frankly, i think when they institute universal pre-school and the government comes to intern your toddlers, you should answer the door brandishing your bushmaster. now putting all that aside, universal compulsory education was supposedly intended to increase equality. i would like to ask: has it? it would be a very holey argument just to compare the degree of income inequality when it was instituted with that of a hundred years later (the first state to institute it did it in 1852, the last in 1917): of course there are many factors. but i intuit that compulsory education freezes inequalities in place or institutionalizes them or makes them ever-more chronic and structural. i would say the same about many welfare-type programs: public housing programs, for example. now would you measure the effect of a policy by what the people who instituted it or advocate it said or say they intended or intend, or by its actual effects? or maybe if it hasn't had the intended effect, that's an argument for reform? or would you regard, say, 150 years of reform efforts as enough of a demonstration that it's futile? what would you count as a refutation? i'd say public education has supposedly been in a 'crisis' for at least 50 years. still expecting a cure? i just expect more idiotic, futile fads, and self-delusion about the actual intentions and effects.