Education: Is It a Priviledge or is It a Right?

  1. the following are a few posts copied from another thread. it's a start of what i hope to be a constructive and thoughtful debate. and it's on an issue that i've been thinking about on and off for a while. the topic: education.

    i've come to believe that education is a right not a priviledge. there are many reasons which helped lead me to this conclusion. unfortunately i have a bit of a "time crunch" so i can't further the debate at present. maybe tonight. but more than likely i'll have time tomorrow night, if work is "slow" tomorrow night, to add of my thoughtful ramblings on this subject. in the meanwhile, here are the copied posts from another thread to help get the discussion/debate going.

    looking forward to reading your thoughts and opinions on this issue!

    ted

    __________________________________________________ ___

    my initial post that started this discussion/debate:
    why should going to college, especially publicly funded colleges and universities, cost anybody anything??? also, why is competition so freakin' important with regards to education???

    why can't a person's desire to learn be good enough to attend a college or university, at least for a state or federally funded college/university?

    education is everything. especially in this day and age. quality "higher" education should be provided for everyone who shows sincere interest and willingness to work hard to learn. period.

    i'd gladly pay a little more in taxes for such opportunities. and the tax structure should be progressive in nature. (but that's another topic for another thread for another time.)

    think about. in this day and age, in order to flourish in a society surrounded by rapidly growing and changing technology, one needs at least some kind of base-line education beyond high school. again! why should education be so competetive in nature??? can't the desire to work hard and learn be good enough to receive more education and a degree???

    education, "higher eductation," is not a priviledge. it's a right.

    just a few thoughts to throw your way.

    ted
    copy of tilleycs responding post:
    hi ted! long time, no debate, huh? i hope you're doing well.

    why should going to college, especially publicly funded colleges and universities, cost anybody anything???


    because it does. if we had to pay for everything that everyone "thinks" should be free, we'd be giving our entire paycheck to taxes, and still owe money!

    why can't a person's desire to learn be good enough to attend a college or university, at least for a state or federally funded college/university?
    if some really wants to get a college education, they will find a way. i worked my butt off in high school to make good grades, do well in sports, and be in clubs, all in hopes of earning a scholarship to college. i knew that my future depended on it, and that was the goal that all my effort was focused toward. giving someone a free education doesn't give them goals or a work ethic.

    my scholarship was based partially on need, and partially on merit. i was fortunate to get it, but i beat out dozens of other applicants (we had to apply and interview for it), and i see it as an answer to prayer and something that i earned over a period of time (in high school, i never held less than 4.0 gpa, graduated 5th in a class of 320, played three sports a year for four years, was all-conference in all three of them, an academic all-american all four years, was in the nhs, spanish nhs, etc. when i graduated, i didn't have a rear end left, because i'd worked it off! ).

    education is everything. especially in this day and age. quality "higher" education should be provided for everyone who shows sincere interest and willingness to work hard to learn. period.
    i agree completely that education is everything. and i say again that if people do have sincere interest and a willingness to work hard, they'll find a way to get there, by hook or by crook.

    i'd gladly pay a little more in taxes for such opportunities. and the tax structure should be progressive in nature.
    you can start by sending your money to me. and i completely disagree that people who are successful should be punished and penalized for being successful. where's the motivation for people to get an education and earn a good living if they're going to be penalized for it by having to pay a higher percentage of tax than everyone else?

    education, "higher eductation," is not a priviledge. it's a right.
    i disagree, i think it's the exact opposite. it is a privilege. and those who really want it, work for it and get there. sometimes having obstacles is a good thing in the long run. people are capable of overcoming a lot more than they think they are.

    and we've all seen people who went to college for free (paid for by their parents) fail out after the first semester. giving someone a free ride to college doesn't automatically give them a desire to learn, a drive to succeed, or a work ethic. if people have those, i think they'll end up in college. you can't keep them away from it if that's really their goal.
    copy of eltrip's post:
    amen, tilleycs, amen! i truly believe that if one doesn't work for something, they don't appreciate it. higher education happens to be one of those things. i still recall the masses of students i attended college with back in the '80's who had a family member paying for their education...and how i was harrassed by the cashier because i had to work my bill off over the summer ("isn't there anyone you can get the money from?" she asked the girl who'd been up since 4 am & at work since 7. ). you can bet that i worked hard during those years in both m classes and my jobs...while observing those who weren't working for their education party down & focus on achieving their "mrs degree."

    i am grateful that there are so many scholarships out there for almost any kind of special-interest &/or ethnic group. i'm still wondering where were the scholarships for the poor, redheaded girls back in the '80's?
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  2. 40 Comments

  3. by   eltrip
    Respectfully,
    Education is a parental responsiblity. Parents must be actively involved in the education of their child(ren). They must read to them when they are small, correct their noun/verb agreement, review their homework & stay in contact with the school. If they determine that there is a need not being met in their child's education, it is the parent's responsibility to seek resources to fill that need. I think that American society has forgotten this responsibility & has abdicated its authority to the school systems nationwide. Scary thought!

