The History of Cluelessness
"Prussia’s education system was to provide the paradigm for public school systems throughout the world.
Unfortunately, when it arrived in America, it found a country with a high level of practical education, and unheard-of rates of popular literacy. This flew in the face of the assumption that literacy and critical thought could be taught only to a very tiny percentage of students.
The theory was that “reading leads to unrest and confusion” and that low-grade students are incapable of handling complex ideas without upsetting their internal equilibrium.
Something had to be done, and it was.
Slowly, the responsibility for education was shifted from the family and community to the state; schooling became compulsory at an earlier age, ended at a later age, and took up more of the year; the curriculum was slowly devolved to de-emphasize literacy, eliminate classics, and replace history and geography with “social science.”
Children were explicitly divided into intellectual classes — a practice which was justified by the emergence of social Darwinism and the assumption that intellectual achievement had a primarily hereditary basis.
It is a practice that continues today."
The article continues on, discussing what constitutes the typical high school education in schools.
We also need to remember compulsory attendance laws were not passed to educate the population, but to dumb it down. Compulsory attendance=bodies in seats=government better able to control the people. Those who didn't put their children in "free" schools were, and still are, looked down on as not conforming. Homeschooling is considered even more radical, given we are able to teach our children how to think outside the box. Anything that annoys the NEA and teacher's unions must be a good thing :-)