U.S. public schools serve a variety of purposes. They conserve contemporary values, attitudes, and social mores. They provide economic opportunity and social mobility to children of less advantaged families and thereby promote a dynamic society. They ensure a supply of educated workers. They help take care of and raise children whose parents carry out economic lives away from home. And they make a growing body of knowledge — which is increasingly difficult to collect, organize, and learn individually — accessible to all children.
Consider the public aspect of our schools. What is public about public education other than its funding? Why should we ask citizens rather than education professionals to govern public schools? For what purpose, and toward what ends, do we invest in educating the next generation of Americans? We educate children for a number of reasons, but ultimately to preserve our democratic republic.