    Upon graduation from high school (in my ideal world), parents continue to assist their child to gain an education. If the parents are either not able or not willing to assist their child to be educated beyond that point, it is the responsibility of the individual to seek futher education & finance it.

    Is this easy? Most assuredly not! However the benefits from having worked for your education are fantastic. The student will learn time & money management in addition to their coursework. Would it be easier if one didn't have to finance this on their own? You bet it would. But then there would be some other questions to answer.

    Such as:
    If the public is paying for everyone's higher education, do we just let "anyone" go to college? If not, how would we determine the cut-off point? By GPA? By SAT or ACT scores? Do we choose fields of study for the student based on their tested apptitude? Do require some form of public service from the student for this benefit?

    Lots of questions that would require answers. I would actually be more in favor of spending any additional taxation (ick, yuck, gross!) on funding health care for the uninsured & primary education. If we all had basic health care & a solid educational foundation then perhaps less money would be taxed for other welfare programs & we could afford to send our own children to University or technical school.

    And thus, the discussion begins!
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    Then there's the possibility that the undergraduate degree would become like today's high-school diploma.....essential for getting a McJob and precious little else. Back when I graduated from HS, you could walk out of school and into a family-wage job in manufacturing, or into an apprenticeship where you learned your craft right there on the job. By contrast, if you dropped out of high school, the best you could expect was a job in the food service or janitorial industries......but you could still find a job.

    Today, an associate's degree---and to some extent, the bachelor's---is what the diploma used to be: a ticket to an entry-level job. We've all heard about college graduates who wind up managing the local Burger King because they're overqualified for server positions and underqualified for executive positions. You're far better off earning a technical degree of some kind, like the associate's of applied science, because at least you are prepared for an actual job.......I feel bad for the people who pursue bachelor's and even master's degrees in fields such as the social sciences and liberal arts, expecting to make a decent living, and they end up making half as much as I do (and we nurses think WE'RE underpaid!!).

    Not that education is ever wasted.....but if EVERYONE goes to college, it will inevitably result in the devaluation of college degrees, especially if college were to become free or very low-cost. In our culture, that which does not carry a price tends to be worth little or nothing in the eyes of both the public and the government (witness what has happened to our system of "free", "public" education). JMHO.
  5. by   eltrip
    Another thought:
    In countries where higher education is "free," the number of students allowed to progress to university is small. Students are sifted through & directed toward other fields of study, i.e., technical vs. academic tracks by the 8th grade.

    Now in this country, even if you had mediocre grades in your academic subjects & studied carpentry & are a talented carpenter, you can still choose to go to university. If we paid for the whole shebang, we would rapidly progress to limiting higher education to a certain student popluation.

    We currently have the freedom to choose our destiny, rather than have some agency "guide" us toward what the tests say we're good at. I'd like to keep it that way!
  6. by   gerry79
    Everyone in this country should be entitled to an education, maybe not totally free, but within the reach of all. Education is now becoming cost prohibative for many in this country, and with the cost rising yearly, there may come a time when only a privaliged few will be able to afford it. If that happens we will become like some of the countries we are trying to help. In this country we seem to wear debt like a badge of honor. We motrgage off our very future to pay for our education, and when we graduate we are often YEARS in debt, and for many bankruptcy is the only answer. But yes we will gladly tell all how we worked, slaved, and suffered to get through school as we seek legal representation for an impending bankruptcy. With the money that this country wastes, we can all go to college for a small nominal fee. Now I am not for the gvernment funding everything, but if we are willing to spend billions to take a peek at mars, wouldnt that money go a lot further to educate the masses? In my opinion we would get a much higher return do to the decreased need for social services. Just my 2 cents!

    gerry
  7. by   manna
    I may sound like a real <insert bad word here>, but I agree with eltrip. Education is not a right, heck many things people whine about receiving money for aren't rights at all!

    I agree that education is a parental responsibility.. I'm actually very adamantly anti-public school, but that's probably too radical for me to even mention. LOL

    For me and my libertarian ideals, as I say on so many debate posts, it all comes down to personal liberty = personal responsibility. It's not the government's business.
    Last edit by manna on Feb 17, '04
  8. by   eltrip
    Quote from manna
    I may sound like a real <insert bad word here>, but I agree with eltrip. Education is not a right, heck many things people whine about receiving money for aren't rights at all!

