Here is a book I must read: Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters by Michael S. Roth. I have commented several times in the past about my own theories of education in America. Basically I understand that free public education was designed to prepare warm bodies with basic skills so as to furnish the captains of industry with a ready source of labor. In today’s terms, it was a form of corporate welfare.
But at the same time we have our founding fathers championing education as being required to support democracy with a citizenry capable of thinking and reasoning. Thomas Jefferson clearly understood that developing a student’s capacity for life-long learning within a university structure was necessary for science and commerce while also being essential for democracy: the university should not be solely academic but also should not be limited to simply training young people for pre-selected jobs.