What is the purpose of school?

One room schoolhouse

Ponder this question: What is the purpose of school? Do you have a working definition? Can you be a teacher and not have an answer? If you ask ten people this question I would imagine you would get ten answers - even if all ten of the respondents are working in the same school. Is it academically healthy to have so many different opinions about the purpose of school? Is having a stated purpose of school enough? Is it possible to work in a school or school district that might have a different opinion? Should a staff actively discuss this question and share their philosophy? I think all teachers should think about this because the answer should be what drives your pedagogy and teaching beliefs.

Further reading:
Wikipedia entry on school
One Teacher's View
Warrawong Public Schools Purpose Statement (Australia)
One Definition