Parents or State control over education


It’s natural for parents to critique over the satisfaction of a child’s educational environment which implore a consistent question ask by most parents once the kid gets home. Questions like “How is school today?  Is schooling convenient? Did your teacher spank you? Why did she hit you? It’s she crazy? And so on. Just for the child to round the parent’s up with a finally resolution; I’m not going back to that school again!.

The law of public interest has evaluated the step-up-to-responsibility attitude shown by public schools in United State and how parent’s frown over the constitutional law which makes them second-class authoritarian in the affairs of their child’s education. (Williams, 2003)2   this constitutional rule started in the 1780s as the united State developed an educational constitution that was initiated by James Madison in 1979.  Primarily, a letter that was addressed by Madison to the State were aimed to give the State the right to educate their citizens. The scope of this aim is to train American’s to become duty-filled and responsible which made Madison the founding Father of Public Education for all (Williams,2003)2  . However, the conventional initiation of schooling concept were still paramount to parents who wants to educate their kids and kids who really wish to go to school but since the 1990s, (Shannon,2006)18 the State has made school more of a compulsory factor in the life of a growing child. Recently as a matter of fact, the US law has made it compulsory that kids must pass-through high school before deciding either to accord to their parent’s idea of university education or to exercise their rights as a youth(Williams ,2003)2.

 This paper will emphasize on the argument between US educational law, the child’s right to participate in the decision making concerning the child’s future and the parent’s idea of educational right and how they try to intrude or intervene in their kid’s life. It will also deal with the right of a child’s in regards to social conducts, child’s freedom/liberation, school compulsory system & hierarchy in the educational system. Finally, who really should take the first step in deciding the fate of the child’s future in an academic field?

Educational law and constitution

The author the teaching autonomy and the obligation of liberal education in the plural society, Donald Kerr details the existing autonomy battle which falls on the teachers, parents and pupils. Among the wrestle of autonomy lies the congruence desire for justice, equality and freedom. (Donald Kerr , November 2006)1 It also argues whether the state’s autonomous actions are considered a favorable approach in the overall raising and nurturing of a child for a brighter future. In order to create a diversified description of education in the constitutional convention of the state, we will define education according to the methodology applied by most States.

According to Law and constitution, Education is defined as a politics which helps the nation to impact, enforce and transfer their cultural beliefs, ideas and knowledge to next generation to come. (Ward & Eden,2009)11  For instance, US as a nation has the right to educate It’s citizen by offering a western approach to life, educating them on the law of the state and how to create different career disciplines for the benefit and development of the society. (Ford; Jefferson,1894)4.  When such politic is impacted rather than enforced may yield a successful result. Before the ninetieth, education were designed to be impacted instead of being enforced but the first and second  Napoleon War  in Britain  succumbs the decision of developing a governmental rule and what they can do for all. Even the reign of the Roman emperor and their enforced domination is another reason while the State education system in Europe, US and most developed countries are seen as the only method of establishing national principles, patriotism, commitments and responsibilities (Shannon, 2009)18.

Chapter 9 of the British law and constitution in Education abides a geographical interest/fixed rather than a democratic rule in education a child in UK (DfES 2004)13. The state legislation kept this law in records for enforcement in the 1988 Educational Act.  Since we know that in UK the state has the overall decision in education than the citizens and local authorities (DfES 2004)13. This stands as a result of their overall claim of implementing a featured strong state with enlighten citizens that were breeds of modernity Rinaldi, C. (2006)18. However, the claims are not proficient without critiques and criticism, since the key issue in most educational policy has stay to either affect the experience of a child at home and in school, such that kids can’t stop worrying why their parents have to abandon them for six hours to strangers who sometimes spanks, yell or force them to learn some new ideas which it’s usability are likely or unlikely known to them. Some kids may tend to adapt to the educational system easily but some kids requires more psychological nurture before they will develop a standard understanding of the six hours cycle off home.  Due to the conflict of interest and the intervention of the law to resolve the parent’s right to wrestle against the state educational policy that led to a war of educational right in 1970s . The religious Amish as a community in Wisconsin wishes to keep their youth away from the influence of western culture which they belief has a negative influence in their biblical teachings but the secular compulsory education concept developed by the state government that every child must go to school until the age of 16 (Hendrick, H. (1997)17. While the religious community didn’t accept the necessity of turning youths to delinquent due to an increase in social crime and political propaganda. This conflict of interest led the state to sue the community over the attempt of depriving a child the educational right and also a human right to participate in its societal obligations.  Upon the state claims, the religious community claims that an educational policy should be liberal and illustrated as an optional overview, instead of allowing the State to undertake control of an individual right to either School or not. In contribution made by fanatical educationalist who refused the intervention of Liberal educational Autonomy and proceed to battle for a compulsory educational system, led to the development of a child’s right to schooling (Hendrick, H. (1997)17. It’s literally common in recent times for a teen to decide beyond the decision of the parents and the state to stop or continue schooling.

