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The Value of an Education

I came across this story in the news yesterday: Country star Gretchen Wilson, at 34, finishes high school. The crux of the story is that Wilson, a wealthy award-winning singer-songwriter who had dropped out of school in ninth grade, has passed the GED exam and will be getting her high school diploma next week.

The money quote that she gave to the Tennessean in their story on Wilson, which the AP article cites, explains that Wilson got her GED to be a model for her 7-year-old daughter. Wilson says, "...I certainly don't want her to think you can be this successful without an education."

While I laud Wilson for both her attitude and her actions, and I agree that everyone should get an education, I find her comment a bit ironic. Because the simple fact is that Wilson became as successful as she did without an education. Later on in the Tennessean's article, she even says that she doesn't think she would be where she is today if she had stayed in school:


"I don't think I'd be where I'm at today if I had stayed in school," she says. "What I mean to say is I think I would have never followed the path that I followed. I may have been in the music business, but I don't think I would have been an artist. I don't think I'd have been pushy enough. I kind of had to get out there and start fighting and clawing my way through the world, and that started really early and I think that's a lot of what it took for me to finally get that record deal."


So I'm thinking that maybe the example she should present to her daughter is a different one – not that a person needs an education to be successful, but that a person ought to have an education to be complete.
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From someone whose kids are home educated, I have to say that a state education is not primary to making you complete as such. Although there is a form of self respect that you get from achieving vocational qualifications.

The law in the UK is that (if you home educate) your child must receive an education that makes them a useful member of society.

Considering the inability of many schools here for providing vocational excellence, plus the growing apathy and culture of schooling being 'uncool', there must be an education gained from somewhere that 'makes them a useful member of society' and that is where education must reside.

Do you want your kids to streamline the way the government wants them to in state education and slot into a service sector in the rat race with a hefty mortgage? Or do you want free thinkers, mentally balanced, flexibility to perform a large number of tasks and get the most out of them. If they are happy, what more could you want for your kids? Career, wage and mortgage is an inevitable trap of course.
So I'm thinking that maybe the example she should present to her daughter is a different one – not that a person needs an education to be successful, but that a person ought to have an education to be complete.

Well-said.
Or that being motivated and dedicated may be more important than being educated as such. It's good to have both of course. I suspect she knows quite a bit about music via the non-academic route. It's not all about the paperwork.
As someone who has a ridicolous amount of education and is far from complete I have a different perspective. Education is vital from some and a stumbling block for others. Each person takes their own path. But statistically people with education do better.
That would be amazing.
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