Phi Beta Cons

Free-Market vs. Compulsory Education

On Mises.org, Aaron Smith takes a hard look at the effects of state-sponsored education in the U.S.  He argues that education “will only be reformed once parents and entrepreneurs are free to create real alternatives to the broken systems that exist today.”

This essay features notable quotes on education from Murray Rothbard:

At the heart of the compulsory-education debate is “the idea that children belong to the State rather than to their parents.” If you attempt to challenge this notion, your child may be labeled “truant,” and you may be subjected to fines, imprisonment, and the forcible return of their child to his or her zoned public school. Compulsory education thus imposes the state’s definition of “education” on all parties falling under its auspices — even those pursuing a “private” course of study.

And from Thomas Jefferson:

It is better to tolerate the rare instance of a parent refusing to let his child be educated, than to shock the common feelings and ideas by the forcible transportation and education of the infant against the will of the father.

It is scary that many students attend school for twelve-plus years and learn very little of what teachers present in the classroom. I’d like to think that if I took cooking lessons for that long, I’d at least be able to scramble an egg or bake some brownies from scratch.

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