Sunday, July 21, 2013

Standard-Examiner Editorial - Our View: Keep Education Compulsory - Updated

"Making education for children an elective is dumb public policy," says the Standard-Examiner.

As a followup to our min-rant of July 14, wherein we slammed certain "right wing Utah hippie fruitcakes," who've been recently floating the idea of  "making Utah schools voluntary rather than compulsory," the Standard-Examiner carries a strong editorial in this morning's hard-copy edition, giving this knuckle-headed idea a no-nonsense thumbs-down
Coincidentally and parenthetically, The Salt Lake Tribune also chimes in this morning with a similar take:
Of course in our view, the Standard and the Trib editorial boards get it pretty much exactly right.

As Ogden City Council candidate Stephen Thompson succinctly opined during last Wednesday night 's Meet the Candidates event, abandoning compulsory education would be a sure-fire way to turn the U.S.A. into a "third world country," a sentiment with which we also heartily agree.

As an added bonus, here's a rippingly-good Youtube video, provided by yet another sharp-eyed and alert WCF reader, who helpfully furnishes this introduction: "Best argument for compulsory education yet. Every student returning to school should watch this motivating video, along with every tax payer that is paying for that education. Thanks John Green. Not only a great author, but a philosopher and poet as well":

"Making education for children an elective is one of those ideas that is great fodder for a several-hour bull session with other political junkies. But it’s dumb public policy, and we trust that the vast majority of Utah Legislature are wise enough to deflate this balloon," says the Standard-Examiner.

We couldn't be more in agreement.

So what about it, O Gentle Readers?  Is Utah Senator Aaron Osmond simply "batshit crazy," or is he merely trying to start an intelligent discussion, as the Trib half-heartedly suggests?

Update 7/22/13 8:43 a.m.:  Another humdinger of a story from the Trib this morning. Senator Osmond, "like his predecessor Chris Buttars, he has become a tool for the Utah Eagle Forum and like-minded extremists," reports blue-chip columnist Paul Rolly:
A Weber Count Forum Tip O' The Hat to the ever-savvy WCF Reader Lisa, who made the inititial call.


blackrulon said...

"Well, the world needs ditch diggers, too" Judge Smalls

George said...

He's an Osmond....nuff said....

Carolyn said...

I think he had a brain fart...

Lisa said...

actually thought he had some brains, and heaven know he was a relief
after Chris Buttars. Now it is obvious he is just Gayle Ruzicka's boy

Daniel said...

Buttars and Ruzicka were/are generally statists. They consistently support bigger government like the rest of them, but throw in a couple of different "moral" issues to keep a blind following. And Osmond supports the old saying that a broken clock is right twice a day.

Regarding compulsory ed, it has worked as well as compulsory liquor and drug statutes -- and numerous other absurd mandates. Literacy rates have plummeted since its foolhardy inception.

And if historical data are insufficient evidence to convert the sky-is-falling fear-mongers, one need only examine this sad crop of illiterate to barely-literate youngsters graduating under it's supposedly efficacious influence.

rudizink said...

Thanks for chiming in, Daniel; and you certainly get it right in the first paragraph. As to your contention that "[l]iteracy rates have plummeted since its foolhardy inception," I dunno.

Check out this table from The National Center for Education Statistics, for example:

Table: 120 Years of Literacy statistics

While I admittedly haven't done any deep research on this, it'd be helpful if you could provide some data to back up that latter assertion. don
tcha think?

Daniel said...

Wait a tick! You guys are advocating the status quo mandate without having researched whether it even works?! And you want me to do your homework for you?

Sounds like you are the product of compulsory education. Though sporadic prior, compulsory ed began seeping through the states in the 1850s. I believe the last state went under the knife around 1920.

By some accounts, the literacy rate of Americans around the time of the Revolutionary War was pushing the 90 percent realm. Sure there was a drop when factoring in slaves (and increasing slave trade).

Here is a starting point:

I'm also interested in the degree of functional literacy achieved. Here is an interesting anecdotal tidbit on it:

rudizink said...

Now you're talkin' Daniel! I'll check out your links, and get back to you!

rudizink said...

"Sounds like you are the product of compulsory education."

Have mercy, Daniel, LOL!

Daniel said...

I'm not immune! I had to unlearn my compulsory ed indoctrination, too. :)

rudizink said...

