Obama proposal: no leaving school until age 18 or graduation

Aside from the wisdom of obliging every single young person to serve out such a sentence — conveniently, until draft age, when the State may have other plans for their time — there’s an interest-group angle. Ira Stoll traces it to the National Education Association, which stands to gain from the idea a measurable boost to its dues-paying ranks, and which has in fact proposed mandatory schooling for nongraduates up to age 21. More: Hans Bader, CEI (quoting Overlawyered commenter Kurt); Nick Gillespie, Reason.

P.S. Watch out for the truancy cops, too [Free-Range Kids; Loudoun County, Va. mother says she was handcuffed and arrested after fifth instance of school tardiness]


  • If the union is really pushing something like this, I wonder how many of the members actually welcome it. How many teachers really want to deal with a 17 year old who doesn’t want to be in school? The type that drop out can’t be a joy to teach.

  • Something could be said for requiring under-18s to choose between school, employment, or a credible apprenticeship. But I agree that forcing 17-year-old school-haters back into school is a waste of their time, their teachers’ time, and their classmates’ time.

    I suppose Obama would send the cops after those notoriously unproductive dropouts Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.

  • In other union power news, did anyone catch the vandalization of the truck of an Idaho official who dared to support “merit, not tenure” for teacher promotions?


    The teacher union is sending out e-mails with addresses of “enemies”, reportedly – and one teacher showed up at the house of the official’s MOTHER.

    Imagine the reaction if such an act came from any other constituency in America, be it government, business, lobbying groups, private individuals, etc. Swift federal criminal investigation with heavy resources, media outrage, promises to find the culprits…

    I think it was Peter Brimelow who noted in his book on teacher unions that the teacher union building is always the one closest to the state capitol building…

  • […] That’s the case for President Obama’s proposal in his State of the Union Address to not allow anyone to leave school until age 18 or graduation. This proposal originated with “the National Education […]

  • Anon: We don’t have such an issue here in Florida. The teacher union building in Tallahassee IS the State Capitol building.
    Oh, yes, let’s keep all persons under 18 in school until they graduate, even those who don’t want to be there.
    Surely the law of unintended consequences will rear its ugly head in a most distasteful way.

  • > I suppose Obama would send the cops after those notoriously unproductive dropouts Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.

    Neither Gates nor Zuckerberg are high school dropouts. They both failed to complete their university educations (at Harvard) but both graduated from high school.

  • […] NEA (and now Obama) answer to public education woes: lock the exits by hiking school-leaving age [Steve Chapman, earlier] […]