Our educational industry is doing exactly what it was designed to do and doing it very well. It is just that we, the users, do not recognize its design functions. Although some of us today recognize that schools have become a left wing indoctrination, even we still think schools are there primarily to teach us what we need to know for success. That is wrong. The United States today is a bureaucratic state which needs an endless and ever growing supply of people trained to accept the bureaucratic life. School has been organized to turn us into those people for at least three generations..
In a bureaucratic state every citizen must follows orders and the prime function of the school is to instill acceptance of authority and the primary indoctrination is in obedience to authority. To accomplish this the school undermines the autonomy of the individual child, the authority of the family and ultimately the social cohesion of the community. As a people we have forgotten that it was not always this way. The transfer of power to the school has been going on for generations now and it has become more effective with each generation. It is not a coincidence that the family and the social cohesion of the community have disintegrated as the power of the school to determine the future of each individual has grown. The reason Blacks have a higher failure rate than whites is that they have stronger social ties to family and community than whites. They have not accepted the authority of the teacher to define their future. Unfortunately this makes them even more dependent and controllable in the long run. Their independence costs them access to the secondary function of schools, which is the transfer of life skills commonly called reading writing and arithmetic.
Each generation the school has taken greater control of our children and us. At an ever earlier age we enter the school and start indoctrination in subservience to authority as in a classic Skinner box experiment. This is done by keeping children isolated from adult world, encouraging dependency upon a state defined authority figure (Teacher) and making only state approval (grades) count. Once in school the child is under the control of a state approved authority figure who determines what is done, when it is done and how it is done . The only other input is from the other children, usually of their own age and experience. From the first day in school the family is reduced to a support system to get the child to school and assist in indoctrination in state values as defined by the teacher. Children see their parents accept the authority of the teacher as they do. In this way the child quickly learns that the state is the ultimate authority in their lives. Those who adjust and follow the lead of the teacher are the ones who are called successful and offered further carrots. Those children who show too much autonomy and reject the carrots are used to intimidate the successful and establish in their minds that the only security is to be found in the authority figure of the teacher. In the end all students learn that reward and security is found in obedience to authority.
Even if you reject the idea that obedience training is the primary function of school, we all see that some 30% of students come through without the basic skills needed to be productive and call the system a failure. Again this is our failure to recognize the real function of the school industry. Our vast bureaucratic state needs an endless and ever growing supply of people trained to perform the technical and managerial tasks to keep the system growing and going. School is organized to provide those people and does it very well. From pre-school we are sorted through a maze of testing and teacher evaluations into our assigned life tracks by the time we are in fifth grade. Those who are most willing to accept the world as defined by the state are those who get the rewards. Each year in what amounts to a lottery the most intelligent and driven graduating seniors compete for entrance into the elite schools from which the top bureaucrats are always selected. Those who win that lottery are fed a diet of pure hubris that they are the best and brightest and have every right to rule from the day they enter their elite schools. The losers of the lottery go to the non elite schools from which they will go on to become lower level bureaucrats filling roles from teachers and social workers to judges and administrators to engineers and scientists. All following the orders of that lucky elite.
As for the rest of us, we are on our own. The school industry is interested only in getting enough people to fill the bureaucracies needs to grow. We exist only to service the bureaucracy and provide it with people to command and control. That is why schools graduate only some 70% of their students and most of those who do graduate know almost nothing of history, the world or even life skills.