Center on Education Policy Newsletter

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Why We Still Need Public Schools: Public Education for the Common Good

Author(s): Nancy Kober
Published: January 1, 2007

This report highlights the history and importance of public education in the United States, dating back to its establishment as a necessary institution for the young republic and Horace Mann’s efforts to promote a common school for all. The report focuses on how and why the U.S. system of public education came into being; the six core public missions that public schools have been expected to fulfill, such as unifying a diverse population, preparing people for democratic citizenship, and ensuring equal opportunities for all children; and why these missions are relevant today and why the nation must maintain them while pursuing reforms to help all schools live up to these core ideals.

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Full Report (PDF format, 632 KB)

Media Advisory (PDF format, 100 KB)