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Libbey Koppinger

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Attending College IS a Right. Enrich the person & the future (theirs & ours) via Mandatory 4 yr Higher Ed in the US or Compulsory K - 16

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, Diversity, 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 weight of debt. No longer are the benefits of Higher Education a privilege, but instead a Right. To benefit the individual, & strengthen the nation.

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  • Dec 7 2011: Libby,
    Speaking as someone who wanted out of school as soon as possible, I would have hated to have been obligated to attend an additional four years. Nor am I convinced that doing so would have 'helped' at all. What type of curriculum are you proposing for the additional four years? It seems to me that you should instead seek to teach more in the time already allotted than to request the taxpayer fund an additional four years of someone's education.
    Are you anticipating the 13th grader to live at home, or will the taxpayer pay for his dorm room/K13 apartment in addition to his schooling?
    How will the teachers of these 'higher' grades be compensated? Will the taxpayer provide tenure and multiple teaching assistants?
    Is this secretly a ploy to greatly increase membership in public education teacher unions? That's is the only reason I can imagine for such a proposal.
    When you say education is a right, what do you mean?
    Human beings have a fundamental right to learn _ what?

    SEP
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      Dec 7 2011: Hi Seth ~
      It's a weird concept right? I agree. My thinking was, this is a total paradigm shift. But if we look at learning, and the way the world has changed, I think we should assume that "College" as we know it today would have to change if we took this proposal - just for sake of argument - and really thought about it.
      That said - yes - I am asking you to suspend your disbelief here. And I agree - if this was met with the feeling that it was forced upon young people - well, that would NOT be the goal.
      Starting with the institutions themselves... I can imagine most Colleges would be totally against this. But I wonder what the benefits of publically funded college would be? Would athletics find better balance with academics? Would the decrease in borrowed money from banks be replaced with people investing earned income and actually using credit (if at all) in the way it was intended?
      As for who would pay for this. Yes. Publically funded. But what if College was actually more directed toward the future and still put everyone on a level playing field? What if it afforded you a chance to really take stock of yourself and your interests, helped you direct those things into a career you'd actually enjoy - or help you make informed choices about your future. When I say "education" I mean - somewhere along the lines, the love of learning is lost to rigorous and often ineffective method. If education is to change - then it should change in a manner that addresses things like you are talking about - I don't mean people who don't currently have a college education are less than - not in any way. In fact - the smartest people I know personally didn't go to or finish college. The way we view learning can be drastically different. I see this as a chance to give a chance - to kids. 17 year olds are just that - kids. What I hate to see, is wonderful minds and ambition, shot down. That's all. I guess what I mean is: Everyone has a right to the opportunity. Regardless of means.

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