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Dr. Ravitch offers here a 'must read' source that explains the history of public schools and the reason we need them: 'the early history continues to be relevant to contemporary debates. At present, the nation is led by people who disparage public schools. They know nothing of the struggles to establish public schools that are open to all, supported by taxes, and tuition-free. I can't help but wonder what my mentor, Lawrence A. Cremin, he would say if he saw what is happening today, with the rise of a movement to undermine public education and turn it over to corporate chains, religious schools with uncertified teachers, home schooling, computer-based instruction, and all manner of substitutes for public schools staffed by qualified and certified professionals. The fact that this destructive strategy is supported by the federal government is simply bizarre.'