The importance of education can be understood not by only looking at the positive impacts of a well-rounded education, but also by knowing the negative consequences of an abbreviated education. In point of fact, high-school dropouts have higher rates of incarceration, are more likely to be drug-addicts and earn less on average than those who receive diplomas. On the converse, those who have advanced degrees (Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate) typically receive compensation in-line with their level of academic achievement. This paper will explore the original intent of Western education and measure against it the state of education in America today. In this way, it will attempt to determine the economic and social impacts of neglecting one’s education; additionally, it will discover the benefits of minding one’s education. The notion of Western education arose in Greece in their academic schools wherein a famous philosopher would instruct his pupils in math, philosophy, ethics and music (Jones, 2004). In that time, only aristocratic men had access to the famous academies of learning. Nevertheless, the point of education was similar then as it is today: to create well-rounded young people who are capable of thinking for themselves and determining the course of their lives with the aid of good sense. Over time education became institutionalized so that everyone could have access to it. The idea of compulsory education is that it levels the playing field for all students regardless of their race or economic standing. America has taken the basic Greek notion of education and applied it democratically, so that all have equal opportunities. However, the advantage of the Greek system is that it does not have to provide for every single student—the only students are those who can afford to be in the first place. The ambition of the American system is one of its tragic flaws.
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