A reader explains why we maintain public schools. It is not about being college and career ready; it is not about global competition. It is this:
The reason for universal, free, and compulsory education is is simply this: the job requirements of a citizen in a democratic society are far and away more demanding than the job qualifications of a serf in a feudal society.
The age of emancipation from compulsory education may vary with circumstances, but the reason for establishing a norm of education in a democratic society remains the same. It is one of those measures that democratic societies enact in the effort to maintain themselves as democratic societies. Failing that, a government of, by, and for the people is far more likely to perish from the earth.
And nobody wants that, now do they?