What’s the Ed Act?

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Education law regulates education systems, including school creation, funding, policies, teacher requirements, and student rights. Education is essential for creating a productive citizenry and skilled workforce. Compulsory education is necessary, and free education is often required. Education law also dictates teacher standards and practices, including evaluations. The history of education law dates back thousands of years, with philosophers like Plato advocating for compulsory education. Consensus on the proper scope and depth of education systems is difficult to reach.

Education law is a set of rules and regulations that guide the functioning of an education system. Many regions have detailed education law systems in order to create comprehensive education policies for a specific nation. Education law can deal with the creation and funding of schools and school policy, teacher requirements and student rights.

The pursuit of education is seen by many as the key to creating a productive citizenry. By instilling basic skills such as reading, writing, science and math, schools help produce competent workers who are ready for the job or for additional training in a specialized field. This, in turn, creates a more skilled workforce, which can benefit the economy and well-being of an entire nation. For these reasons, many governments make education a priority.

Some types of education law create a compulsory education system. Compulsory education requires children to attend school until a certain age or for a certain number of years. In the United States, education is compulsory until about age 18, although state law varies slightly. Germany is known for a strict compulsory education system, which requires students to attend school up to the age of 12 and prohibits the use of alternative education systems such as home schooling.

In countries that have a compulsory education law, it is also necessary to some extent for the laws to create a free education system. Many people cannot afford to pay school fees for children, which makes it easy to break mandatory laws if there is no free education system. The creation and standards of state-created free schools, known as public schools in the US but called private schools in the UK, are typically governed by education law.

Education law may also dictate teacher standards and practices. This may include requirements regarding acceptable grades for teachers, protocol, hiring policy, and salaries. How teachers are evaluated is also sometimes a matter of education law and is the site of much controversy. While some believe that teachers should be evaluated on the academic performance of students, others argue that this often leads to the worst-performing teachers being sent to traditionally underperforming schools, which only perpetuates the problem. Some regions also base school and teacher evaluations on standardized test results, which also elicits considerable dissent.

The history of education law does not simply begin with modern school systems, but has been prompted and encouraged by scholars and philosophers for thousands of years. Plato recommended a system of compulsory education in many of his treatises, while during the Protestant Reformation in England, the suggestion that all people should be taught to read so they could peruse the Bible sent a shock wave throughout the nation and caused cries of heresy. While many today agree on the importance of an education system, few can reach a consensus on the proper scope and depth of such a system.

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