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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 18 2011: Thanks Paul :) I think you hit on some critical points. My favorite: competition to be educated. That's at the heart of my topic. I think all people, regardless of station in life, or career path - should have the opportunity to learn. To formal education. The mechanic who is also a botany major might just be the person to engineer a plant based fuel that's better than what we have today. The bus driver who was a pysch major might propose changes to mass transportation that provide the passenger with therapeutic respite on their journey and so on.
    It's about loving to learn, and having real access to formal education, and educators, for the purpose of the enriching the whole person.
    It requires a paradigm shift in what we value. I think that to separate the trades from higher learning is a HUGE mistake in the first place. Being able to do more than one thing, well - gives our kids more choices. AND it encourages creative thinking, applied perhaps from what was learned in either discipline - to solve problems in a whole different field.
    A pipe dream maybe, but I guess we have to start somewhere.
    Everything you say though, especially in this economy, is true. Yet how can we turn things around if we do what we've always done - even in regard to education?
    Thanks so much! And you are right about 25 vs 35! LOL I myself have never minded getting older - but will say, I do at times miss the days when "ignorance" was bliss! ;)

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