I realized in my back and forth with Colin that if one were to follow the question to the logical conclusion, it wouldn't necessarily be consistent with what I've typically thought.
That is, I'm generally not in favor of supporting failing industries with subsidies or artificial wage points. For example, I've felt that the steel belt should go the way of the dinosaur and let China take it over since it's cheaper and works in an environmental NIMBY kind of way.
So are there "industries" that should not be included in that model? Why should education be any different and not subject to outsourcing? If schools are failing, why not put the kids on Skype with India and do it that way?
My gut reaction was, no, it's different. But how? School has been a method to inculcate social (and patriotic, to be honest) mores, but that's certainly not the dealbreaker for me, as an international educator anyway.
Maybe it's not all that different. The only other thing I can think of is logistical. There is a benefit of having everybody under 16 all rounded up in the same place at the same time!