The key driver for public education -- as it is currently framed -- is to "compete in the global economy," i.e., beat the Chinese and the Indians at the game of global domination and "maintain our current high standard of living." Look at the speech of every major U.S. politician in the last 5 years -- with the exception of Kucinich and Nader -- and you'll see the meme "to compete in the global economy" or some version of "preparing our children for the 21st century economy" in every proclamation on the purpose of education.
But what if there were no global capitalist economy to compete in?
Here's a snippet from today's NY Times:
Specialists say their biggest worry now is not whether the economy is already or will soon be in a recession. Far more fundamental and troubling is the health of the financial system that greases the wheels of capitalism.
“Recessions come and go — that is something investors can deal with,” said Marc D. Stern, chief investment officer at Bessemer Trust, an investment firm in New York. “The bigger issue is, Can our financial system be restored to a sense of normalcy? In recent weeks we have been moving away from that, which is potentially very serious.”