This seems a bit of an odd question...
Schools are designed with the future professional aspirations of the child in mind, which is almost 100% strangers. Learning how to socialize in a public setting is important, since most jobs will require you to interact in a public setting and follow public etiquette.
When it comes to understanding the specific community they live in, that's kind of the parent's purview. It's expected that the parent will take their child into the community. That hasn't really happened much since 9/11, the fear based media makes parents fear letting their kids play outside on their own or participating in the community in their own way.
I know this, because I was 9 on 9/11 and suddenly all my classmates and I were metaphorically locked in our rooms and had N64s and PCs thrown in where we could wander the neighborhood freely and be left at the mall or pool alone before. It's never really changed, so is it any wonder kids don't know these ideals that you seem to hold dear?
Seems I've ranted a bit, sorry about that.