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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 10 2011: Hi Chad ~
    Thank you - and great comments. Yes - my proposal is intended to support the individual in their educational pursuits beyond the age of 17. (you hit the nail on the head!) What wonder about regarding current statistics, for all levels of education really - and especially pertaining to student apathy, is: WHY?
    I think to believe that all students are apathetic and unappreciative speaks to the survey, not the reality. Like you, I agree that to base education on grading systems and outdated methodology is ridiculous. But I think we need to dig deeper. Remember a time in your life when learning was about discovery, curiosity - to be really engaged in the pursuit of learning is quite different that being forced to learn. II see an immense amount of pressure in kids from age 13 yrs on about the rest of their lives, and I think in part - we can't judge outcomes by measuring faulty present day criteria. I think you are right about Mr. Robinson - in fact, one of his critical points in terms of what education can and should be, s all about removing any/all barriers that prevent young people from learning. I think stress, home, financial, environment - play a huge part in this. To assess an already burdened and even immature audience (immature meaning young and age appropriately so) by metrics pertaining to how they managed to make their way through the current system via outcomes is what I don't quite understand about how we look at enacting change. We impose undo rigor on students, and then ask them why they haven't learned. Weird. So in my mind, (and I LOVE your analogy) Lifting the barriers to going to college is about what students need to be viable in todays world. It isn't a reward. College shouldn't be thought of as a privilege. I certainly think my idea may be way too extreme. But sometimes the idea in the extreme is a great place to start conversation. I think your comments are just excellent. Much appreciated!

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