When our public education system was created in the 19th century, its goal, quite explicitly, was to produce obedient and orderly factory workers to fill the new jobs being created by the Industrial Revolution. Those jobs are mostly gone now, and the needs of the 21st century are not the needs of the 19th. Perhaps there’s still a role for teaching children to sit up straight and form lines, but perhaps not . Certainly the rapidly increasing willingness of parents to try homeschooling , charter schools, online schools, and other alternative approaches suggests that a lot of people are unhappy with the status quo.
Rather than looking for the one best way to educate our kids, we might be better off putting together a diversified portfolio of educational approaches, some of which work better for some kids in some circumstances and some of which work better for other kids in other circumstances. Such an approach is likely to produce better outcomes, and at lower costs.
Given that there are so many different kinds of kids and, today, so many different kinds of career paths, it makes sense to allow different approaches. This isn’t the industrial age anymore. Why pursue a one-size-fits-all approach in education?