What need does school meet? What purpose does it serve? What, ideally, is school for?
I’ve come up with this list. Any more ideas I’ve come up with so far after writing this have fallen under one of these rubrics, so here stands my list for now.
1) Someplace to put the kids all day.
2) Someplace where the kids will learn everything they need to know. (That is: Someplace where they will learn everything they need to know — factual and behavioral and ethical — to proceed to college or work, and to be happy and successful and self-reliant and make friends and be good citizens.)
3) Someplace where they will receive an official credential or testimony that they learned it.
4) For some, a source of safety or food.
What else? I’m not trying to think of ways it fails or what it should be doing or how it could be doing better. I’m just trying to see what purposes it does ostensibly serve right now.