"Public schools perform many valuable services. These include getting offspring out of the house when they are at their most difficult; transporting them to distant locations free of charge; providing free, or at least very cheap, lunches and sometimes breakfasts too; introducing them to the opposite sex in a controlled environment; providing some physical activity, thus preventing them from being couch potatoes; providing spectator sports to entertain them on weekends; instilling some basic literacy and the ability to read clocks and timetables; and, at the end of the process, bestowing a diploma entitling the recipient to further subsidized education. The benefits of the system are obvious..."
Perhaps the author is being sardonic here, but that's not the impression I got from reading the rest of the op-ed in the Baltimore Sun.
This type of attitude is sadly too prevalent in this country. One of the city council members of a town in my area went on record opposing a science- & technology- focused charter school because it wouldn't have full athletic facilities. This despite the fact that there are numerous traditional high schools in the district offering students who wanted to play varsity sports the chance to do so. What does this say about the councilwoman's priorities? It's like she believes that the main purpose of a high school is fielding a championship football team!