: Stuart, you shouldn't discount government-sponsored education. My father came from a dirt-poor background (his parents were immigrants), but he was able to go to college because of FDR's G.I. Bill - the first one in his family. There is nothing inherently wrong with state-sponsored education, but there are tremendous benefits to be derived from universally-available, free education, including college. An enlightened society would not think twice about providing free, quality education to all its members. We spend billions on bombs, so why not billions on education? If we're to move ahead as a society and as a species, we ought to channel our resources into those areas, such as education, which might actually bring us progress.
State sponsered - no problem "...to promote the common good". Let them collect and redistribute our money for this purpose. It serves the furtherance of this culture to do so.
State mandated - no problem "...to promote the common good". Let them force a certain level of education into each citizen. The culture is improved as a result.
State implemented - big problem - the state no longer promotes but instead, provides. Recipe for tyranny as is noted by the massive spending in opposition to parental control of their children's education through any school voucher initiative process by the unions which are inextriably tied to big government. My wife is an educator and the pressure to vote and influence the vote away from parental control is ever present by both the union and the administration. The fastest way to become a pariah is to openly buck that pressure.
This small example only scratches the surface of the danger in accepting government schools as the norm. History is replete with examples of monopolistic state education facilitating facism and tyranny. There is already a certain facism developing with respect to intolerance of Christian views on marital sex and homosexual issues. Often the children are not only taught viewpoints which contradict their parents views but they are also taught their parents views are archaic and wrong.
So much for freedom of religion if this trend is not reversed.