    I agree with education is a parental responsibility.. I'm actually very adamantly anti-public school, but that's probably too radical for me to even mention. LOL

    For me and my libertarian ideals, as I say on so many debate posts, it all comes down to personal liberty = personal responsibility. It's not the government's business.
    ITA! Another libertarian here, manna! We can both sound like whatever bad word folks was to use. It doesn't matter anyhow. I'm continuously thinking about changing jobs just so I can home school my daughter. As it stands now, I am encouraging her to work hard...and teaching her daily, minute by minute! She is worth it! She is the future!
  9. by   manna
    Quote from eltrip
    ITA! Another libertarian here, manna! We can both sound like whatever bad word folks was to use. It doesn't matter anyhow. I'm continuously thinking about changing jobs just so I can home school my daughter. As it stands now, I am encouraging her to work hard...and teaching her daily, minute by minute! She is worth it! She is the future!
    LOL!

    Good luck with that, it's such a tough decision to make. I'm fortunate that for now I'm able to put my children into a really fantastic private school that matches our beliefs and goals for their education wonderfully. I think homeschool is definately the best option, for those who are able, though.
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    WARNING! SONG LYRICS!

    As one of an extended family who attended public school while most went to Catholic school I can relate to this song. Also my DH was dragged by his wifr to a concert by the song writer. First time ever for me to hear him in person.

    This was written, I think, in 1961. Do you think it is still current?
    ----------------------------------------------
    What Did You Learn in School Today?

    Words and Music by Tom Paxton

    What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?
    What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?
    I learned that Washington never told a lie.
    I learned that soldiers seldom die.
    I learned that everybody's free.
    And that's what the teacher said to me.
    That's what I learned in school today.
    That's what I learned in school.
    What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?
    What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?
    I learned that policemen are my friends.
    I learned that justice never ends.
    I learned that murderers die for their crimes.
    Even if we make a mistake sometimes.
    That's what I learned in school today.
    That's what I learned in school.
    What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?
    What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?
    I learned our government must be strong.
    It's always right and never wrong.
    Our leaders are the finest men.
    And we elect them again and again.
    That's what I learned in school today.
    That's what I learned in school.
    What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?
    What did you learn in school today,
    Dear little boy of mine?
    I learned that war is not so bad.
    I learned of the great ones we have had.
    We fought in Germany and in France.
    And some day I might get my chance.
    That's what I learned in school today.
    That's what I learned in school.
  11. by   fergus51
    I think education needs to be affordable, not necessarily free. Our system in Canada is dealing with this issue, and will for years to come. When I went through university, my tuition was about $800-$1000 a semestre. I could pay it with a part time job. Now, it's becoming more and more expensive (like everything else). I don't want to see education out of reach of those who aren't rich. You can't simply say it's their parents responsibility, cause kids don't get to choose their parents. I think students who want to learn should be able to go to uni, whether they pay for it with low interest loans or working part time or grants or scholarships. I don't think they should have to come out owing 50K. It isn't in our best interests as a nation.

    I say we make tuition and/or living expenses for college tax deductible. That should please the republicans and democrats.
    Last edit by fergus51 on Feb 17, '04
  12. by   donmurray
    By and large, Scots value education in and of itself, and as the right of everyone who can gain from it. The UK state school system is is free up to age 16. For university, there is a parental contribution, depending on income, but on top of that there's a lot of controversy right now as the Govt is introducing tuition charges, which operate as a loan to the student, to be repaid once a certain level of income is reached, after uni. The nation as a whole benefits from having a well educated population, as does society in general.
  13. by   SharonH, RN
    Quote from eltrip
    Respectfully,


    Such as:
    If the public is paying for everyone's higher education, do we just let "anyone" go to college? If not, how would we determine the cut-off point? By GPA? By SAT or ACT scores? Do we choose fields of study for the student based on their tested apptitude? Do require some form of public service from the student for this benefit?

    Actually, these exact questions are being debated here in GA as anyone with a B average can attend a public college or university in-state for free. Unfortunately, the program has proven so popular that the well is running dry and there are moves underway to tighten the requirements. The debate is fierce about which way to tighten them so that the people who need help the most can get it. No easy answers.


    Personally, I am leaning more towards elementary and secondary education being a right and higher education being a privilege. While I agree with the observation that the nation benefits from a well-educated population, in my experience, people who have to contribute to their own education and who have to work for well, anything are less likely to screw it up and appreciate it more. That's generalizing but those are just my observations. Personally I attended college on a mostly academic scholarship with additional financial help from my Dad. Fortunately, I knew that if I blew it I was on my own so I made sure that I didn't. Unfortunately, a lot of people know that if they blow it, that someone is going to be right there to pick them up which does not encourage self-sufficiency. JMHO.
  14. by   fergus51
    Do other countries see that where education is free? I mean, are the students less serious or flunking out more there?

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