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Benjamin Barber believed the same thing, saying:
"Public schools must be understood as public not simply because they serve the public, but because they establish us as a public."
They give meaning to "we the people."
They develop better citizens and improve achievement. Most people agree. A 2003 America Association of School Administrators (AASA) poll showed 95% of respondents agree with the statement:
"We need to stand up for public education to make sure that public schools continue to fill their role as a cornerstone of the common good, providing the foundation for the civic society that is critical to our democracy."
AASA believes public schools belong to the public. Its Executive Director Paul Houston said:
"We know that people see education in a broad way. They want to see kids do well on basic skills, but they also need to do well in areas that are basic to living -- being good citizens, productive members of the community and able to find and hold down a job that allows them to live in America."
Father of American education Horace Mann called "(t)he common school....the greatest discovery ever made by man."
He meant public, not privatized, ones. He believed all students should be educated equally and responsibly. More on Mann's philosophy below.