I. Introduction: There have been debates on whether compulsory education should be adopted in the United States.
II. Thesis: Compulsory education should be adopted in the United States
III. Background Information: Compulsory education is a government policy requiring citizens falling within a certain age bracket to attend formal system of education.
IV. Acknowledgement of counterarguments
Those who have taken position contrary to compulsory education argue that it denies students ability to develop their own skills and talents. However, this is conditional depending on the flexibility of the education system.
V. Reason #1:
Forcing children to attend compulsory education may hinder the development of their natural skills and talents.
Example: Paul Goodman asserts that student don’t have to be in the jurisdiction of formal systems in order to learn but instead they can learn through their interactions with the general society (Goodman, 1964)
VI. Reason #2:
Compulsory education is important as it creates a large pool of qualified and innovative citizens.
Example: China and India have really embraced compulsory education for their citizens. Consequently, the citizens from such nations are giving the US labor force a run for their money (The Report of the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. Washington, DC: Jossey-Bass, 2007).
Compulsory education promotes equitability in the society.
Example: There is a No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(NCLB) which is committed to offering quality educational services to all children regardless of their race, ethnicity, disability, migrant status, economic status, or English proficiency (Adams & Rubel, 2010, p.75).
Compulsory education is indispensible for United States. It makes the labor force globally competitive. It reduces illiteracy levels and encourages competitiveness. Therefore, it is a wakeup call for the government to adopt and enforce it.
Compulsory Education in United States
There have been debates on whether education should be made mandatory in the United States of America or not. A hard reality has hit the Americans that their lead role in terms of literacy levels is slowly being watered down in favor of countries such as China and India that have really embraced compulsory education for their citizens. Therefore, the citizens from such nations are giving the US labor force a run for their money. This is not only linked to their skills in doing routine work but also their capability of analyzing and coming up with critical solutions to the challenges facing the globe in this century of information and technological advancement. The big question that is in the lips of most people is what is happening to the wits the American people once possessed. Could it be laxity in our education system? As a measure, the compulsory education system needs to be adopted.
Compulsory education refers to a government policy that is used in some countries requiring citizens falling within a certain age brackets to attend some formal system of education. Most governments have been adopting the system in order to eliminate illiteracy levels in their nations. It is a policy, which developed countries have been using to ensure that their citizens remain ahead of the pack as regards to the ability of critically thinking and innovativeness.
However, this idea has not been received entirely positively by everyone. There are individuals who are really skeptic about the whole idea of forcing students to attend school even when their hearts are not there. On the other hand, some individuals have enough reasons as to why non-school going children are a threat to the society.
There are individuals who believe that forcing a student to attend formal education will be infringing their rights of free choice. Furthermore, such students may not take the whole idea with passion and as such will gain little from the whole process. One particular individual who is not for the idea of compulsory education is Paul Goodman. In his article “Two Simple Proposals,” he argues that all ways of perception are ways of learning. He suggests that student do not have to be in the jurisdiction of formal systems in order to learn but instead they can learn through interactions with the general society (Goodman, 1964).
Adoption of compulsory education has many advantages. First, most people would prefer doing other things other than studying. This is so because education is a rigorous activity and human nature dictates that such engagements should be avoided at all costs. However, repercussions of not attending schools will be grave as one may not develop analytical and technical skills and may therefore be unable to secure employment in the formal sector. As such, education is important as it creates a large pool of qualified and innovative citizens. In addition, mandatory education keeps children who would have otherwise been juvenile busy thus saving the society from vices such as theft, drug trafficking and many others. Furthermore, it is advantageous to the economy as reduced illiteracy levels could easily transform to higher rates of innovativeness. Finally, it facilitates equity in the social aspect, which is an indication of development. There is a No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(NCLB) which is committed to offering quality educational services to all children regardless of their race, ethnicity, disability, migrant status, economic status, or English proficiency (Adams & Rubel, 2010, p.76).
The compulsory education has its own misgivings despite the many positive advantages. It may act as a hindrance to the development of individual talents and skills and instead try to impart something else on the students. Paul Goodman says, “It seems to me that a primary duty of the university is to deprive them of their props, their dependence on extrinsic valuation and motivation, and to force them to confront the difficult enterprise itself and finally lose themselves in it.” This is true as some systems do not and parents do not give their children enough room to explore their talents and pursue areas of specialization where they derive interest (Goodman, 1964).
Our education system needs to undergo some reforms if the effectiveness of the system is to be realized. However, this has to be tackled from the roots. Therefore, there is a dire need for the early childhood education to be given much attention and consideration for the realization of this goal. The first commission has appropriately taken the proposed reforms by its intents to increase the funding of the early childhood education so that children can have proper guidelines right from the onset (Compulsory Education.” National Conference of State Legislatures.1July2008. Web. 15May2011).
In conclusions, compulsory education bears so many advantages ranging from reduced illiteracy levels to steering the countries development through the innovativeness of its literate population. As such, it is a wakeup call for the stakeholders to move in expeditiously and reform the system from the lowest level of education so that we as a nation can reap the benefits of compulsory education.
“Compulsory Education.” National Conference of State Legislatures.1July2008. Web.
Adams, C, and J Rubel. (2010). Compliance Issues Raised By The United States' Ratification
And Implementation Of The Education Articles Of The Convention On The Rights Of
The Child." Child Welfare 89.5 (2010): 73-90. CINAHL Plus with Full Text. Web. 22
Goodman, Paul. Compulsory Mis-education and the Community of Scholars. New York: Horizon
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National Center on Education and the Economy. Tough Choices or Tough Times; the Report of
the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce. Washington, DC: Jossey-
Bass, 2007. Print. Retrieved: http://www.ncee.org/wp-