Voting is compulsory in Belgium, Australia, Ecuador and Lebanon. It is not in the Netherlands, Great Britain and Venezuela. Most Americans would agree, voting is a good thing, a priviledge; but forced voting would be a hard sell here. Most Americans would also agree, schooling is a good thing. But schooling is on a different plane, it isn't just a priviledge in the United States, it is compulsory. What makes schooling so much more important to require, or maybe so much less likely to occur without, compulsion?
If I were planning my own utopian society, I would certainly favor a population with basic education over a highly democratic one. But isn't that freedom Americans have not to vote part of the democratic package? Shouldn't the freedom not to go to school be also? In my Utopian society, no one would have to go to school, but every single person would want to be educated: every single person would prize learning and the community would be resource rich, an eden for the body and mind.
The United States is cram-packed with resources. Many of the brightest, richest, most creative people on the planet reside here. Our material resources, from the Library of Congress to the local bookmobile, are everything our founders would have wanted for us and so much more. So, why do we need to force schooling?
The most amazing education humans have ever had, is literally a finger-tap away. So why compel people to check into a community building that insulates them from the resource-rich world? It is time to re-consider schools for what they are and what they could be, because in the world in which we live, compulsion should be irrelevant.