“[The aim of public education is not] to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence. . . . Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim . . . is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States. . . . ” – Henry Mencken, The American Mercury, April 1924.
“If the right-wing billionaires and apostles of corporate power have their way, public schools will become ‘dead zones of the imagination,’ reduced to anti-public spaces that wage an assault on critical thinking, civic literacy and historical memory.” – Henry Giroux, 2013.
There is an interesting article in Truthout concerning public education in America as observed by an Australian.