So who "gave you" the language fundamentals to [properly] read and write, Daniel?

Answer: Your School teachers!

fudc said...

Daniel, I couldn't agree with you more. The knee jerk reaction of the media to protect their sacred cow is predictable, as is the outcry of those statists who believe in state control of all institutions.

The fact is that Osmond is not intending to take any of the "free schools" away. What his proposal would actually do, is give home schoolers complete autonomy. No longer would they have to report their curriculum, attendance, or anything else to the state. They could... but it would not be required. Those who want to use the public schools as their free babysitting service, and free kitchen for the kids they want to drop off on their way to work, would still have that. Don't worry folks... no one is going to take your entitlements.
But they just can't tolerate the idea that those who do NOT want to use the government indoctrination centers to raise their children to be good little statists, will be left alone to educate their children without government supervision.

fudc said...

FYI, compulsory attendance does NOT equal compulsory education.

rudizink said...

Thanks for the ideological tea party rhetoric, fudc. Of course the empirical evidence does prove you entirely wrong: : -)

Daniel said...

No, actually, I learned to read on my own because I wanted to, and spent a great deal of energy attempting to resist, and later unlearn, the crap they have the audacity to term education. And don't get me started on math and history. They ruined that for me for many years. There is a reason for the decline in literacy and basic skills, and it isn't because brute government force is working.

Daniel said...

Again, as the advocate of force, the burden of proof is upon you to demonstrate that your position is the correct one, both empirically and ethically. Good luck!

rudizink said...

Ahem! No, the burden of proof is upon, YOU Daniel, as you should well know... if your goal is to "upset" the status quo. Sorry... that's how it works, NO>

rudizink said...

LOL. Your teachers had no part in your learning, right? Too. funny.

Daniel said...

How can you write that with a straight face and possessing any intellectual honesty?

Force is either justifiable or it is not. Just because you (or anyone for that matter) have been advocating the utilization of force for a long time doesn't mean it is right or that you are ethical -- no matter what cool thing name you give it.

If you advocate force, including at the point of a gun, you damn well better be able to fully justify it.

But you haven't even done your own "homework" on this, which you have freely admitted. You're regurgitating a knee-jerk reaction, and adding insult to injury by throwing us tangents.

If you honestly think that you have the right to force me to educate my children the way you see fit, and are willing to kill me if I resist you, then at least have the decency to back it up with something other than "well, that's the way we do things around here."

Daniel said...

Everyone had a part in my learning. Including you. So?

Gary Moore said...

Correlation does not imply causation.

Gary Moore said...

A pattern? A few months ago people were howling over constitutional carry. Unless the state keeps requiring a four hour safety lecture, they think people will carry guns with no training at all. Now they say unless the state makes parents get their kids an education, they won't.

Why so distrustful? Why not assume your neighbor will do what is responsible and right, simply because it is responsible and right?

rudizink said...

Not quite correct. Correlation does not PROVE correlation.

rudizink said...

It all derives from a solid understanding of human nature, methinks, Gary:
Happy Valley Herald - Top Utah gun lobbyist ordered to surrender guns

rudizink said...

Ahem Daniel! Don't get paranoid along with all the other GOP wingnuts. I assure you, son, that unless you've somehow been targeted by the Weber/Morgan Narcotics Task Force, Nobody's out to "kill you" if you rebel against the "statists."

Sorry to be so slow getting back to you on the two pro-freedom/anti-compulsory education links that you provided. I spent the whole afternoon up in the attic with my electrical contractor, trying to fix up some of the ancient wiring in my awesome1920's Ogden bungalow.

Keep your cool for now, Daniel. I'll get back to you on this.

Gary Moore said...

The railroading of a man who turned a large vehicle around in his ex-wife's driveway, probably to cause irritation, then returned to the scene when an angry phone call raised the issue of possible property damage, has nothing to do with the topic at hand. Verbal threats in this case are a matter of he said, she said. We do know that no one placed their hands on anyone else. I don't sleep any better knowing Clark has been disarmed, with his livelihood either already destroyed or at least placed in jeopardy, what this does is reinforce my fears of just how easily any one of us can be branded with the scarlet letter of domestic violence abuser.

