Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Costs of Compulsory Education

Aaron Smith has a thoughtful column where he calls for the abolishment of compulsory education.  The Costs of Compulsory Education starts:

Education elites and their political cronies have implemented countless initiatives aimed at reforming education. From the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, every plan put forth has resulted in nothing but inefficient expenditures, new layers of bureaucracy, and continuing declines in student achievement.

Education will only be reformed once parents and entrepreneurs are free to create real alternatives to the broken systems that exist today. Repealing compulsory-education laws and allowing parents to spend their education dollars freely should be the first steps in this direction.

Curiously, compulsory-education laws, which conscript children into state-regulated programs of study, are rarely discussed in the context of education reform; these laws' ostensibly benevolent nature allows demagogues to marginalize detractors and quell any attempt at serious discourse. This results in far-reaching regulations that control how private actors educate, and thus prohibits students from getting the individualized education they need.

I think practically speaking it would be very hard to get this kind of change, but it probably is worth raising just to get people to think about their basic assumptions.

Hat tip: Miazagora on Facebook.

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