There is a monstrosity of a term in German: Allgemeinbildung - general education or educational background. What turns the German term - for me - into a monstrosity is its historical and institutional background. For Lincoln's dictum certainly holds true in the case of Germany, where homeschooling is a crime and institutions of private education are strictly content-controlled by the state:
“The philosophy of the classroom will be the philosophy of the government in the next generation.”
Nothing could be more antithetic to the idea of genuine education than a monopoly on asserting what it is.
Education is the ability to acquire, handle and advance human knowledge. For these purposes, freedom and competition are of the essence.
Instead those who ought to be protected against any kind of conscription are being conscripted into a behemoth broadcaster of prejudices - as Arthur Schopenhauer said:
The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.
Robert E. Peterson at The Freeman offers an account of a far better model:
The results of colonial America’s free market system of education were impressive indeed. Almost no tax money was spent on education, yet education was available to almost anyone who wanted it, including the poor. No government subsidies were given, and inefficient institutions either improved or went out of business. Competition guaranteed that scarce educational resources would be allocated properly. The educational institutions that prospered produced a generation of articulate Americans who could grapple with the complex problems of self-government. The Federalist Papers, which are seldom read or understood today, even in our universities, were written for and read by the common man. Literacy rates were as high or higher than they are today. A study conducted in 1800 by DuPont de Nemours revealed that only four in a thousand Americans were unable to read and write legibly.
See also Sapere Aude.