The inference of the religious cycle in the educational concept should not be misinterpreted, because the case between the religious school and state educational system in Wisconsin offers an explicit permission given by the state to the religious schools in order to encourage the balance between western civilization and a child’s right to good moral upbringing. For the purpose of equilibrium modelling between religious and state educational council, the supreme court endorsed the use of a tax payer voucher program for the mission schools in order to ensure that they abide by the law of the state.  (Hendrick, H. (1997)17   the proposal of the democratic council in perfecting the decision making in educational process led to an intruding declaration that the “Councils can make by-laws and regulations, but they didn’t possess the right to execute all the educational rights. The local authorities can institute an educational policy while the government conflicts in order to adjust the legislated law. (Ward & Eden, 2009)11

 The rule of educational conduct that was once argued in the United State by the Supreme Court over different parents and teacher’s case yield a common resolution because the focused law used in resolving the conflict was developed by a centralized government Educational Act (1988 Education Act; Donald Kerr , November 2006)1. This Act perfects a well-recognized proliferation known as Quangos (a known governmental organization). Quasi Non-governmental organization was established to monitor and control different aspect of education and how it affects different citizens and students. Brighouse, H. (2006)12 such recognized organizations are:

  • National Curriculum council (NCC)
  • The school examination and assessment council (SEAC)
  • The qualification and curriculum authority (QCA)
  • Teacher training Agency  (TTA)
  • Training and development agency for school (TDA)
  • Children workforce development council (CWDC)

The traditional policy was later developed by State intervention in order to maintain social justice and welfare of different parties in conflict. The traditional concept is meant to conserve the background upbringing of a child, sustaining of traditional values, and balancing the parental role in the affair of a child’s education.  Freire, P. (1972)14

Control over education

Bringing education into politic has raise lots of review and votes on whose right is the best for the child’s positive upbringing. If the parent’s are meant to decide then Margaret Thatcher’s policy over the reduction of the governmental role in people’s live will then be assumed to be correct. In the 7os, school were provided by the churches and missions especially for the poor and the foster educational board permits children from 5-10years (Sarah Te One. 2007)10 while in 80’s the State sorted for fund in turn to invest in a compulsory educational system which create an autonomy for the state to run the overall system. If the states are left to control the educational system then the interference of John Major which helped to eradicate the strict posture, disadvantages, negativities in educational system will be considered as a vain approach (Te One, S. (2010b) 4, because the desire to include family skills, moral notations and informal education in schools will never be possible without the indulgence of the parents or the society as a whole. If the kids are left decide their every moves towards their academic future, Sarah Te suggest that the practical and theoretical right of a child can be divisive and problematic since a child is correlated to the word “career” and “future”. The future of the next generations lies in the naivety, innocence, vulnerability, and the dependence of a child. (Sarah Te One. 2007)10 the word dependence also draws parents, schools, state and the society into the role of participating the educational control of a child. However, the psychological liberation of a child shouldn’t be stressed, restricted or terminated in the role of educational decision making Thomas, N. (2007)7. The role of educational decision should not be handled as a tyranny which put aside the interest of a child over the power-tussle of the parent, teacher or the state. Kids should be consulted over the matters that concerns them but should not be give the overall chance to make the finally decision without providing guidelines; the Pros and Cons of each decision made. Kids should be educated to understand that every decision attracts a consequence, either a rewarding or unrewarding consequence. When they’re about to quit, they need to be aware of the imposing dangers of dropping out of school and struggling to make a living.

