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February 05, 2008


Sam Z.

The liberty of teenagers can be over-rated.

As a teenager I would have liked to have left school as soon as possible. At 30 I now realize that (i) life is long and (ii) it's much more fun if you're actually good at something. I'm now pretty happy my parents deprived me of my liberty all those years ago.


Who cares most about your welfare, your parents or Parliament? So which should you trust most with power over your welfare?

Admittedly, there are those who could not say their parents. But that is what adoption is for, not compulsory schooling.

"Another argument is that 16-year-olds won't be compelled to stay in school, but merely some type of training."

But the argument against compulsory schooling, works just as well against compulsory training.

I would not be surprised if there was no rational argument at all in favour of this idea. Just a general idea that Education is a Good Thing, and that everyone should therefore be forced to have as much as possible.

Bob B

I agree. I can't see what useful purpose is likely to be achieved by attempting to compel reluctant learners at the age of 17 to continue with education or training when all rational persuasion has demonstrably failed. OHOH it might be productive to first investigate just why it is that we have such a high drop-out rate from education or training at 16 compared with almost all peer-group countries:

"Last year [2004], a report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) revealed that Britain came seventh from bottom in a league table of staying-on rates [in education and training] for 19 countries. Only Mexico and Turkey had significantly lower rates of participation for this age group. Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and Slovakia have marginally lower rates."

Btw there seems to be no lessening in the demand for graduates judging by this recent news report:

"People graduating from university are likely to enjoy their best chance for years of a job with a top employer, a bi-annual survey suggests. The winter poll from the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR), of 217 big firms, suggests graduate vacancies will be 16.4% higher than last year."

Julie, writer surefirewealth.com

The situation isn't black and white or yes and no. There are a lot of gray areas in between. A lot of maybes, what ifs... It depends on what kind of student and what sort of circumstances he or she is in. Perhaps a more important use of time is making sure that these students don't find reason to leave school early rather than imposing such a rule.


There are some papers by Adriana Lleras-Muneyere about the correlation between years of schooling and health. I do not recall the optimal number of years. Did you look at this work?


"Admittedly, there are those who could not say their parents. But that is what adoption is for, not compulsory schooling."

Ummm I'm not saying anything about my opinion about the topic in general, but I don't think adoption is something that the children initiate. The indifference of many parents to their children's welfare IS a big and difficult problem. Don't undermine your case any further, or I might have to change my mind.


When I think of some of the deadheads we had, is there any point keeping them at school?



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