GOP Congressman Doesn’t Think Utah Kids Should Have To Go To School

Rather than trying to compete with the world's most educated workforce, the GOP seems to want to drag U.S. education even further down toward the bottom. Image @ Hr.Nd.Edu

Rather than trying to compete with the world’s most educated workforce, the GOP seems to want to drag U.S. education even further down toward the bottom. Image @ Hr.Nd.Edu

For all of their talk about business owners not being able to find qualified help in the U.S. (one way they try to justify their continued support for the outsourcing of American jobs to China and other third world countries), GOP lawmakers seem determined to do their part to create a nation of uneducated and untrained workers.

“The idea of forcing children to attend school is outdated and should be scrapped in favor of a system that encourages learning by choice, state Sen. Aaron Osmond (R) said in calling for an end to compulsory education in Utah.”

While Osmond said he’s not telling kids to stop going to school, he seems to believe that the country’s greatest problems can be solved if we simply change our culture to be one that allows kids the choice of going to school or not. Think of it: “Johnny, would you like chocolate cake or oatmeal for breakfast?” “What would you like for lunch today, Susie, ice cream or tuna casserole?” “Hey Billy, what do you want to do today, stay home and play video games or go to school?” Osmond says more than 90 percent of kindergarteners want to go to school. That’s nice. Ask almost any parent who’s had to wake up their third grader or better yet, their Jr. High student, for school, how long that initial excitement lasts?

Considering that education in the United States already falls well behind such countries as China, England, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Russia etc… (all countries which have compulsory school attendance) when it comes to educating our children, getting rid of compulsory education does not seem to be the answer. In fact, all of the countries in the world that receive top ratings in education from the NCES invest a great deal of money in free, compulsory education and none have an “attend at will policy.”

At the other end of the spectrum, countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad, Sudan and Nepal do not have compulsory attendance polices. These countries have some other things in common, as well.

1. They are all impoverished nations.

2. They all rank very poorly against other nations when it comes to education.

3. They all demonstrate a great deal of gender disparity in education, with the number of educated women and girls falling well below the number of educated men and boys.

4. They all have a high rate of illiteracy.

What’s the real agenda here? Rather than trying to compete with the world’s most educated workforce, the GOP seems to want to set the U.S. on a course to drag us even further down toward the bottom. Is the goal to create a competitive workforce, or to create a workforce that is unable to compete in areas such as science, technology, math and other higher earning areas?

It seems that what the Republicans really want is to eliminate free, compulsory education. Their efforts are focused on privatizing the U.S. school system, to turn it into a profit generating business. The scam is that these private corporations use public funds, then pocket all of the profits, rather than putting them back into the public sector. If we eliminate compulsory education, the next step would certainly be to eliminate the responsibility of corporate-run schools to provide a free education to all students. We could bring back discrimination in all it’s many forms, educating America’s students (or not educating them) based on religion, gender, race, ethnic background…

This type of legislation would eliminate not only the requirements that children attend school, but if the GOP was somehow to succeed in changing the compulsory attendance requirements, the next step would certainly be to eliminate the federal legislation that ensures that a free, quality education is a right of every child in the United States.