According to Article 12 of UNCROC which states that “Listening to children can be understood as a political act that unites the child with civil society, and as such, is critical to facilitating children’s participation in society”  (Shannon, 2006)15. But in reality, a child’s urge to be heard, understand, and sharing of personal opinion should not be underestimated.  Rinald stated that kids views their educational environment as their mere understanding of it. The more children understand why they needs the education and participate in the educational circular concept, the more their curiosity and desire to learn will increase. (Rinaldi, C. 2006)18. According to a human right activist, a child possess the right to an average family life, parental care, education health, recreation,  leisure, mental, physical and psychological growth but kids are meant only to be protected from sex abuse, right to be safe from self discrimination, exploitation, and conflict. (Freeman, M. 1998) 16

The civil law has note it worthy for kids to also have a participating right to be consulted in their educational Endeavour, freedom of speech, opinion  and challenges in decision making. Such rights can be over-estimated when parents withdraw their kids from school without dignified reasons. Parents are advised to allow their kids to play a role in their lives but not to decide when to stop schooling or when to change school.

When the states are left to actualize their purpose, Ward& Eden states that a global educational marketization has already commenced since 1988 and the prior interest of the state lies both in the educational revenues and the improvement of the society (Ward & Eden, 2009) 11.  Perhaps, the system of free education is the fundamental stage of imploring the parents to allow their kids to obtain basic education but just like in the case of Amish parents who chose the religious free education over the state tax-payer voucher program for their kids. Hence, the constructive view of (DFES)  over the eradication of child’s poverty using the development of the mind, physical skills and social awareness is the core paramount reason why kids should go to school. DfES (2004) 13

Parents interference

The ideology ascertained by parenting has left a stigma in the minds of most parents. Since the parents are the first to assume the right of controlling, monitoring and teaching kids some informal way of life, they tend to intrude the formal system in order to profess a prioritize authority in the life of a child. That natural zeal to possess and keep a child under your control may influence your decision as a parent because most parents are known to claim or pretend that teachers and school authorities has no right to offer punishment when their kids go wrong. US high court has registered over 5,000 cases of child-teachers assault which in reality maybe due to parent’s over-estimation of what went wrong (Woodhouse, 2004)9 .

However, cases on sexual assault, brutal punishment, self and racial discrimination are handled as a State offense and a punishable crime, since they’re against the law of protecting the right of a child against physical, psychological and mental assaults.

The civil right of a child might be recorded as another reason while parents interfere extensively in the affairs of their kid’s education. The State law in educational constitution has given kids the right to participate in the educational decision and their parents to offer a mere support to their decision (Shanno,2006)15. Such constitution has also led to some dead-end for kids who prefer to drop-out from school and even threatened to sue their parents if they dare to interfere. Most parents concur to changing of schools due to such threats. In fact, US parenting survey has recorded that 75% of notorious high school students are meant to spend only one year in a school and same interval in other schools. The right to change school for a child due to notoriety it’s most times taken by the parents in order to avoid more physical or mental assaults from the student.  The case of a child scoping with school order than living it’s skills has made most parents to withdraw their skillful kids to work as kids mechanics, sports champions and so on. (Te One, S., & Dalli, C. 2010) 10 According to ACT of Labor section 19, that states that parents needs to adhere to the State law by offering the basic education to their children with no restrictions (RICHMOND, T.C. WILLIAMS,2003)2. Most parents due to financial difficulties, self- gain pursuit and other frivolous reason may influence their kid’s negativity and cause them to hate schooling.

States are interference

A developed critique which summons the concerns of the state in education and their political concerns might sometimes be handled as a criticism but according to Ward suggestion that a critique is never a critics (Ward & Eden, 2009) 11-. To critique is to evaluate the reason why, how, where and what made the State keenly interested in educating their citizen. The common answer to that question is that education is for changes and all about changes. But the assumed market forces, commercialization, and the economy has made the state a credit-suckers in the field of education (Ward & Eden, 2009) 11. Child’s hierarchical educational system when maintained with the amount of tax- payable voucher program available, the political and commercial paradigm of education as a compulsion maybe observed.

