Sympathy for the Luddites
The Once (but no longer) Golden Age of Human Capital
In one chart; we have a demand problem, not a skills problem
Let Them Make Their Own Jobs
A Brand New Report Shows Just How Wrong Silicon Valley Is About A Tech Worker Shortage
Does Expanding School Choice Increase Segregation?
What Does It Take For Traumatized Kids To Thrive?
The Thin Envelope Crisis
America's Higher Education Problem
I believe that the education system is set up to provide a limited number of graduates because 80% of the jobs in an economy do not need anything more than a good high school education. And the best way to fill this large number of jobs is to have people blame themselves for not having done better in school.
Eventually, what one does not get in the way of a good high school education is adequately learned over time with age and experience.
Even if we provided all the resources necessary to ensure that everyone had a realistic chance of graduating with a post-secondary education of value, 80% of the jobs the economy needs would then be filled with disgruntled, "over-qualified/educated" people.
It is much more effective to have people blame themselves for not having worked harder in high school, and thankful for the low-paying job they do have (a job which the economy needs someone to do).
As a society, we almost intentionally throw as many distractions as we can at kids to deter them, not only from attaining the goal of earning a proper education, but also of the ability to think critically.
Most kids, are not mature enough to do what is in their long-run best interest, so unless they have a strong support system at home, the number needed to fail is easily achieved.
In South Korea, 60% of high school kids go onto complete a university degree. Then there are not enough jobs for all these highly educated individuals. China and India (and many other nations) have the same problem.
Who wants to get a university degree and then have to take a job where you are peers with someone with a limited education? It's too much to take for most people. The resentment, and social unrest, that builds can be very destructive for society.
P.S. I believe this is why you will never see significant improvements in the First Nations education outcomes. If this was achieved, parents all over the country would demand similar improvements from the education system at large (so that we achieved South Korea like outcomes). And unfortunately, in managing a society, and an economy, that is not a strategically smart thing to do (even though much politically correct lip-service and rhetoric will be expended to appease the public at large).