There are a number of noble goals pursued by the education system. History classes, to provide the context behind the modern politics about which students will vote when they grow up. (Well, some will, some won't.) Science classes, to provide a head start on engineering concepts that could earn them a job... or if not, at least help them reduce their heating bill. Math classes, to sort students by intellect with less room for ideological bias than either of the above. The justifiability of spending tax dollars and students' time on these goals is somewhat disputed, but a plurality of voters seem to have come down on its side, with only the most libertarian of libertarians daring to call it unjustified, using... quite frankly, rhetoric not too different from that which everyone else accepts as good enough reason not to nationalize all medical research or the manufacturing of medical supplies. But one thing that always bewildered me in still having a plurality of voters on its side is the decision to impose Shakespeare, Catcher In The Rye, To Kill A Mockingbird, etc... on students who would much rather explore their own taste in fiction. It is clearly a bias in favour of older generations' taste in fiction, at best, and at worst just a bunch of insincere virtue signaling from older people who weren't any more interested in that literature themselves. One option that comes to mind is to assign students who wish to write their essays on a particular novel with volunteering teachers who've read that novel, and use distance education to assess such essays. But in my mind, it would be only slightly better. You have not imposed someone else's taste in fiction, per se, but you have imposed the medium of choice; literature; over a medium they might have otherwise preferred, like television, radio, comic books or video games; the latter of which, incidentally, could be multi-tasked with news that could give them a head start on history. So what do you think? Is it justified for the education system to impose literature; let alone specific literature; on the student population? Why or why not?