Advanced English Writing
The Costs of Compulsory Education
As early as in the year of 1619, Germany has carried out the law of compulsory education. Afterwards more and more country passed the compulsory attendance law. The law is originally enacted to making education available to more people and elevating public quality. However, after years of implementing, there are some costs of the law that shouldn’t be ignored. For example, it fails to care to every student, produces less creative and reflective students and even has changed education itself into a forced task.
Compulsory education does stifle the diversity in students and couldn’t care to
every student. As Murray N. Rothbard said that each person is a unique individual with different intelligence, aptitudes, and interests. So no matter at what pace and with what content, the uniformed education system couldn’t take every student’s
requirements into account. Therefore, for those intelligent, it is a waste of time, and on the contrary, it is a difficult task for those less intelligent. With this law, students who are no interested in studying even couldn’t choose to quit school to have a job.
So the result is that “we now have more illiteracy and more ignorance among
Americans that before such laws were enacted”. (Blumenfeld 138)
Another problem caused by compulsory education is that students become less creative and even “dumb”. Compulsory schooling pushes students to receive and
memorize what the teachers have taught. Undeniable, they have learned many things. They know Newton’s law of motion; they can recite Shakespeare’s amazing works;
they can even tell people on which page the word “thought” is in the Oxford
Dictionary. But they can’t think! They become tools of the studying machine” and the
only thing they can do is “obedience and the will to accept authority” (Formal 142).
They are dumb in thought not in knowledge. As John Taylor Gatto states: “it is much
more dangerous that simple machines, because it’s really about thought control”(John
What’s more, the compulsory attendance law makes education lose its original intention. Education should be a holy way to educate people and improve their ability. But actually now “the purpose of compulsory is not to provide an education for all, but to fill classrooms with children” (Samuel 139). It is become a task to all the
students, teachers as well as parents. The teachers pretend to teach, students pretend to learn and parents are only carrying out the unavoidable obligations to send kid to school. (Samuel 140). So how can students make progress and how can society be improved through this form of education?
With all the disadvantages of compulsory education presented above, some people still think it is quite necessary and efficient. I do not deny the fact that it indeed ensures more if not all people to have access to education (Formal 144). However, it is not the only way. Governments have another choice. They could make the education free but not compulsory to students. Then there will not such thing as cannot afford education, and for those who are not interested in studying, they can choose to work as they like. Even if there isn’t another way to guarantee education for
all people, compared with the merits, the costs of compulsory education are much heavier.
In conclusion, compulsory education, as a way of ensuring everyone having the access to education, was with heavy costs both on students and on education itself. It brings us less outstanding and creative graduates, as well as an education system which loses its original purposes. Now we should not only look at the merits of compulsory education but also pay attention to those problems brought by it. And governments should solve those problems as soon as possible for the sake of future.
“Formal Education (K-12) ought to be compulsory in the United States.Jan. 27,2010.
Oct. 17, 2010〈 http:// www. debate.org〉
John Taylor Gatto. “The Tyranny of Compulsory Education” Oct. 21, 2010. Nov. 4,
2011. <http://www.school-survial.net >. Murray N. Rothbard. “Human Diversity and Individual Instruction.” Mar. 25, 2010.
Nov. 4, 2011. <http:// miser.org /daily/2226>. Samuel L. Blumenfeld. “Are Compulsory School Attendance Laws