A comment offered in the mid- 1980s is still relevant today: "[T]he choice debate reflects a 'crisis of faith' in the 'unofficially established national church'--the public school" ( Wagoner 1986). Improving public education would help secure its status as a public good, as would a concerted, thoughtful, and sustained effort aimed at informing the public about the role of education in democratic society. What citizens need to see is a government committed to improving the public schools. They also must be able to use their (political) voice effectively, meaning that government must listen to its constituents ( Gutmann 1987; Henig 1994; Hirschman 1970). Henig observes that government can be "an attractive partner" in improving the public schools because of "its ability and willingness . . . to mobilize resources, manage them effectively, and engage in a dependable system of cooperation" ( Henig 1994: 188). Informing the public about the purpose of public education and its importance for democracy might help citizens to understand why it is--and should remain--a public good. Twenty years ago, R. Freeman Butts noted ( 1979: 9) that discussion about the societal purposes of education was "all but missing," and he suggested there is a need "to reeducate the public about the civic role of public education." Retaining its purpose and image as a public good might prove to be the major challenge facing public education for the foreseeable future, particularly if charter schools and vouchers continue to grow in popularity.