Education is the key to development. Without education people lack cultural literacy, or the ability to comprehend, the ability to get straight to the point, and the ability to grasp information and connect it to real life circumstances. It is essential that all people know the same things. Without being able to understand and grasp the same knowledge, our means of communication are ultimately ruined. Hirsch states it best, "If strangers share very little knowledge, their communications must be long and relatively rudimentary." (Hirsch 2.4). According to Freire, "only through communication can life hold meaning." (Freire 3.7). So putting together the thoughts of Freire and Hirsch, without a formal education, you are unable to communicate, and without the means of communication your life holds no meaning.
But with the education system in place do students truly get fully developed? The Education system uses standardized test such as the SAT, and ACT, these test don"t make students unique they try to make everyone the same. The problem is not everyone learns the same things, just by having my math class last semester I saw that many students were behind in their math skills. The education system wants everyone to be the same but in reality not everyone learns the same things, and not everyone has the capacity to learn the same things. Hirsch says "In the United States only two thirds of our citizens are literate, and even among those the average level is too low and should be raised".( Hirsch 1.2) If you make everyone learn the same things yes commiuntation might be easier but you will only be able to talk about what everyone else already knows. How will people be able to spread ideas or get any other type of knowledge?
In life you can be granted certain rights and privileges, however without a formal education they serve you no purpose at all. "To grasp the words on a page we have to know a lot of information that isn"t set down on the page." (Hirsch 2.2). For example understanding certain laws you are voting on do not mean anything if you do not fully understand every concept of what in fact you are voting on. To understand these laws you need not to know just the meanings behind the words of the law, but also what exactly these laws implement. To be exact you must be able to fully comprehend the law. Martin Luther King says it best, "having the right to vote is meaningless if a citizen is disenfranchised by illiteracy or semiliteracy." Education provides the development necessary to allow citizens to grasp these ideas.
Yes education is important it is how you learn and expand your mind, but do you need formal education to achieve knowledge? To can knowledge back in caveman, and hunter gathering times, they learned by trial and era, they pick up a berry ate it, and if that person died they didn"t eat it. Over a course of time people told each other not to eat the berry but it never started with a formal education. Formal education is sitting in a classroom however which way you approach it either with Freires approach or Hirsch. But there are other ways to learn without formal education, people can learn anything by themselves. You don"t need to go to school to learn that you have a right to vote, your mom, dad, even the hobo downtown can one day tell you son/daughter you have a right to vote, and they can if they wanted even tell you how we ended up with the right to vote.
Having the right to vote grants you freedom as much as a formal education. Freire states "education affirms men as beings who transcend themselves, who move forward and look ahead, for whom immobility represents a fatal threat, for whom looking at the past must only be a means of understanding more clearly what and who they are so that they can more wisely build the future." (Freire 7.2) Education provides man with a certain drive that allows him to think independently, and truly give him freedom. By not receiving a formal education you are limiting yourself, and by limiting yourself you are ultimately losing your freedom. The great part about education is that for the most part everyone has equal access to it, and therefore should be granted to the same types of freedom.
But with standardize testing do you really think for yourself? The way the education system works they give you test to make students the same with no freedom of independency. And you don"t need a formal type of education to be successful. Many people have never gone to college and have became millionaires even billionaires, you have people such as bill gates and steve jobs who never went to college. And has for education as elementary and high school you compare a school system such as Sparta NJ where ever teacher is making excellent money and the worst thing that happens is a food fight, and then compare it to Newark school system where kids are getting shoot and some of the teacher and students don"t care about learning or teaching. Where Sparta has a 99% graduation rate and just spent over 80 million on a new school. As you look at these other schools in Newark and other places where the have no supplies the school buildings are over 100 years old, falling apart. You don"t end up getting an equal education and there isn"t any way everyone across the board that can create an equal education opportunity.