.m.

    That which is forced upon an individual or a group is generally despised.”

    I am very grateful to my mother and older sisters for the forced training in how to eat, how to talk and how to treat others. I am also very grateful that my government that forces rules and regulation on our world that protect and enhance our lives.

    “This, in turn, makes the government the arbitrator of truth — since presumably the schools are not teaching falsehoods”

    There are probably as many variations in content, manner and application of the nature of education as there are parental groups of mother and father, mother or father. Civilized society depends on some consistency of purpose and direction. If everybody pulls in a different direction civilization stops dead.

    “that those who receive something for free generally do not appreciate it as much as those who have to pay for it” is a lie.

    The most precious, most valued, most dear to me gift that I have is life. I did not ask for it and did nothing to cause it. Yet I would pay any price or do any thing just to keep it.

  • Voice ofReason LAYTON, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 1:34 p.m.

    Although I'm a self-described conservative who supports vouchers, I don't like the idea of giving up compulsory, publicly funded education. That just seems riddled with potential long-term problems.

    However, I must correct Irony Guy's assertion on home schooling, where he says that it "generally means not much" schooling. In reality, home-schooled students do much better academically than their publicly (and privately!) schooled counterparts as measured by virtually every major study ever done on the subject. This really shouldn't be a surprise, since having a full time teacher-student ratio of 1:1 will yield HUGE benefits over a 30-student classroom, especially when that teacher is the student's actual parent who was motivated enough to make the huge commitment to teach their child full time.

    The myth that home schooling is for lazy parents who don't want to take their kids to school, or kooky parents who just want to religiously indoctrinate their kids, is overwhelmingly just that: a myth.

    And no, I wasn't home schooled nor do I home school my children.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 16, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    This argument is moot. Nobody in Utah is required to send their kids to school. They can school them at home, which generally means not much. When they start enforcing the truancy laws (which haven't been enforced for years), then we can talk about the meaning of "compulsory."

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    @CHS 85

    I heard that somewhere, but since I live in the real world, I have a hard time actually believing it. :)

    In reading Senator Osmond's blog piece, I agree with him that we have problems and challenges in the educational system. His blunder was pointing them out, then saying they could all be fixed by getting rid of compulsory education- as if the problems and the solution were actually connected.

    The problem with the Senator's proposal is that he bit hook, line, and sinker into Oak Norton's ideology. If he is looking at Norton as an advisor on this issue- he's looking in the wrong place. Norton has some really strange ideas about a lot of things- education, government, politics and religion. Norton claims that we need to adopt Singapore math because Singapore's math scores have become some of the best in the world. What he conveniently forgets to point out is that Singapore, at about the same time they developed their math program, also instituted compulsory education.

    If the world were a perfect place, as you pointed out, maybe this would work. As of now, Osmond and Norton are snorting pixie dust.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 12:33 p.m.


    Didn't you know that every child comes from a two-parent household where mom doesn't have to work outside the home and can be there to oversee the education and discipline of her children 24/7? Didn't you know that every household in Utah has English as a first language and every parent is fully qualified to teach their children at home? Didn't you know that every parent will insure that their children's countenance will glow with knowledge from all that their college-educated parents provide to them? Every child lovingly attends school and fully realizes with their teenage brain and vast experience the consequences if they drop out of school and no one forces them to continue. Every family lives in upper-class South Jordan with no challenges that would cause their children to not attend school. And on top of that every parent cherishes education and what it can offer their children.

    Yeah, and I just saw a unicorn fly across a beautiful rainbow.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    The author of this article is just as deluded at Senator Osmond, Oak Norton, and the others who are advocating doing away with compulsory education.

    First, he throws out the Marxist (in other words, socialist/communist) comment. That immediately tells me where on the political spectrum he lies. People, stop screaming "socialism" every time you don't like something. It shows a lack of thought and intelligence. Most people using words like socialism, communism, or fascism, don't really seem to understand the true meaning. Poor argument.

    Second, like Senator Osmond, the author thinks that removing compulsory education will somehow, magically, make irresponsible or less than committed parents suddenly become responsible and committed to their child's education. Wrong. There are many reasons these parents don't fully commit to their children's education (working multiple jobs, lack of caring about education, laziness, not understanding how to help with subjects like math, etc). Why punish children educationally for the parents actions?

    Also, there is a social cost involved. These children with less committed parents are going to cost society in the long run. $6000/ year to educate them, or $30000/year to incarcerate them, as one possible outcome.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 16, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Kid's shouldn't be compelled to do anything they don't want to do, right?

    This is about the silliest backward thinking I've heard in some time. (and the GOP works hard to keep me laughing)

    I guess this would leave us open to home schooling, where english, history and witchcraft (science) can all be taught from the same black book.

    Master GOP plan replace under educated migrant workers with under educated merican children.
    They could lower the minimum wage since it wouldn't be fair for a business to have to pay someone who isn't even educated, right?

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 16, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    It would be good to start with the right facts. The writer states “Karl Marx, who first championed compulsory education . . .” Karl Marx was not the first to champion compulsory education. The Wiki article on Marx mentions nothing about compulsory education. The Wiki article on compulsory education mentions nothing about Marx. The following are a few excerpts reference the history of compulsory education. Hopefully, they put this myth to rest.

    . . . in 1524, Martin Luther advocated compulsory schooling so that all parishioners would be able to read the Bible themselves, and Strasbourg-then a free city of the Holy Roman Empire-passed accordant legislation in 1598.

    In Scotland, the Reformation prompted the establishment of a national compulsory system of education. . . . the School Establishment Act of 1616 commanded every parish with the means to establish a school paid for by parishioners.

    Prussia implemented a modern compulsory system in 1763 which was widely recognized and copied.

    Massachusetts had originally enacted the first compulsory education law in the American colonies in 1647. In 1852, the Massachusetts General Court passed a law requiring every town to create and operate a grammar school.