Two related excerpts from Orson Scott Card’s Duplex. The main character is a sophomore in high school and these are his observations regarding his education:
They all thought they were “Getting an Education.” It was like they were all being taught one set of dance moves, a single piece of choreography. If they worked hard and really got it down, would they be dancers? Absolutely not. Knowing one dance doesn’t mean you know how to dance. All these high school students, including him, weren’t becoming “educated.” They were being trained. For what? to perform tasks that only had meaning when they were performed at school. We are learning the dance of public secondary education. Unless we become high school teachers, God forbid, we will never have to perform that dance again or even think about it.
And here’s the second quote, just a bit later in the narrative:
(School) is just a way of keeping adolescents out of the labor pool precisely when minds and muscles are at their most creative and flexible, so that kids don’t get into the workforce until they’re more nearly untrainable and unadaptible.