Although, the imbalance of power between parents and the state has raised this conflict of interest, because the parents are after the protection of their own interest as they pay their kids tuition fees; while the state’s core objective which is to educate their citizen might be viewed as an underlying intention to control the overall schooling system (Donald Kerr , November 2006) 1. In a simplified model of reasoning, I think that Public schools belongs mainly to the State and how they run their affairs are sometimes over-looked by most people. But the law of State intervention has helped to co-ordinate both the private, public and mission school with the above mentioned board in control of its resolution.

Kids interference

Sarah Te One overview on the child’s role in the society may help us to understand that children are not a silenced, disenfranchised class of beings, so they should not be treated to be unconscious in the matters that affects their lives. (Sarah Te One, 2007) 10   Hence, such treatment should not attract special preference treatment or spoils especially to parents who wants to do what their kids want. Parenting simply means to Participate in the affairs of your child, offering advice, guide and making them to understand the path they take in life and it’s effect. The role of parenting towards the academic Endeavour of a child should not be handled as a volunteer service or a tyrant regime. Same with enslaving and concurring with kids whether they have to drop out of school because schooling is stressful. In as much as the state has enforced their rule in education for all, the parents still have the right to keep the kids at home under an abnormal circumstance. A mentally challenged child or a child with physical or emotional challenge need to overcome the cause of the challenge before participating in classes (Woodhead, M. (2005) 8. Same counts with courses and subjects to be taken by a child and the ones to abstain from. An educational survey once proved that most kids who prefer a course over the other may fear and doubt as their No 1 reason for that. Another reason is the teacher’s approach to students and how the course is being handled. Whether a reflective method of teaching is use or a directive/imposing form of learning is implemented. The final reason maybe found acceptable especially when the child accepts a course vocation and appreciates a subject above the other.  The State has made an excellent resolution in the part of course-orientation for the kids, in the sense that they won’t be subjected or force to take up courses that will make them to struggle. Selective subjects and courses are offered to kids in school but compulsory subject should be treated as suggestion not by force. The school has to impact and encourage kids to love and accept some compulsory course by provide a basic reason and understanding to kids; especially some reasons why they need Mathematics, English, Literature and computer studies. The interference of a child in the role of education is very important since they bear the final outcome of what become in life (Woodhouse, R. B. (2004)9.  Parents should abstain from forcing a subject/course or career discipline on their child. Kids who refuse to study medicine, law, accounting, computing and any other course should be given the opportunity to choose another course. Kids are entitled to choose their career path, all we need as a parent is to guide them and as a State is to provide the methodology of making that goal possible. As stated above, The role of the State in education should be impacted not enforced. The state even when offered a chance to participate in the educational endeavour of their citizen due to societal development; should encourage, advice, recommend and offer education as a suggestion not controlling how a child should behave after school. The gap between kid’s school environment and home environment can be filled when the state takes their position by impacting education, parents assigns the role of providing financial, physical, mental and psychological support to the child (Shannon, 2006)15. In fact, the parents have the most paramount role to play in the education of their child but such role should not be over-emphasized or misused.


According to this argument aligned in this paper which states “WHO SHOULD HAVE CONTROL OVER EDUCATION, THE STATE OR THE PARENT? Both categories has a role to in the education of a child. The complexity of this topic lies on the different role but same aim or outcome. The state and parents has the aim or objective of raising a responsible, dutiful,  and productive youth. The only posing problem is how both parties can achieve same aim without offending the over. Most social and academic critics claims that productivity and resourceful youths are not those who studies the most but those who understands the outcome of their lives progress. Meaning  that kids whether in school or not can still reach the finishing-line of success. The aim of producing resourceful youths lies in environmental awareness and that’s what education tends to offer to a child but the productive level may or may not be determined by the level of education. Finally, I still believe and maintain that the parents has the most supportive role to play but the State has the most oriented-goal in producing youthful citizens for the society.