The possibility of a few outliers always exists. Preparation for every contingency, eliminating the possibility for any bad act, would constitute totalitarianism. The proper approach is not to plan in advance to head off everything, but rather to examine your society, identify what actually are significant social ills, and to implement effective and non-overreaching solutions.

Longstanding restrictions, of debated necessity, should occasionally be eased, just to see if they continue to serve any useful purpose. Increased personal liberty is not a bad thing.

rudizink said...

True to my promise, Daniel, I spent some time this morning digesting your above-linked articles and prowling the web, surveying the multiplicity of material dealing with the literacy rates during the American colonial and other historical periods. Sadly, this proved to be a fool's errand, due to the "flexibility" of the definition of the term of art, "literacy," which ranges from the ability to sign one's name on a legal document, to the ability to read and comprehend the bible and the "classics" of literature, such as Shakespeare and Homer, for instance.

Therefore, in the absence of any useful, working definition of the basic term "literacy," let alone "functional literacy," I don't see how we can make any intelligent "literacy rate" comparisons between the modern "compulsory education" era, and earlier periods in American history. Thanks for providing the links; but I'm not persuaded that they provide support for your assertion that "[l]iteracy rates have plummeted since [compulsory education's] foolhardy inception."

So what else have you got? I'll be standing by awaiting some real evidence.

Daniel said...

Please. Your obsession with everything right wing is laughable. Be intellectually honest about what you are advocating.

Compulsory education is only compulsory if force is authorized and utilized to back up such a statute. If a parent does not comply with the state, children can be seized, jail sentences and fines can be assessed, and, if the parent resists those punishments, death is the result.

Daniel said...

Again, you are touting your extreme ignorance and foolishness. You have only now begun your research, yet you have advocated a forceful position without having ever done so, and have ridiculed those who disagree with you. You have also provided no argument as to how your position is ethical.

Now, absent anything substantive on your end, you await my further research and evidence to convince you that your own position has, or does not have, any significant merit.

Feels like I was just visited by Mormon missionaries.

rudizink said...

Hey... knock yourself out! ;-)

Daniel said...

This is about where I typically say, "Yeah, well great guys, but I'm really not interested in joining your emotion-based religion. Why don't you go study your own beliefs for a while longer and then come back."

blackrulon said...

Why are you arguing on this forum about the "railroading" of Clark Aposhian? As a certified CCW instructor he should be fully aware of the rules. Your argument it seems should be with the police officers who investigated the incident. In their opinion he was creating a serious problem. He is due his day in court, again,, to state his case as to why he should not lose his right to carry a gun. Courts take the threat of domestic violence very seriously.

Gary Moore said...

I argue about Clark Aposhian because Rudy used him as a reason why people cannot be trusted to be responsible for themselves.

Ironic really, as Clark has opposed constitutional carry, wanting to keep the token four hour safety lecture (that he makes a lot of money teaching). Recently, with strong public support for constitutional carry, Clark's public statements seemed to indicate support...while Utah Gun Rights uncovered his secret backroom dealing to undermine it.

rudizink said...

Yup. I'd bail out too, if I were you. Can't say I blame ya's, inasmuch as Selling: Senator Osmond's forthcoming bill will certainly be "an uphill fight.

Daniel said...

Yes, Elder, I'm bailing because your argument and evidences -- propelled by your personal testimony of education by force -- are vastly superior to mine.

AWM said...

Rudy, can you map this discussion about compulsory education in a simple diagram for me? I'm a visual person and for the life of me can't figure out how we got to this point

rudizink said...

AWM: I'd love to accommodate you, but I'm mystified about this myself. Suffice it to say that we began noticing "chatter" on this "issue" several weeks ago, coming from a variety of disparate internet and mainstream news sources.
Seven reasons for making schools voluntary rather than compulsory
Ditch compulsory education in Utah? Yes!
Why End Compulsory Education? (video)
Education Freedom website
Accountability for Parents + Respect for Teachers
From a news development point of view, this issue popped up more or less out of "nowhere," afaic, although it's been focused enough that I think it's fair to conclude that it's being driven with unknown motives by one or more agenda-driven, single-issue political groups and or individuals, in a coordinated, full-court press effort.

The most effective way of getting a "handle" on this I think, rather than by "visual" representation, would be to read our two WCF articles on this topic in chronological order.

Hoping this helps.

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