The United States has one of the best and most forward thinking public education systems in the world and of all time. All citizens have access to education, in fact it is mandated for school age children barring alternative home or other schooling.
I had the opportunity to work for the local school district in high school as a computer assistant for a couple hours after school, I worked for the special services department that provides track based learning to both developmentally disabled and accelerated students. They are wonderful people.
I am the product of a self-taught and public education, and attended a private college.
Of course, individuals have different experiences with education, as well they certainly should!
The thing that I feel has helped me the most is the skill of reading and having learned to read somewhat intuitively from the ages of 3 to 7 for basic reading skills, and 8 to now for advanced reading skills.
I was subjected to a rigorous public education, and am the better for it.
Learning is a lifelong process. Learning isn't just about school, it's also about socialization skills and the myriad other things that make life a rich tapestry.
It is not good that not every student has the same opportunities, that is, not all public schools are the same, but at the same time, I feel almost any person if raised and educated well could surpass, for example, me, whom I consider well educated.
The educational system serves everyone, and as it is said, not all the people are pleased all the time. That said, free public education is the backbone of America.
-- Ross Andrew Finlayson 202/387-8208 http://www.tomco.net/~raf/
"C is the speed of light."