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America’s Compulsory education Essay

This webpage give a brief history of the roots of America’s Compulsory education starting in Massachusetts in 1852. This attendance law required all children to attend public school. The review of education across the country in modernity is stated as such on the website: that every state in the US requires school aged children (children of the age of 6) to attend or be enrolled in public or private school or to be home schooled.

Although in most states the age of a school going child is controversial, as well as the age at which they may quit school (by either graduating at the age of 17 or 18, or by taking their GED), the website also offers that keeping a child in school (high school) may become a financial burden to the district as principles and teachers may spend more of their time handing out disciplinary reactions to the disruptive student instead of teaching. The website further states that truancy and school attendance varies from state to state. Appropriation Passage #1

“Today, every state and territory requires children to enroll in public or private education or to be home-schooled. More than half—32 states—require students to begin their education by age 6. Some states’ set their age requirements as low as age 5 and as high as age 8. All children are required to continue their education into their high school years, with 26 states setting the cutoff age at 16. The remaining states require students to stay in school through age 17 or 18” (The National Conference for State Legislatures, 2007). Critical Commentary on Passage #1:

The above statement suggests that the overall attendance of school-aged children is dictated by the state, not by the federal government. Thus, it is the state’s responsibility to ensure that children are gaining proper education. The age range for a student to stop attending school is set at 16, but the website does mention at what age the GED can be taken, or mentioning at what age home schooled children may gain their degree and go to college. Passage #2 “States and territories also set a minimum age for children to enroll in kindergarten, which is typically one or two years earlier than the compulsory education age.

Every state or territory with a policy on this issue has established age 5 as the minimum age” (The National Conference for State Legislatures, 2007). Critical Commentary on Passage #2 The website seems to have conflicting ideas about what age a child should begin school. One passage states that age five is the age to begin while another passage states that age 6 is the age to begin. With this change in age it seems that the older the child begins school, by the time the child reaches high school and is able to quit then the less education they would be exposed to. Passage #3

Some experts assert that age may be an arbitrary indicator or measure of a child’s ability to succeed in school and should not be used at all. Others point out that when a state considers legislation, such as Nebraska, allowing younger children to enter kindergarten, policymakers must understand that there is likely to be a large increase in the number of children entering kindergarten during the first year of the new policy, thereby straining already tight school district budgets and increasing the need for teachers” (The National Conference for State Legislatures, 2007).

Critical Commentary on Passage #3 This passage mentions something that has been seen prior in the paper; that is the use of school resources to keep children in school who would desire otherwise (such as children who want to join the workforce, students who are ready for college and do not need to attend high school). It seems that according to this website, school districts across America not just isolated to one state are having a great difficulty in finding funding and teachers, because of this lack of funding are being forced to attend to class sizes that are too large for one teacher to handle.

The website does not mention specific numbers by which the teachers must teach, but statistics show that one teacher typically has thirty plus students per class. This should be and needs to be mentioned on the website in order for an accurate portrayal of public schools and Compulsory Education to be properly examined. ANNOTATION #2 Source Information Illich, Ivan. Deschooling Society. 16 September 2007. <http://reactorcore. org/deschooling. html> Evaluation Paragraph The webpage offers an examination of the social and governmental agencies present in the United States ranging from Social Welfare, to schools.

The author offers to the reader this twisted view of reality that has been forced into the conception of a student being ‘schooled’ when in fact they’re being taught merely to pass a grade and not necessarily learning anything of use. Appropriation Passage #1 “In these essays, I will show that the institutionalization of values leads inevitably to physical pollution, social polarization, and psychological impotence: three dimensions in a process of global degradation and modernized misery” (Illich 2007). Critical Commentary on Passage #1:

The above statement gives the reader the point of view of the author and does not at this beginning part of the essay go into detail about facts. Although the webpage is primarily opinion, it should be balanced quite out of necessity with facts to back up the author’s point of view. The site does however offer intriguing commentary on school reform. Passage #2 “I want to raise the general question of the mutual definition of man’s nature and the nature of modern institutions which characterizes our world view and language.

To do so, I have chosen the school as my paradigm, and I therefore deal only indirectly with other bureaucratic agencies of the corporate state: the consumer-family, the party, the army, the church, the media” (Illich 2007). Critical Commentary on Passage #2 In this passage again the reader sees the opinion of the author. The author does give the reader a chance to understand his topic in appropriation with his underlying theory.

The fact that the author states that schools are becoming ill-directed and matches this institute with other institutes such as hospitals and police is an avenue of state and government issues that must also be focused on in the essay. Passage #3 “Not only education but social reality itself has become schooled. It costs roughly the same to school both rich and poor in the same dependency. The yearly expenditure per pupil in the slums and in the rich suburbs of any one of twenty U. S.

cities lies in the same range-and sometimes is favorable to the poor” (Illich 2007). Critical Commentary on Passage #3 The author expounds upon his primary thesis statement of the reform of the school. In this statement however the reader can witness some facts about how the school should be reformed. Along this avenue the author continues to state that there should not be segregation in the education system and presents the dichotomy between rich and poor in education. ANNOTATION #3 Source Information Goodman, Paul.

Two Simple Proposals. 16 September 2007. < http://www. factoryschool. org/rhood/goodman/twosimple. html> Evaluation Paragraph The website offers a brief analysis of higher education in regards to lack of funding for liberal arts in a society where technology is the fast growing commodity. Appropriation Passage #1 “Our educational reality can be seen in operation in the present kind of scheduling, testing, and grading; and if Dean Barzun is interested in making a change, he can start right here” (Goodman 2007).

Critical Commentary on Passage #1: The above statement gives the reader a sense that the student body is becoming overwhelmingly concerned with their own education. This ranges from preliminary schooling to higher education. Thus, this website is in agreement with Illich’s ideas of how generalized testing does not necessitate learning, only route memorization. Passage #2 “There is little attention to individual pace, rhythm, or choice, and none whatever to the discovery of identity or devotion to intellectual goals.

The aptitude and achievement testing and the fierce competition for high grades are a race up the ladder to high-salaried jobs in the businesses of the world, including the schooling business” (Goodman 2007). Critical Commentary on Passage #2 The author is revealing to the readers that the school system, although there is a no child left behind law, is in fact guilty of setting an exact pace in the classroom when the diversity of learners in the classroom would call for a specialized schedule. It is common knowledge that every person learns at their own pace and differently than another student.

The state needs to find a measure whereby classroom grades are outdated criteria for educating students. Passage #3 “The purpose of this proposal is twofold: to get students with enough life-experience to be educable on the college level, especially in the social sciences and humanities; and to break the lockstep of twelve years of doing assigned lessons for grades, so that the student may approach his college studies with some intrinsic motivation, and therefore perhaps assimilate something that might change him” (Goodman 2007).

Critical Commentary on Passage #3 The emphasis on education being a system of grades is further emphasized in this passage. As such, the reader retains the knowledge that although the social structure of education seems to be working across the board there are areas in which students are not getting enough knowledge or at least not a balanced incorporation of knowledge and hands-on experience.

Work Cited Goodman, Paul. Two Simple Proposals. 16 September 2007. < http://www. factoryschool. org/rhood/goodman/twosimple. html> Illich, Ivan. Deschooling Society. 16 September 2007. <http://reactorcore. org/deschooling. html> The National Conference for State Legislatures : The Forum for America’s Ideas. 2007. 16 September 2007. <http://www. ncsl. org/programs/educ/CompulsoryEd. htm>


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