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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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Opinion Sampler: Do we have to go to school? Sen. Osmond says, maybe not ...

[Above: School's out forever!]

Not optional: Education should be required — Salt Lake Tribune Editorial

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Poor Aaron Osmond. Tossed into the Utah Senate in midstream (filling the unexpired term of retiring Sen. Chris Buttars), the South Jordan Republican quickly immersed himself in the details of one of the most important and controversial responsibilities of state government — public education.

He met with stakeholders on all sides, avoided the stereotypical teacher-bashing that is all too common on his side of the aisle, even proposed some good ideas, including a plan that could have attracted private money to such underserved needs as pre-kindergarten education.

Then, just the other day, he punted. Gave up. Threw in the towel. Surrendered. Retired from the field. Pulled the plug. Called it quits.

Or maybe he just found a way to get people thinking.The marker Osmond laid down was a thoughtful essay, posted on the The Senate Site. Entitled "A Practical Argument for Ending Compulsory Education in Utah," it makes the case that the K-12 public education system in Utah has become so overloaded with expectations that it not only teach our children to read, write and figure, but also make up for so many of the woes of modern society, inadequate parenting and economic depravation that it would be better for the state to repeal its law that mandates school attendance for all children below the age of 14. ...

A Practical Argument for Ending Compulsory Education in Utah — The Senate Site

Renewing Accountability for Parents and Respect for Educators

By Senator Aaron Osmond

Utah educators question pitch to end compulsory school attendance — Salt Lake Tribune

Utah educators question state Sen. Aaron Osmond’s assertion that the state shouldn’t force students to go to school, saying they are concerned about children who might miss out on an education or forfeit help with other challenges. ...

Sen. Aaron Osmond has drunk the Kool-Aid — Paul Rolly | The Salt Lake Tribune

... The South Jordan Republican entered the Legislature upon the resignation of right-wing stalwart Chris Buttars and at first seemed to be a breath of fresh air, with enthusiasm, understanding and a willingness to hear all sides of an issue. ...

... But now, like his predecessor Buttars, he has become a tool for the Utah Eagle Forum and like-minded extremists. ...

Keep education compulsory — Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

... Making education for children an elective is one of those ideas that is great fodder for a several-hour bull session with other political junkies. But it’s dumb public policy, and we trust that the vast majority of Utah Legislature are wise enough to deflate this balloon. Public education is never perfect for everyone, and it certainly can use improvement and innovation. However, it’s also the key toward a successful future for innumerable Utahns. Education is what provides the spark for an individual to want to learn, to continue to learn, and eventually achieve success in adulthood. Osmond’s bill provides a rationale for parents to have their children easily drop out of school. ...

Optional learning — St. George Spectrum Editorial

... In most cases, choice is by far the best scenario. But whether a minor attends school should not be one of those choices. Utah’s kids deserve as good of chance as any other children to succeed in life. And their best opportunity is to ensure they attend school. ...

Compulsory Education — Doug Fabrizio | Radio West/KUER

Ditch compulsory education in Utah? Yes! — Paul Mero | Sutherland Institute

... Far from the Jeffersonian model of public education, compulsory attendance laws have been used by greedy businessmen to provide a steady workforce for their factories and by progressive do-gooders (and fear-mongering nativists) to manage Native Americans and minority immigrant populations. ...

Fringe Factor: Should Oral Sex Be a Crime? — Caitlin Dickson | The Daily Beast

... Guess what, kids of Utah? State Sen. Aaron Osmond wants to let you choose whether or not you go to school. ...

[No, that has nothing to do with sex. It's the fourth item in a round-up of wacky ideas proposed by Republicans. The first one is about how Virginia Attorney General, and candidate for governor, Ken Cuccinelli, says laws against certain kinds of sexual behavior, even by married couples, have to be enforced because it's the only way to get to child molesters. Really.]



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