January 31, 2007

Schools In

Stumbing and Mumbling as a short post on the proposal to increase the school leaving age to 18. Now even ignoring that this is a fairly blatant attempt to manipulate the youth unemployment figures I agree that this will cause more harm than good, but I don't agree that this is because it is an attempt to force equality of opportunity. An opportunity implies a choice since an opportunity can be missed. Compulsory education is better described as attempting to reach equality of outcome since it cannot be missed, being compulsory, and is supposed to shape everybody in the same way to pass a set of standardised tests.

So the problem that Mr Dillow points to that people can become depressed if forced to be over educated is not a problem of equality of opportunity, since an opportunity is not compulsory and can be missed, but of attempting to reach equality of outcome. However the problems that he points out
... it's very expensive to educate the ineducable. And the benefits of it are low ...
will still apply. Where choice available then everybody could decide for themselves what level of social mobility that made them happiest. There may be people that suffer from 'Affluenza' and would be happier forelock tugging to the local squire, they could choose to live that life. But there are also people that would sell their grandparents for the prospect of advancement, and they could choose to join the Labour Party rat race. Like most decisions this can only really be made by the people themselves as it is only they that know whether they chafe against hierarchy or feel comforted by it.


Post a Comment

<< Home