Failing education system.
The re-privatization of education is the means to limit education, it is not the cause of the decline. The reason why education is on the decline is due to the transition away from being a manufacturing nation to becoming a service nation. When the United States was created, being educated meant you were white, male and wealthy.
Knowledge is power and limiting education is control.. This was true back in the 1700s and it is true today. There is a reason why education was private and restricted and only afforded to the wealthy and the church. Those in power.
This private education system would probably have continued if not for the industrial revolution and the advances in science and technology.
When it became necessary for workers to have basic reading, writing and math skills to keep up with the increasing complexities of technology, educating the masses finally became a necessesity and public education was born.
It makes everyone feel better to think that public education came from America's independence or from our constitution or from a sense of equality, but receiving an education isn't nor has it ever been a guaranteed right. It wasn't until the costs from the lack of an education outweighed the costs of the education itself that America started educating its masses.
Now that America is the most powerful military might on the planet, outsourced most of its manufacturing industry, and limited opportunity and competition with corporate consolidation and monopolies, the costs of an education, once again, outweigh the costs of not having an education.
Pretty soon someone will argue, "How much education does a waitress or Walmart employee need anyway." Or worse, "Why are my tax dollars paying for the education of someone who won't ever use it."
Slowly but surely the idea of an education as a right or freedom is being eroded.
The re-privatizing of education is the first step towards changing education into just another consumer product.