The school system
The school system is a very delicately designed system. There are many forces behind its coming into being. Some are conscious efforts, some are not. Some are good intentions. Some are really not. A lot are due to historical limitations.
In the early America, there is no formal schooling. Americans visited Germany and discovered that German used institutionalized schooling as a way to militarize its population, making them a group of people who only know to follow orders. Those early Americans found this, and transplanted this institutionalized schooling to America and popularized it. Many big corporations were behind this. They funded the institutionalized schooling. They think people “educated” from such schools will be employable for their industries.
What German found is that when you put people through so many years of schooling, isolate them from real life, and give them homework to do, exams to pass, then you can make people passive, kill their curiosity, make them not to think about the purpose of life or many important things in their life. People will not know how to learn. They will learn only a set of skills that will be just enough for them to work in the industry, in an environment of preset parameters. So people will learn the discipline, a discipline to follow orders.
Those big corporations thought that this was what the industry needed. So they funded this instutionized schooling, to make people “employable”. They need massive labors, mental or manual.
This is history of schooling told by John Taylor Gatto. I am only summarizing from my memory with my own understanding. To get more accurate description, you can go to his site to read his books. http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/