Summary of English Essay Source With thesis – English 200 Course
In his article “So That Nobody Has To Go To School,” Roger Sipher blames students that have no will to learn for the declining quality of American students and the education system. As a solution to this problem, he offers the notion of abolishing all mandatory-attendance laws in order to allow students to drop out if they feel
like doing so. Also, teachers would be able to dismiss students with academic or behavioral problems, much like private school teachers. Once schools are rid of students that hamper the progress of classrooms, schools would be able to focus on maintaining high standards of education, instead of babysitting. In addition, he thinks that the money saved from not having to enforce mandatory-attendance laws could be used to help out the students who drop out of school.
Sipher says that economists find no benefits of mandatory-attendance laws, and schools usually don’t have enough resources to enforce these laws anyway. He implies that school officials are trying to do something about students that don’t come to school or are a hindrance to classes, resulting in shoddy education. He continues to say that without mandatory-attendance laws, school officials can dismiss students much like private schools, or students can drop out if they want to. He says we have tried long enough to deal with these types of students, and tries to support his notions with the idiom “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Sipher includes six of what he calls “enormous dividends” that we can have if we abolish compulsory attendance laws. Essentially, he wants schools to educate, and educate only—not “trying to be all things to all people.”
My point of view
I disagree with Sipher on his general view, because I feel all American children should be in school, or at a chance to try to go to school. He does not show evidence for the decline in test scores, which I think is an important part of education, but it’s not everything. True, that the general quality of education will probably improve, but what about the quality of the general population? Without mandatory-attendance laws, I’m sure that a good part of the students will drop out of school. Sure, the students that stayed in school will have a better education, but the general population will become mostly illiterate. His idea for using the money saved from not having to enforce attendance laws also sounds a little weird. It’s almost like a welfare program for the less apt students, and is demeaning to them. I think it’s unethical, because it makes them outcasts. Remedial classes are a lot better than that.