Public funding is important for Native Americans as you stated...reservations are economically depressed areas in general. I think most of them work hard to keep true to their cultural roots considering the history of their treatment. A side note here is that Bush's new proposed budget drops 100 million dollars for new reservation schools. Where will private education help them?
I hope you will expand on how private education will affect child labor, which I can't see as much of a factor in the U.S.
As to private education being more philanthropic, I don't see it. IMO, the public education system has been one of America's greatest strengths by helping identify and educate the capable of all classes and not merely those who can afford it. This system helps to both broaden and deepen the intellectual capabilties of the whole nation which most see as beneficial, and perhaps a few see as a threat.
As to your last point, thats the beauty of university. Once you have the fundamentals you can go down the roads you want. The problem for some is the opportunity to get there in the first place.
I consider public education necessary for all who can't afford private education and not evil at all. I have little faith that a for profit system will out of the goodness of its heart fund the Native Americans, urban centers, or any other area without the economic base to justify it.
The strength of the public system is that it potentially allows all to florish according to their abilities and not to their starting economic conditions. While it has its flaws, this system allows some of our best minds to transcend class conditions. Cliched as it may be, one wonders how many potential Einsteins are out there busting their butts for 2 or 3 dollars a day.
Anyway, away the specifics of the Native American case, I still wonder about your opinion on child labor. It seems to me that a strictly capatalist system of education will only promote child labor as opposed to lessening it.
As to public education being unpopular, I think its strengths outweight its weaknesses. The people who don't want to support it can either try to afford private education for their children or try to support the voucher programs that weaken the system by extracting money from an already weakened system. The process of governmental spending to me is to serve the public good where there is no immediate profit motive for the private sector to do so. Education, environmental controls,and protection of civil liberties make no profit, and yet are ultimately necessary to all.
Historically education has been the province of the well off. Another advantage of the public system in America is that it compells all classes to mix at least for awhile before they go their seperate ways. This allows at least for some appreciation of how others live as opposed to highly stratified situations one gets in other countries where one rarely bump up against others of different means. An example is the English private system(ironically called the public system there). Those Eton and Sandhurst fellows see things in a different light generally speaking I would bet.
Perhaps in other countries where education is still a rare commodity and where the maintenance of a largely unskilled labor force is perceived as desirable for the economy can I see where private education works. And as the Information Age continues to develop I think that the concept of obligate commercial private education will go the way of the buggy whip.
I will agree if we put the word 'some' in before 'commercialization'. The expansion of technology and information has already produced technical schools and other fora for capitalist driven information systems. Again, this is for those who can pay and overlook the good done by subsidizing a certain level of public education.
I see that your mention of child labour referred to not overworking students in classrooms and not the effects of the lack of available public education as it relates to to child labour in the commercial world. The overwork of a few students at the upper end of public education do not seem to be a good argument for any discontinuance of public education at lower levels unless having masses of uneducated is the goal.
And as to the first paragraph, I don't believe in your premise that most students are overloaded. I contend that a capatalist education system will literally see no profit in having schools in areas where parents can pay little or nothing. Under this system these people will get no or a little subpar 'subsidized' education that will furthur fuel class divisions.
While I agree that more education will be capatalistically driven, it seems that your viewpoint consistently ignores the importance of susidizing education for all so that every child has a chance, a chance I find unlikely under a purely capatalist system. Regulatory power alone seems insufficient here unless education corporations will be compelled to put schools where they see no immediate profit because (IMO) its the right thing to do for individuals and society.