Friday, July 12, 2013

"Guaranteed free compulsory education"

"Guaranteed free compulsory education"

I have seen this basket of ideas more than once as part of the current notion of human rights.  I admit that it baffles me.  The idea that someone has a right to be compelled to do something kind of makes my head explode.  But, further, I think that if we really think about those three adjectives, we would find that each can only exist to the exclusion of the other two.

Even simply "compulsory education" itself brings to mind leading horses to water.  My wife will attest that on some matters, in practice, education cannot be compelled upon me with anything short of divine revelation, and even then is probably not likely.  My experience with other students would indicate that I am not unusual in this regard.

This movement seems to have found the mathematically most concise prescription for failure. 

Successful institutions tend to have the following three attributes:

1) Failure as an option (in other words, not guaranteed)
2) Value that compels users to voluntarily return some form of compensation (not free)
3) The ability of unsatisfied users to leave (not compulsory)

In contrast, this policy means that other people will be forced to pay for a school that you will be forced to attend despite the fact that the school will have no direct reason to serve you well.

I'd like the right to choose the school I prefer, to leave when I am unhappy, and to see better schools replace failing schools as this process repeats.  Is this so hard?

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