This conversation is closed.

Providing a K - 12 Education isn't enough now. Enrich the person and the future (theirs & ours) via Mandatory 4 yr College Education.

The purpose of education is to provide for the whole child - mind, body and spirit. Yet maturation from child to adult takes longer than we've previously recognized. 18 yrs may be the age of emancipation, but 23 - 25 yrs is when our brains reach maturity.

Now is a time of unpresidented technological enlightenment. A time when boundaries and borders are lifted, virtually and otherwise. We enjoy medical and scientific advancements, extreme activities and ideals to match, diversity and more equality than ever before. Certainly there is much to change yet - and with all our forward movement, there remain many injustices to right, discoveries to be made, theories to prove and even worlds to explore beyond what we know right now.

I propose that we take the steps needed to match this Enlightened Era of Advancments - by fostering what could become a true Renaissance in Education. I believe youth of today should receive the full benefit of a K - 16 compulsary education.

It is wrong to limit potential based upon income. Should people who will ultimately shape our world be told our belief in their potential is up. Expired? at 17?

Yet that is what we are doing. We limit their viability, their potential and waste opportunity for national growth and positive change when we allow the atrophy of educational opportunity based on age, not maturity. We discriminate based on income, penalize middle class families with extraordinary debt.

Instead, Imagine a nation of Renaissance Men & Women; Educated, Active, Aesthetically minded, but for the first time in Western civilization, this balance of person and intellect also carries the torch of Equality, Diveristy, Innovation. Because all they gained they were GIVEN, freely - regardless of race, creed or color, blind to gender or sexual preference or religious affiliation. Without the baggage of debt. No longer are the benefits of Higher Education a priviledge, but instead a Right. To benefit the individual, & strengthen the nation.

Closing Statement from Libbey Koppinger

Many thanks to the contributors of this conversation! Unfortunate personal events kept me from moderating the topic - I'll be re-opening the discussion with better engagement from me. Sorry for the radio silence! Thanks! Libbey

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    Dec 1 2011: Mandatory!!
    It will result in lots of problems.
    Who will recruit them? They will demand larger salaries. This may cause an economic problem. But still, it is a great idea, that enriches the people and promises for a brighter future. Great topic for a debate.. post it ! :P
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    Nov 29 2011: I fully agree with you that education should be a lifelong thrill ride. Clearly it need not and should not stop at any predetermined age. I'm not sure that it does for a great many people, witness Ted. I admire your passion and generosity but I find myself somewhat apart from your line of thinking as to cause and effect, so to speak.

    I agree that today's technology offers the greatest opportunity for the planet to educate itself and commuicate since the invention of the Gutenberg Press. And tomorrow will speed it up again a thousand fold.

    What's missing at this point in time is something other than access to education. That is available everywhere in this country to everyone for free in public school, for free in libraries, bookstores, the internet, lectures and even the Discovery Channel. If access is not the bar to education, perhaps it's something more basic. Maybe it's a combination of things. It might be a bunch of laziness, poor teaching methods, non relevant courses, bad parenting that fails to instill a love of learning, of art, beauty, science, curiosity, adventure.

    The instant gratification society that condems too many people to a sound bite view of Government, science and poetry is the problem. Censureship is not a solution, but good parenting is.

    I was at dinner this evening with my children (adults). We noted, inured by the constancy of it all, that most diners were engaged not with each other, but with others (texting). The depths of society's stupidty (worldwide I might add) that two lovers at a nice restaurant spend time glancing at their smartphones, texting other people about their date instead of participating in their own date is beyond description.

    Verizon tells us that the average person under 25 texts on average 4,000 times per month. Perhaps, if parents kept these shiny objects out of their hands until the kids engaged in society, then we would truly benefit from this unprecedented explosion of communication aids.